KNOXVILLE, IOWA (June 9, 2017) – In their first return to Knoxville Raceway since they left as the 2016 Knoxville Nationals champions, Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team were pumped to be back at the big half-mile oval that is considered the Sprint Car Capital of the World for good reason. There were 42 teams entered for the evening’s racing activities with everyone driven by the same thing – an opportunity to say they won at Knoxville Raceway against the best in the business.
The field was split for qualifying with Jason slated to go out 16th in the second flight of qualifiers aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/KSE Racing Products #41 Maxim. The track was slower for the drivers in the second flight, but when the Louisiana-born racer pushed off he pounded the accelerator and his Kistler Engine started to sing as he whistled down the backstretch. He darted under the green flag and the clock started. The Ragin’ Cajun was running clean lines as his Weld Racing wheels glistened in the light of the setting sun. He stopped the clock at 16.178 seconds the first time around, but stayed on the hammer looking for more time the second time. He was successful as his second lap came in at 16.101 seconds, which when qualifying was completed was good enough for 8th quick overall in Flight B.
He would line up on the outside of row two in the fourth heat race with Brooke Tatnell to his inside as Brad Sweet and Austin McCarl made up the front row. Other drivers making up this heat race were Danny Lasoski, Tim Kaeding, Jason Sides and David Heskins just to name a few. All fierce competitors making it no easy task, but Jason flipped down the shield of his Shell Shock custom painted Bell Racing Helmet and prepared for battle in the Fischer Body Shop #41. The polesitter, Brad Sweet, jumped into the early lead as Jason raced his way into the show position behind Sweet and Austin McCarl. He was gunning for that runner-up spot and was relentless in his pursuit of McCarl. With only 8 laps to get his work done, things were busy inside the cockpit of the JJR Marshall Racing Maxim. Jason would catch McCarl and successfully make the pass to secure the runner-up spot as he crossed the finish line behind Brad Sweet to secure the last transfer position to the Craftsman Club Dash. Austin McCarl, Tim Kaeding and Matt Juhl would round out the top five transfer positions from the fourth and final heat race.
Jason earned his way into his impressive 23rd World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Club Dash before the midpoint of the season, a 70% success rate, where he would start from the eighth starting position beside Donny Schatz. If you recall, these two talented sprint car chauffeurs put on one heck of a show the last time they were beside each other back in August with Jason taking advantage of the Golden Opportunity. Brad Sweet and Shane Stewart were on the front row with Sweet taking the top spot at the start and showing the way the entire six laps. Sweet crossed the line first ahead of Brian Brown, David Gravel, Donny Schatz and Shane Stewart with Kerry Madsen, Joey Saldana and The Ragin’ Cajun rounding out the Dash finishing order.
For the 25-lap feature, the first four rows were set with Jason starting on the outside of row four in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/www.racediecast.com #41. Brad Sweet would again get the early lead as Jason rolled through the middle on the opening lap to secure the seventh position in the running order. The racing was tight and high speed like usual at Knoxville Raceway with the competitors chasing the leader swapping positions on the scoreboard each and every lap with slide jobs and on track strategies. Jason drifted up to the cushion in search of speed and building momentum before diving back down to the bottom in hopes of finding some moisture as the track started to take on rubber. Throughout the race he advanced as high as seventh in the running order and as far back as ninth, but when Sweet took the checkers the reigning Knoxville Nationals champion brought his entry home with an eighth-place finish. It was the team’s 26th finish inside the top ten in 40 races so far this season, a 65% top ten success rate. It was Brad Sweet’s fourth WoO win of the season as Gravel, Schatz, Stewart and Kerry Madsen completed the top five on the first night of The Brownells Big Guns Bash at Knoxville Raceway.