ABBOTTSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA (May 19, 2016) – Jason and the JJR team headed back to Lincoln Speedway on Thursday night after persistent rain showers postponed the original running of the Gettysburg Clash on Wednesday night. The weather was beautiful on this race day in the Pigeon Hills of Pennsylvania and the drivers and fans all came back to what locals and track announcer, Wayne Harper, refer to as the “Fabulous Lincoln Speedway”.
When the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series comes to race against the PA Posse there is always a lot of emotion for the avid sprint car fans of Pennsylvania who come out to see the best in the business race against their hometown local heroes. The drivers like the competition too. While the fans view the visit as a feud, the drivers see it as a measuring stick to see where they are as drivers and where their teams are from a competitive standpoint. At the end of the day . . . it is just pure fun and exciting entertainment.
There were 39 powerful sprint cars in the pit area at the 3/8-mile, semi-banked oval with the JJR hauler pulled in alongside Greg Wilson. Crew member, Jakob Weaver, pulled a pill that had a high number printed on it, which equated to Jason going out 35th in the second flight of qualifying aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Winters Performance Products #41. The track took on rubber early, so the times were slowing throughout qualifying by as much as seven tenths of a second. Not fazed, Jason rolled down pit lane as his Kistler Engine fired and came to life. When he entered the speedway off turn three he pedaled down and charged under the flag stand to take the green. His first lap of 14.491 seconds was seventh quick in Flight B. He kept on trucking in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) Maxim and turned in a quicker second lap at 14.417 seconds, which was 5th quick in his session and ended up 21st overall.
Jason would start on the inside of row two in the third heat race with Hanover, Pennsylvania native Logan Schuchart to his outside. Lucas Wolfe and Trey Starks were on the front row and when the yellow lights changed to green it was Wolfe to the lead. Schuchart used the high side to steal the third spot away on the initial start as Jason moved back to fourth. Fighting a loose and ill handling car, Jason lost two more spots to Stevie Smith and Aaron Ott moving him just outside of a coveted transfer position. After dropping back to sixth, the Cajun Sensation got up on the wheel where his driving and courage overcame some of the mishandling of his race car. Smith and Ott would both dive low in one and two making contact. Seeing this, Jason stayed on the loud pedal and wheeled the Fischer Body Shop painted car on the top of the track to move back into the fourth position. It was close quarters out there, but he made it work. Ott would continue to pressure him for the spot, but when Wolfe took the heat race win ahead of Schuchart and Starks, Jason came home fourth with Ott securing the fifth and final transfer position.
Knowing he would be starting in the 14th starting spot in the Gettysburg Clash’s 35-lap feature event, Jason, Philip and the JJR crew watched as the track evolved and made some decisions about setup and race strategy. With some last minute bar changes it was race time. Jason climbed into his Fibreworks Composites carbon fiber high speed office seat and buckled into his red Crow Enterprizes safety belts. After the four-wide salute to the fans in the packed grandstands, the competitors aligned back into their two-by-two restart order. When the green flag waved, polesitter Donny Schatz led PA Posse member Danny Dietrich into turn one. With a majority of the field going to the bottom in search of moisture and the fast lane, the Ragin’ Cajun went to the topside of the speedway and found a fast way around on the thin cushion early. He was making progress is his Maxim Racing entry and before you knew it he was knocking on the door to enter the top ten. By the midway point of the race he had made it there as Schatz was still out front showing the way. With 12 laps to go, Jason dove through the middle entering turn one to pass both Joey Saldana and Austin Hogue to take over the eight position. Hogue would get the position back on the low side and with the one to go flag out, Jason moved to the top again rather than following the train and was able to beat Daryn Pittman to the finish line by a front bumper to secure a strong 9th place finish on the night. Donny Schatz carried the World of Outlaws banner to victory lane on this night over Danny Dietrich, Brent Marks, and Greg Hodnett with Logan Schuchart rounding out the top five. A good, competitive night of racing for Jason and the entire forty one team in Greg and Tammy’s Country Custom Creations (CCC) racing machine.