MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA (October 4, 2015) – Jason and the JJR team, along with the other World of Outlaw Sprint Series competitors, headed to Pennsylvania for the 53rd Annual Champion Racing Oil National Open. The National Open is steeped in auto racing history with greats like: Gordon Johncock; Larry Dickson; Steve Kinser; Mark Kinser; Lou Blaney; Bobbie Adamson; Kenny Weld; Smokey Snellbaker; Sammy Swindell; Doug Wolfgang; Donny Schatz; Fred Rahmer and many others who have won this race since it began back in 1963. Sure the current $50,000 winner’s share of the purse is enticing, but when you talk to most of the drivers the trophy and adding their name to this prestigious list of greats ranks right near the top of their reasons why they come to race.
After weather more fitting for a duck cancelled the first two nights and postponed Saturday night’s big event, the haulers were lined up and the drivers and teams were ready to race on Sunday evening. There were 49 competitors signed in the pit area and each one was eager to get out on the track and start racing around the unique shaped half-mile.
With two qualifying flights for time trials, Jason would go out in the second flight aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Jonestown KOA #41 Maxim after drawing the ‘66’ pill. He went out late for his individual performance and the quicker of his two lap times registered in at 19.153 seconds, which was 20th quick in the second flight and 35th quick overall. Even though he was only a little off time wise in time trials, every tenth of a second makes a huge difference with the type of competition.
There were six heat races scheduled with only three transfer spots available in each event. Starting deep in the sixth heat race aboard the Dissolvalloy Frac Ball Revolution entry he and the team knew they were in for an uphill climb all night. He climbed into his custom fitted seat, buckled his Crow Enterprizes safety belts, and pulled on his Oakley gloves as he rolled into the staging lane. Not one to let adversity impact his focus he rolled his beautifully presented machine highlighted by the shiny Weld Racing wheels onto the track for 8 lap race. Greg Hodnett, the 2014 and 2015 Williams Grove track champion, started from the pole with Pat Cannon, Danny Dietrich and Jacob Allen comprising the remainder of the first two rows. When the green waved, Hodnett took the lead with Dietrich giving chase. Jason was trying anything and everything from his starting position to lock down his Hoosier Racing Tires so he could transfer the power from his Kistler Engines power plant to convert it to speed around the half mile oval but with no luck as he brought home an eighth place finish.
Relegated to the D-Main, it was an all Johnson front row, albeit unrelated. Iowa resident R.J. Johnson was on the pole with the Ragin’ Cajun on the outside front row in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Winters Performance Products #41. When the cars approached the white chalk line in turn four, Jason powered up his Maxim Racing mount and headed down the front straightaway with the lead. He held that lead until a mid-race restart when fellow Outlaw racer, Kerry Madsen, seized the lead from the outside starting spot. Holding down the second and last transfer spot, Jason was being chased by J.J. Grasso for the spot. On the last lap, Grasso caught the forty one and made the pass coming out of two to end the JJR forty one’s driver and teams disappointing and frustrating night.
Jason is a fierce competitor and along with his team will take the lessons learned, apply them and move on to Rolling Wheels Raceway Park next Saturday for more World of Outlaws racing action as the 2015 seasons continues to wind down.