CALISTOGA, CALIFORNIA (September 15, 2017) – Jason and his fellow World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competitors headed to the beautiful Napa Valley to kick off the two-day Wine Country Outlaw Showdown at Calistoga Speedway’s half-mile oval. It is a terrific way to wrap up the final West Coast swing for the teams in a picturesque setting. There were 27 cars on hand to race on night one.
Jason was the twelfth car out on the track for his two time trial laps aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Crow Enterprises #41 Maxim. Brad Sweet had set the high mark at 16.353 seconds, so the Ragin’ Cajun would have to be good to top that time. The determined Louisiana-born chauffeur got his elbows up the minute the push truck tapped his rear nerf bar and circled Calistoga Speedway the first time around in 16.530 seconds. He stayed on the hammer and ran a consistent, but slightly slower, second lap at 16.587 seconds. There were still a lot of fast and talented drivers to go, but when Donny Schatz took the final checkers of the session, Jason’s fastest time was 9th quick overall on the night.
With three heat races on tap for the night, Jason would start from the inside of row two in the third and final heat race aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/K&N Filters #41. While the goal is always to try to win, the key if you fall short is to attempt to finish in the top two to lock yourself into the Craftsman Club Dash. No easy task, but that certainly is a driving force for all the drivers and teams. When the green flag dropped over the 8-lap event, front row starter Jason Sides drove into the lead as Jason used his Max Papis Innovations (MPI) steering wheel to maneuver into the runner-up position. Sides was setting a rapid pace as Jason raced right behind. The front two would finish that way to secure the two Craftsman Club Dash positions as Kyle Hirst, Paul McMahan, Cory Eliason and DJ Netto securing the final transfer positions from the heat race to the A-Main.
After the inversion pill of zero was pulled, Jason would start in the sixth and final spot of the Craftsman Club Dash behind Brad Sweet, Rico Abreu, Jason Sides, David Gravel and Shane Stewart. Sweet would waste little time gaining the top spot as Abreu gave chase along with the rest of the field over the entire six laps. Sweet would take the win as Jason moved up one position to come home fifth with Abreu, Stewart and Gravel in between and Sides right behind.
The night one feature field was set for the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown where 24 of the best made up the starting lineup. Jason would line the Waco Metal/Jonestown KOA #41 up on the inside of row three for the start of the 25-lap feature event. It was Rico Abreu to the front at the start with Sweet right behind and Jason wheeling a few spots back. Not happy running second, Brad Sweet stole the top spot away from Abreu and set sail. The leaders encountered heavy lapped traffic as Jason was fighting for position in the second five for most of the event. Sweet would hold on to take the win over Abreu to earn the spot in victory lane holding the checkered flag. After Abreu was light at the scales, Jason was scored tenth to earn his 47th Top Ten finish of the 2017 season for the JJR Marshall Racing team, a 61.04% success rate. Jason and the #41 team will take the lessons learned from this night of competition and apply them for the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown finale on Saturday evening at Calistoga Speedway.