McCOOL JUNCTION, NEBRASKA (August 16, 2016) – With the Knoxville Nationals in the rear view mirror, for forever etched in the history books, Jason and the JJR crew headed to Junction Motor Speedway to race on the 3/8th mile racing oval that was built on what was formerly a 50 acre corn field. There were only 17 cars present at the track, but those that were in signed in the pit area were determined to put on a great show for the fans.
The JJR #41 encountered trouble as the car would not fire in hot laps. Missing that opportunity to get some laps around the track and test the setup did not deter your 2016 Knoxville Nationals Champion as he pushed off 16th out of 17 cars and turned in a pretty good first lap aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/FK Rod Ends #41 at 13.716 seconds. He kept the hammer down the second time around as he let his Kistler Engines horsepower carry his momentum through the turns and down the straightaways. His second lap was quicker at 13.693 seconds, which was 6th quick overall on the night.
On this night, there would be two 8-lap heat races and one 8-lap qualifier race run to set the starting order for the feature event. Jason was in the second heat race where he would start on the inside of row two in his Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/ISC Racers Tape #41 Maxim beside Joey Saldana. Pole sitter Logan Schuchart drove off into the lead at the start with Saldana surging into the runner-up spot. Jason was running in the fourth position behind Daryn Pittman as the top four set a torrid pace on the heavy racing surface. They would finish in that order as Jason Sides rounded out the top five.
Jason then ran the qualifier race where he would start from the outside of row two in his Fischer Body Shop/CCC Maxim Chassis. David Gravel and Pittman were on row one and brought the field up to speed as the green flag waved. Jason got going, but his run was short lived as he experienced more mechanical issues that sent him pit side after the first lap. Pittman would go on to win the qualifier over Gravel, Shane Stewart, and Sides with Ian Madsen grabbing the fifth position.
With the field set for the 30-lap feature, Jason would have some work to do from his 16th starting position. Philip Dietz, your 2016 MAC Tools Crew Chief of the Knoxville Nationals, and the JJR crew worked hard to get the forty-one ready for action. Joey Saldana and Donny Schatz made up row one as Brad Sweet and David Gravel followed close behind in row two. When the yellow lights changed to green, Donny Schatz jumped into the early lead in dominant fashion ahead of Saldana. Jason was up on the wheel and making his way around the fast racing surface early making passes and gaining positions. Multiple cautions on lap two, one for second place running Joey Saldana who experienced mechanical issues, regrouped the field. On the restart, Jason surged forward and raced for position as he patiently made his way forward. He was soon in the top ten and looking for more as the laps winding down with Schatz in the lead. Schatz would go on to take the victory as he beat Gravel to the line with Sweet, Pittman and Shane Stewart rounding out the top five. Jason drove home with an eighth place finish at the Nebraska racing oval aboard the Waco Metal/Valvoline #41 to earn his fifth KSE Hard Charger Award of the season. Another impressive run for the forty-one!