BRANDON, SOUTH DAKOTA (July 2, 2016) – Jason and the JJR team along with his fellow World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series invaded Badlands Motor Speedway for the first of two nights of high speed action. As the haulers pulled into their parking stalls on the backstretch following the pit gates opening as the car count continued to increase topping out at 40 entries for the opportunity to race around the beautiful black clay oval.
For time trials there would be two sets of qualifying flights. Jason would go out in Flight A in the tenth position aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Wilwood #41. He got rolling and made his way around the 3/8-mile, high banked clay oval. His first lap was 11.031 seconds. Staying on the accelerator and running a smooth line using his Kistler Engines power he bettered his first lap the second time around Badlands with a lap of 10.929 seconds. When the two lap qualifying was over for all of the competitors, he was third quick in Flight A and fifth quick overall on the night. Another fast start to the evening of racing.
Jason would share the front row in the first heat race in the Fischer Body Shop/Country Custom Creations (ccc) Maxim with quick timer of the night Matt Juhl. David Gravel and Logan Schuchart were in row two with Paul McMahan and Cory Mack following. When the green flag waved, the Ragin’ Cajun jumped into the early lead and was showing the way around Badlands. He had the attention of the fans in the stands as he was setting a rapid pace at the front of the field. Schuchart was giving chase from the runner-up spot to no avail as Jason took the heat race victory over Schuchart, Gravel, and McMahan with Juhl securing the final transfer position just ahead of a charging Paige Polyak.
Earning the right to compete in his 18th Dash event of the 2016 season, a 35.29% success rate, Jason was sitting on the pole in the pre-Dash inversion. When the ‘6’ pill was pulled he dropped back to the outside of row three for the start of the Dash. The six laps in the Dash go by quickly and when the green lights replaced the yellow lights front row starter, Brad Sweet, set sail. Sweet would win over Schuchart, Kerry Madsen, Rico Abreu, Daryn Pittman with Jason coming home sixth as Joey Saldana and Jason Sides rounded out the field to set the first four rows of the feature lineup.
The 40-lap feature event was up next. Twenty-four drivers earned their way into the field. The track was prepared. The crews made their final adjustments. The drivers climbed into their cockpits and secured their steering wheels. And, the fans were ready for some great racing. When the green flag waved, Brad Sweet was leading in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet #49 as Jason moved into the fifth position. Jason and Saldana were cleanly battling for position and swapping the fifth spot back-and-forth. Rico Abreu would take the lead from Sweet on lap 10 after Sweet got over the cushion in turn two with Jason in a fierce three car battle for the show position with Schuchart and Saldana. Jason went to the high side on lap twelve through three and four and was making the two car pass for third when the race leader, Rico Abreu, caught the inside berm and tire and flipped coming through turn four. The red was displayed and on the restart the Cajun Sensation restarted the race from the fifth position. Sweet inherited the lead back and when racing got back up to speed Jason was on the move. He was coming and coming fast. He had a really good car. He would make the pass on Saldana for the runner-up position as the top three were now running very close. Jason was closing the gap quickly on Sweet and was in contention for the win with five laps to go. He was screaming sound Badlands Motor Speedway when on lap four he blew his right rear tire slamming the wall in turn one and ending his night with a disappointing 20th place finish. The yellow lights were originally turned on, but after the safety crew got to the forty-one they realized Jason need some additional care and turned the red lights on.
The driveline exploded hitting his right ankle. Jason was in pain and the safety crew had him transported to the hospital for x-rays and further observation. While the race results were not lucky, he sure was as the x-rays came back negative, meaning no broken ankle or foot for the Louisiana-born racer. Thank goodness for the JMR Design Torque Ball Safety Blanket the JJR team had on or instead of the bad bruising it could have been much, much worse for the driver. Jason and Bobbi are very grateful for everyone who kept him in their thoughts and prayers as he looks to be back at the track and ready to go.