BARBERVILLE, FLORIDA (February 11, 2018) – On the final night of the 47th Annual DIRTcar Nationals, the weather in Florida was summer-like and the fans were again back at the track to see the stars of sprint car racing compete at Volusia Speedway Park’s half-mile oval. For Jason and the JJR #41 team they were focused on continuing their strong performance in the Sunshine State with the goal of building speed with their Kistler Racing Engine with All Pro Cylinder Heads throughout the night with hopes of ending on the top step of the podium at the end of the night.
There were 31 teams with cars sitting at the back of their haulers waiting for time trials to commence. Jason would go out 16th aboard the Jonestown KOA/FK Rod Ends #41 Maxim with Paul McMahan sitting atop the speed charts with a fast lap of 13.058 seconds in the Buch #13x. The Louisiana gasser dropped his right foot and his forty-one surged forward as he carried his speed by the flag stand to take the green on his two laps. He was fast and when the stopwatch read 13.409 seconds it catapulted him into the top ten. But he had one more lap and wasn’t going to waste any time lollygagging. The air was flowing over top of his Vortex Racing Products wing giving him the downforce needed to gain traction. It worked as he registered a time of 13.198 seconds, which was third quick on the speed charts close behind McMahan and Brian Brown. His time and position would stand resulting in a top three qualifying effort.
Earning a pole starting spot in the third heat race he was ready to get rolling in the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Engler Machine & Tool #41. After the opening ceremonies were completed it was time to get moving around the half-mile speedway. Parker Price-Miller was starting on the outside of row one with formidable names like Chad Kemenah, Dave Blaney, Brad Sweet, Jacob Allen, Logan Schuchart, David Gravel, Cory Eliason and Greg Wilson making up the remainder of the starting lineup. When the green flag waved Jason and Price-Miller dragged raced down the front straightaway with the Cajun Sensation using the bottom lane in turn one to drift up to the cushion exiting turn two to seize the lead. He would not look back as Johnny Gibson exclaimed, “This one is all Jason Johnson as there was action all over the speedway!” as he led wire-to-wire to take the heat race win over Price-Miller, Sweet, Blaney, Kemenah and Gravel who all secured transfer spots to the A-Main feature event.
Qualifying for his second consecutive Craftsman Club Dash, Jason would start from the 4th position in the starting lineup. With the finishing order dictating the A-Main starting lineup there is a lot at stake and the racers know that when they climb into their cockpits. Pulling on his Shell Shock Paint custom painted MVT helmet he was prepared for the 6-lap race for the top qualifiers of the evening. Parker Price-Miller and Brian Brown were on the front row and led the field to the green flag. Jason drove the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/K&N Filters Maxim into the third spot with Brown leading Price-Miller. Brown would capture the win over Price-Miller, Johnson and Schatz with Shane Stewart and Paul McMahan rounding out the finishing order.
After a long and entertaining week of racing, the finale of the 47th Annual DIRTcar Nationals for the sprint cars was the only remaining thing on the race schedule. The JJR #41 team would start from the inside of row two with Donny Schatz outside their right side. Brian Brown led the field to the green from his pole position starting position and led lap one over Parker Price-Miller. Schatz wasted little time moving into the runner-up position with Jason close behind in the MVT/Jonestown KOA #41 Maxim Racing entry. With six laps in the books a caution waved as Kyle Larson and Rico Abreu got together with Abreu coming to a halt in turn four as Schatz was now in the lead. When racing resumed, Brown reclaimed the top spot from Schatz as Jason continue to wheel his car from the third position. Schatz would take the lead back. A few laps later, Jason would be embroiled in a three wide battle for the show position with Brown and Sheldon Haudenschild. Haudenschild would get it as Jason maintained the fourth spot. Schatz went on to win the race ahead of Brad Sweet and Haudenschild as Jason brought the Mesilla Valley Transportation car home fourth with Chad Kemenah rounding out the top five.
Photo Credit: Paul Arch
Another Great Run for the Forty-One to Cap Off the 47th Annual DIRTcar Nationals!
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