QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA (April 8, 2017) – As Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team continued to travel Eastbound across Interstate 10 they made their last stop on the early season Western swing at Arizona Speedway for the Arizona Desert Shootout. The Cajun Sensation and the boys have been working hard every night and were looking to close out on a strong note in the Grand Canyon State. There were 26 cars signed in to race on Saturday night under beautiful weather condition in front of a stellar crowd of fans.
The evening started off well as Jason was the sixth competitor to roll onto the track in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/FK Rod Ends #41 Maxim. His Kistler Engine got up to speed around this dicey 1/3-mile oval with a lap of 13.046 seconds the first time around Arizona Speedway. Jason pedaled down and was picking up speed as his momentum carried him through the turns and down the straightaways. His second lap was a good one coming in at 12.790 seconds, which ended up being 4th quick overall on the night.
There were three heat races scheduled for the evening with six qualifiers advancing to the feature and the top two also earning a shot in the Craftsman Club Dash. Jason would start second beside quick timer David Gravel in the first and fastest heat race. Brad Sweet, Paul McMahan, Greg Wilson and Dominic Scelzi comprised the remainder of the first four rows and when the green flag waved these speed demons were off. Gravel seized the top spot with the Cajun Sensation chasing his tail tank in the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Pro Powder Coating (PPC) #41. They were setting a torrid pace and entertaining the fans with their skills. Gravel would take the win in the eight-lap event with Jason coming home second. Brad Sweet secured the show position ahead of McMahan and Scelzi with Wilson securing the final transfer position in heat race number one.
It was onto the Craftsman Club Dash for Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing team for an impressive eleventh time in World of Outlaw (WoO) competition during the early season. He would start from the inside of row two with Jason Sides’ #7s to his right. The front row of Brian Brown and Rico Abreu brought the field under the waving green flag with Brown taking the lead as Abreu and Johnson filled the next two spots. Jason was wheeling the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 at speed as the whole field was lightning fast. Brian Brown would take the win ahead of Abreu with Jason coming home in the bronze position. Joey Saldana held the fourth position with Jason Sides and David Gravel rounding out the finishing order.
The only thing left for these speedsters was the 30-lap feature event. Knowing he was starting from the third position, Jason, Philip and the JJR Marshall Racing crew made some adjustments to the forty-one in preparation for their final assault on the Arizona Speedway surface. The horn sounded and the teams pushed the cars towards the staging area. It was time to race in the Copper State! After the pre-race festivities ceased, the Louisiana chauffeur was focused. The green lights illuminated and this talented field got up to speed. Brian Brown led early as Jason ran in the fourth position for the first five laps before falling back to fifth. He was driving hard in the Fischer Body Shop/Valvoline #41 and as Abreu pressured Brown for the lead on lap 13, Jason surrendered the fifth spot and settled into sixth. Abreu would make his way by Brown for the lead on lap 16 and lead the remainder of the race to take his first WoO win of the 2017 season ahead of David Gravel, Brown and Brad Sweet with Jason Sides rounding out the top five. Jason would bring the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Kenny’s Components Maxim home seventh crossing the line just behind Donny Schatz. A good top ten run for the forty-one to close out the early season Western swing!