ROSSBURG, OHIO (July 13, 2017) – The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car series mid-summer visit to Eldora Speedway always brings a different level of excitement for the drivers and fans alike. The three days of racing kicks off with the Jokers Wild on Thursday evening, followed by the Knight before the Kings Royal on Friday night, and then culminates with the 34th running of the Kings Royal on Saturday night which truly makes for a majestic weekend of racing at the always fast half mile oval. Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team were in the pits as one of the 47 teams entered on this night, all of which were gunning for the winner’s trophy in the 2nd Annual Jokers Wild event. But all the racing action would need to wait as black clouds moved in and heavy rain passed over the track for a few hours before racing could commence, delaying the action for well over 3.5 hours.
The qualifying field was evenly split into two flights, A and B, for time trials with each driver getting two shots to lay down their best lap. Jason would be the tenth car out in Flight B, 34th car out overall, aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Factory Kahne #41. The track was fast and the drivers didn’t have to use the brake pedal much as they were truckin’ around Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway. He pushed off in turn one and got his Kistler Engines speed plant humming under the hood as he took the green. He was fast as he blurred by and stopped the stopwatch at 13.114 seconds. He stayed on the loud pedal and carried his momentum through one and two and down the back chute cruising through three and four. This was a good lap and when he crossed under the checkers in 13.050 seconds he moved up to second quick at the time. There were a lot of competitors left to go out and when the final black and white checkered cloth flew he was 8th quick overall in Flight B.
Jason’s qualifying time result would slot his Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/All Pro Heads Maxim on the outside of row two to start in the fourth heat race right beside Logan Schuchart’s #1s. Brian Brown and Daryn Pittman made up the front row. On the initial start, they hit the white chalk starting stripe and Jason dropped across the middle and split the difference as he raced into the third position. Brown was leading Pittman as Dominic Scelzi was running fourth and pressuring the Ragin’ Cajun for the show position. Jason would not relinquish it and ran crisp and clean lines at speed to hold onto the third spot. Brian Brown went on to take the heat race win over Pittman, Johnson and Scelzi with Schuchart holding off Christopher Bell at the line for the fifth and final transfer spot to the feature event.
When the 24 car lineup was set for the 30-lap Jokers Wild feature, Jason would start 12th as he shared the row with fellow competitor and friend Shane Stewart. The track was tacky and fast as it was still filled with moisture from the earlier rain, so passing was not going to be an easy task. The track crew did a phenomenal job regathering the surface and prepping it to go back to racing and it was time to get the action started. Kerry Madsen and Brad Sweet sat on the front row followed by Brian Brown, David Gravel, Tim Shaffer, Kraig Kinser, Ian Madsen, Daryn Pittman, Donny Schatz and Chad Kemenah with Stewart and Johnson right behind in row six. On the initial start, Jason drove the Fischer Body Shop/CCC #41 Maxim Racing machine high around the Eldora banking and was moving forward before a red flag was displayed for Brady Bacon who caught the wall and flipped in turn two. It was the first in-race stoppage of the night. When the racing resumed, a complete restart, the Cajun Sensation again went to the top side and build up a head of steam to move forward. The bottom line was fast so taking the long way around took some time before momentum worked in his favor. He got shuffled back a few spots but was right there when the caution flag was displayed on lap 11 for Logan Schuchart who was nose first into the inside wall just before the exit of turn four. The drivers aligned back into the two abreast starting formation with race leader Kerry Madsen electing to restart from the outside lane putting all the odd running cars on the top side and the even running cars on the inside. Jason was on the inside of Chad Kemenah for the restart and drove into the 11th position giving chase trying to track down Daryn Pittman who was running tenth. Kerry Madsen would go on to take the Jokers Wild victory over Sweet and Brian Brown with Tim Shaffer and David Gravel rounding out the top five. Jason finished one spot out of the top ten, but showed speed the whole night. A solid foundation to work from as they prepare for the Knight before the Kings Royal on Friday night. It was another good run for the forty-one in the Jokers Wild!