ROSSBURG, OHIO (July 14, 2016) – The skies were filled with white puffy clouds and the sun was shining through and reflecting off the newly painted, bright white walls that soon would be covered with the famed Eldora Speedway clay. An incredible field of 46 sprint car teams had their haulers lined up in the pit area ready to compete in the Inaugural Jokers Wild event. It was race day in Rossburg, Ohio.
There were enough cars to split the field and run two flights for time trials. Jason would go out 30th overall, seventh in Flight B, aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/K&N Filters #41. When Jason rolled down pit lane and up onto the track in the first turn, David Gravel had set the mark in Flight B that he was chasing. He jumped on the accelerator and powered his way up to speed. He crossed under the green flag waving and set sail. On first lap, he stopped the clock at 14.045 seconds. Staying on the hammer he improved the second time around dropping into the 13 second bracket with a lap of 13.854 seconds. He was third quick in Flight B when time trails ended, one of only three cars that had qualifying times in the 13 second bracket in that flight, and 10th quick overall.
In the third heat race, he shared the front row with Gravel. When the field converted from pace speed to top speed at the starting line in turn four, it was high speed chaos heading into turn one as Bryan Clauson and Brian Brown were seizing the moment in an attempt to steal one of the coveted Dash lock-in positions. Gravel was gone and Brown stole the second spot as he wrestled it away from Jason in the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/KSE Racing Products Maxim. Jason was fast around the top and Clauson was trying anything and everything to steal the show position. Jason controlled it and crossed the line third behind Gravel and Brown as Clauson and Brad Sweet rounded out the top five and secured the final two transfer positions to the A-Main when the checkers flew over the event.
After the checkered flag flew over the Last Chance Showdown, it was time for the 30-lap Inaugural Jokers Wild. Jason would start tenth in the Fischer Body Shop/Country Custom Creations (CCC) #41 beside Daryn Pittman. David Gravel and Brian Brown would be the two cars that made up row one. Gravel jumped into the early lead with Brown giving chase. The action was fast and furious as it always is around Eldora’s high banked, half mile oval. Jason was using the top side to build speed and carry his momentum through the turns. When the caution lights were illuminated on lap 12, Jason was running in the eleventh position. On the restart, Gravel continued to lead the field as Jason made some incredible moves to gain some positions in the running order. When the caution flag was re-displayed on lap 15, Jason was now running tenth. With half the race down and half the race to go, there still was a lot of work to be done. When racing got back up to speed, Jason went to the top side and was carrying speed but when entering turn one had to navigate through some ruts that had developed early, which made for a bouncy and treacherous ride at speed. Gravel would beat Donny Schatz to the line as Rico Abreu finished in the show position. Jason crossed the line with an 11th place finish, which is his 42nd top fifteen finish in 2016 – an impressive 75% top fifteen success rate.
Jason and the JJR team will be back in the saddle on Friday night at Eldora Speedway for the 33rd running of the Knight Before the King’s Royal. Come out and catch up with the team at this high speed action track!