MESQUITE, TEXAS (April 22, 2016) – It was a coming home of sorts for Jason and Bobbi Johnson as the team pulled in to a place they are very familiar with – The Shop Diesel Service shop in Greenville, Texas. Mr. Lanny Row and his lovely wife Martha and their son Al are like family to the Johnson’s and they always look forward to returning to their Lone Star state home when they are in the area to race at the famous half mile in Mesquite, Texas called Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Heavy rains hit the area earlier in the week, but on this day the skies will filled with sunshine. The pit area was still soaked which made the grounds extremely soft resulting in a decision to move the pits out to the paved parking lot. A parking lot party of sorts, but a welcomed one for all the fans in attendance. There were 25 cars in the pit area eager to get on the track for the first of two nights of racing at this historic racing oval.
Jason, aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Waco Metal #41 Maxim Racing entry, was one of the later cars to go out for qualifying, but the driver from Eunice, Louisiana did not disappoint with his effort and time. When he stopped the clock on the first go ‘round he turned a lap in 14.285 seconds. Using his Kistler Engines power plant, he used his horsepower to better his time to 14.123 seconds, which was second quick overall on the night.
The quicker time aligned the Country Custom Creations (CCC)/ISC Racers Tape #41 on the pole for the second 8-lap heat race of the night. Daryn Pittman was to his outside with Shane Stewart and Brad Sweet right behind. When the green flag waved, Jason catapulted into the lead as he charged down the frontstretch in front of the packed grandstands. He was smooth and fast as he circled Da’ Bowl’s lightning quick surface. A mid-race caution brought Pittman up to his rear nerf bar for the restart. Once again when the green lights illuminated around the speedway, the Ragin’ Cajun took off in his forty one with every one else giving chase. He led the remaining distance to not only lock himself into the A-Main, but also earn himself a coveted spot in the Dash event.
When the Dash lineup was posted, the Fischer Body Shop/Pro Powder Coating Maxim would be on the outside of the front row with Sam Hafertepe, Jr. sitting in the cat bird seat. Six laps and a lot of talent readied for permission to get the race up to speed. When the green cloth was displayed, the full moon filled skies were filled with the sweet sound of sprint car power. Hafertepe took the lead as Jason was embroiled in a battle for position with third starting Kerry Madsen. The racing was fast and furious with Hafertepe taking the win with Madsen in second and Jason coming home in the third position. Daryn Pittman, Joey Saldana and Josh Baughman rounded out the remaining finishing positions in the Dash.
With the 25 lap feature event left, Jason climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing machine and buckled his Crow Enterprizes safety equipment. He was ready to do battle at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. Hafertepe and Madsen were in row one as Jason shared row two with Daryn Pittman. After his front row seat for the four wide salute to the fans, the Cajun Sensation slid back into his row two starting spot. Madsen would lead lap one as Jason slipped back in the early going. Relentless, the Cajun chauffeur stayed focused and started bring the forty one forward again. Pittman chased down Madsen on lap nine and took the lead as Jason cracked the top five. He was on the move. Joey Saldana was showing his speed as he was closing in on Pittman as the race neared the end. Saldana would make a late race pass on lap twenty three to take the win ahead of Pittman, Brad Sweet, and Madsen with Jason bringing the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/BMRS #41 home in the fifth positon.
While Jason and the JJR team’s consistency continues, they look forward to returning to Devil’s Bowl on Saturday night for night two of the Texas Outlaw Nationals.