ELDON, MISSOURI (October 17, 2020) – After being postponed from the originally scheduled May race date, the Second Annual Jason Johnson Classic presented by FK Rod Ends was next up for the JJR #41 team and World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Series stars on a beautiful fall day in the Lake of the Ozarks. After David Gravel raced to the win in the inaugural event to honor our hero in 2019, the JJR team was back at the track looking to repeat and defend the title in their hero’s race at his hometown track on the lake. Gravel was unable to drive the Greber Racing Components (GRC)/Waco Metal/Jansen Transportation #41 Maxim on this night as he was over at Kansas Speedway competing in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Clean Harbors 200 race in the GMS ChevyGoods.com #24. Although his day ended early, on lap 38 after a crash on a restart, everyone at JJR is very proud of David. Jason’s long-time friend, Bixby, Oklahoma’s own Shane Stewart, drove the red Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) JJR entry to the win on Friday night at Lakeside Speedway in the first night that he was filling in for the Watertown, Connecticut native and was ready to go racing at Lake Ozark Speedway as 35 highly competitive teams were registered in the $15,000-to-win, $1,000-to-start Jason Johnson Classic!
With the track delivering times in the mid-eleven second bracket, it was fast but showing signs early of taking on rubber as it built a big curb in turns 3 and 4. Shane was scheduled to be the 24th car aboard the Tiger Towing/T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication out for his two time trial qualifying laps. As he waited patiently in his racing seat, the track continued to become more technical which was scrubbing some time off the competitor’s lap times. With the tap on the rear nerf bar his Kistler Engines power came to life. He nailed the power pedal and took the green flag. He was making his best efforts and turned in a good lap at 11.669 seconds. The next lap was slower at 12.012 seconds, but the faster of his two laps was 12th quick overall when time trials concluded.
When the four Drydene heat race lineups were posted, the driver of the forty-one would start third in the last heat race with the top five finishers transferring to the feature event. The 10-lap heat race was filled with talent with the young and talented duo of Gio Scelzi and Cory Eliason pacing from the front row. Shane shared row two with last year’s quick timer and current one lap track record holder with a lap of 11.111 seconds, Jason Sides, as Ian Madsen, Terry McCarl, Bill Rose and Tyler Blank complete the field. When the green flag dropped it was Scelzi to the bottom forcing Eliason to the top. The track was very technical at this point of the evening forcing all of the drivers to challenge their talents and get out of their comfort zones. Eliason took command of the lead as Scelzi held down the runner-up position. Shane was working hard inside his office of the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) forty-one trying to track down Scelzi to see if he could position himself to steal the second position and earn a spot in the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. He was unable to get to him by the time the checkered flag flew over the heat race as Eliason took the win over Scelzi and Stewart with Ian Madsen and Sides grabbing the final two transfer positions out of the heat and into the feature.
With all the qualifying action completed, it was time for the running of the 41-lap Jason Johnson Classic at Lake Ozark Speedway. Shane Stewart would get started from the 12th starting spot in the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Tiger Towing/High Performance Lubricants #41 Maxim. James McFadden, a family friend from Australia representing all of the Johnson family Christmas holidays and fun times with the Douglass family (GT, Tracy, Zoe and Jake) during their trips to the Land Down Under, would start from the pole with his Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) teammate Brad Sweet to his outside, with Gio Scelzi and Donny Schatz in row two. In front of the packed grandstands, McFadden powered the Karavan Trailers #9 into the lead from the drop of the green and was in control at the front of the pack. He was fast, but Brad Sweet was keeping him within striking distance. A few race stoppages slowed the action and gave the field a chance to catch their breath and regroup. Shane was running in the eleventh spot for the first half of the race in the highly competitive field. With 12 laps to go, it was McFadden leading Sweet and Schatz as Shane drove the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 Maxim up to eighth on the restart. While battling for position he made contact with the outside wall exiting turn two. A few laps later, with 8-laps to go, he slowed to a stop in turn four and headed to the work area. With no work time allotted after the hallway point of the race, the JJR crew quickly changed the right rear tire and got their warrior back out on the track. He would restart from the 17th spot as everyone else in the field was a lap down. McFadden would get back on the hammer and work the high side to withstand the remaining challenges Sweet had for him in the remaining laps. He took the emotional win over Sweet and Schatz with 22nd starting Kerry Madsen coming home fourth, while Sheldon Haudenschild rounded out the top five. Shane brought the car home in one piece with a 15th place finish. While not the finish he had hoped for in this race, everyone at JJR was so grateful and appreciative to have him fill the seat of his long-time friend. Over in victory lane, an emotional James McFadden showed nothing but class as he invited Jason’s son Jaxx to join him on the wing for a celebration. In his victory lane interview, McFadden said, “Jason was close friend to our family and we spent a lot of time in Australia together. To get this is huge. It’s a privilege to be here and unreal to get the win.” The privilege in all ours James McFadden. Congratulations to you and the entire Kasey Kahne Racing team!
Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Saich Family; Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution; Weikert’s Livestock; J.R.C. Transportation, Inc.; Durst Inc.; Maxim Racing; The Boyd Family; Pro Powder Coating (PPC); Waco Metal; High Performance Lubricants, LLC; Team Jack Foundation; Mark Burch Motorsports; Tiger Towing; All Pro Auto Reconditioning; AutoMeter; Bell Racing USA; Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS); Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; C&R Racing; Chalk Stix Torsion Bars; Crow Enterprizes, Engler Machine & Tool, Inc.; Factory Kahne FK Shocks; Fibreworks Composites; FK Rod Ends; Fuel Safe Racing Cells; Greber Racing Components; Hoosier Racing Tire; ISC Racers Tape; Jansen Transportation; Kistler Racing Engines; KSE Racing Products; LogoDaddy Graphics; Max Papis Innovations (MPI); MSD Performance; RaceDiecast.com; Schoenfeld Headers; Shell Shock Paint; Simpson Race Products; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Vortex Racing Products; Walker Performance Filtration; Weld Wheels; Wilwood Racing; and Winters Performance Products.
To stay connected with Jason Johnson Racing (JJR), go to www.jasonjohnsonracing.com.