FREMONT, OHIO (June 3, 2016) – The JJR #41 team, along with their driver Jason Johnson, headed back into the heart of racing country as they visited Fremont Speedway for the Kistler Engines Smackdown. The local drivers in this area are as tough as they come anywhere in the country when it comes to sprint car racing and speed, so when you unload your equipment you better be at the top of your game.
There were 42 cars registered in the pits and each of the teams wanted to be standing in victory lane at the end of the night. In order to do that you would have to qualify good in time trials. There were enough cars on this night to schedule two flights of time trials. Jason would go out in the first flight aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Valvoline #41 Maxim. When he circled the track the first time, he stopped the watch at an impressive 13.076 seconds, which was a pretty good lap at the time. Not satisfied, he stayed on the hammer and picked up just over five one hundredth of a second the next time around to post an even quicker lap at 13.021 seconds. When qualifying was completed, the Cajun Sensation’s time was sixth quick in his flight, as well as, overall on the night.
The 10-lap heat races were the next order of business on this beautiful night in Sandusky County in northern Ohio. When the heat race lineups were posted, the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/BMRS entry would start on the inside of row two in the second heat race. Kerry Madsen was to his outside as those two followed front row starters Joey Saldana and Dean Jacobs around the 1/3-mile, semi-banked fairgrounds oval. When the yellow lights changed to green, it was ‘go’ time in Fremont, Ohio. The early summer air filled up with the sweet sound of sprint car engines as the cars roared towards the green flag. Saldana led Jacobs, Madsen and Johnson on the first go ‘round. Everyone continued to chase the Roth #83 as he pulled out to a pretty sizable lead. When the black and white cloth was unfurled at the end of the heat race they would cross the line in that same running order as Jason Sides came home in fifth to secure the final heat race transfer position. Jason’s fourth place finish locked him into the feature event.
Locked into the 40-lap feature, Jason and the JJR boys watched the remainder of the qualifying action as the sunset made for a picturesque backdrop for this night of racing action. When the Last Chance Showdown (LCS) was completed, the 24 cars that earned the right to race in the Kistler Engines Smackdown event were locked in and completing their final preparations to ready their equipment for the final race. Jason would roll off 15th to start the feature as he shared row eight with the current World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series points leader, Brad Sweet. After numerous laps were put on the track, the surface was hard, slick and very tricky. The setup had to be right and the drivers had to use all of their talents to be successful. Polesitter David Gravel and fellow front row starter Chad Kemenah brought the field to the green. It didn’t take long for the green lights to be replaced by the yellow lights to alert the drivers of a caution on the speedway as three cars got together on the front straightaway in front of Fremont’s historic covered grandstands. One of those cars was Sweet. The racing action would be interrupted early and often as a number of drivers had trouble in the low numbered laps at Fremont. Once racing resumed and got up to speed, Gravel would lead, but the Ragin’ Cajun was on the move from his row eight starting spot. He cracked into the top ten before the mid-point of the race and stayed focused as he set his sights on the next competitor as he worked his way through the field. One-by-one he would overtake a position and as the laps churned down he found himself running in the sixth position in the Fischer Body Shop/Country Custom Creations (CCC) #41 Maxim. By this point of the race, Kemenah had wrestled away the lead from Gravel and was fighting to maintain the lead as Donny Schatz was right there putting the pressure on the Elvada, Ohio native as he wanted something Kemenah had – the lead. Jason was right there and stayed up on the wheel as the tenacious driver moved into the fifth position in his Maxim Racing entry. Kemenah would keep the lead and cross the line first ahead of Schatz, Gravel and Greg Wilson, as Jason came home in the fifth spot as he secured his ninth top five of the year, a 23.08% top five success rate season-to-date. Jason and the JJR team were pleased with their efforts and the associated result on the night as it was a fun race for the Eunice, Louisiana native to run in and the result reflected the hard work the team put in for this race.