SARVER, PENNSYLVANIA (July 18, 2017) – Well Jason Johnson and the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car series warriors invaded the Keystone State from the west as they surrounded Lernerville Speedway’s 4/10-mile, banked oval. There were 39 cars registered in the pit area, which sits outside of turns three and four in the beautiful rolling hills of this Western Pennsylvania town.
With a full field of cars, and an overflowing attendance of fans in the stands, the field of competitors were split into two qualifying flights, Flight A and Flight B. The JJR Marshall Racing team would prepare the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Winters Performance #41 Maxim to go out in the second flight. The Louisiana native, commonly referred to around the racing community as the Ragin’ Cajun, would be the 9th car out in Flight B (19th overall). He would wind up his Kistler Engines power and scoot under the green flag to start lap one. He was fast and cruising around the top side of banking here at Lernerville. When he crossed the timing light the clock stopped at 13.067 seconds. A good lap, but never one to be satisfied, he kept digging and turned in a better lap the second time around at 13.001 seconds. The better of his two laps was 5th quick overall in Flight B.
He would roll off third in Heat #3 with Jac Haudenschild flanking him to the outside. The row two starters would pull up to the rear nerf bars of the front row made up of Chad Kemenah and Donny Schatz. When the green waved, Schatz darted into the lead over Kemenah as Jason Sides surged into the third position using the extreme low line through turns one and two. Jason fell back to sixth place, but was not about to surrender. He stayed up on his MPI (Max Papis Innovations) steering wheel and battled with James McFadden in the Highlands #3H. The two talented speed chauffeurs put on one heck of a show with the Ragin’ Cajun securing the fifth and final transfer position as he followed heat race winner Donny Schatz, Kemenah, Sides and Jac Haudenschild across the finish line.
Patiently waiting in the pit area, the JJR Marshall Racing team did not let the grass grow under their feet as they went to work to make the Waco Metal/Engler Machine & Tool #41 better and faster for the 40-lap feature event. The double horn sounded throughout the pit area indicating it was time for the cars to roll out onto the speedway. With the crew still make last second adjustments, they dropped the jack and got ready to push their Maxim Racing machine onto the track with their Polaris four-wheeler. The engines fired as the 26 cars got ready to start the A-Main. Jason had some work to do as he was starting back in row none in the 18th starting spot. Front row starters Daryn Pittman and Sheldon Haudenschild brought the field to the green as Jason got his elbows up early and went racing around the very top of Lernerville Speedway. It was working as he was passing cars. He was running a unique line as he entered turn one high, diamond off at the apex, and dove low across turn two picking up spots as the competitors drifted up coming off the bottom. His driving tactics were working and the car was responding admirably. A series of yellows on Lap 15, the original one for Logan Schuchart and then another one for James McFadden, found the beautiful presented JJR Marshall Racing machine in the 12th position in the running order. His work was not done as this determined Cajun still had some work to do. Sheldon took the lead early and was at the front of the pack building a larger lead lap after lap. When racing resumed he held on to the top spot as Jason wasted little time moving into the top ten. The track was fast and racy and the laps were clicking down. With 5 laps to go a yellow came out for Brent Marks in the #19 as there was contact with the leaders on the front stretch. Kerry Madsen in the #2 was also nose first into the frontstretch wall at the exit of turn four. Still running tenth the race got back up to speed with a ferocious battle for the lead between Sheldon Haudenschild and Donny Schatz. The cushion was getting thin and was right up at the very top of the banking. The curb is essential for the drivers to lean on as there are no retaining walls surrounding Lernerville Speedway. Haudenschild got up over the cushion in turn four and went into a series of flips down the frontstretch against the outside wall. He was ok, but Schatz inherited the lead. Schatz would go on to win his 15th feature of the year over Daryn Pittman, David Gravel and Tim Shaffer with Chad Kemenah rounding out the top five.
Jason was the KSE Hard Charger picking up ten spots over the 40 laps as he earned an eighth-place finish in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway. A great run for the forty-one!