ALGER, WASHINGTON (September 5, 2015) – Jason, Philip and Cole were looking to keep their strong and consistent finishes going in the Monster Meltdown at Skagit Speedway on Saturday night. After getting rained out on the first night at the track nestled in the Pacific Northwest, Jason and the JJR team were back at the track in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Kenny’s Components #41 Maxim Racing machine. There were 26 cars at Skagit looking to make some noise on this night.
Jason rolled off fourth for time trials aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Pro Powder Coating (PPC) entry. He took flight and the quicker of his two laps stopped the stopwatch at 11.058 seconds. He patiently waited as the remaining 22 cars made their way around the fast and racy 3/10 mile, high banked clay oval. When all was said and done, which happened quickly as it only took 14 minutes for everyone to get their time trial laps in, the Ragin’ Cajun was 10th quick overall with just over a tenth of a second separating the fastest timer and Paul McMahan who was 12th quick.
The solid qualifying effort put the Waco Metal/Jonestown KOA #41 Maxim on the pole in heat race number one with David Gravel on the outside of the front row. Jason climbed aboard the Priority Aviation speed machine, pulled on his Arai Helmet and rolled his Weld Racing wheels out onto the track. The forty one entry sure is a beautiful machine and shows well when it is on the track. Ten laps was the scheduled distance with an eager field of chasers behind him, so Jason knew he would have to be up on the wheel from start to finish. When the green was displayed he used his Kistler Engines power to surge into the lead with Gravel close behind. The Louisiana racer ran fast and clean each and every lap as he showed them the way around Skagit. Quick timer, Kerry Madsen, got by Gravel for the runner-up spot and started to pursue Johnson at the front of the pack. But when the black and white cloth flew over the field, it was Johnson taking the victory ahead of Madsen, Gravel, Joey Saldana and Willie Croft with Logan Forler rounding out the top six transfer spots.
Next up was the eight lap Dash event which sets the starting lineup for the A-Main by the way you finish. An inversion pill of six was pulled which put the Fischer Body Shop/Valvoline #41 on the pole for the high speed event. Shane Stewart started to his outside in the Larson Marks Racing entry and took the lead right away. Jason kept driving hard from the runner-up position as he tried to track the leader down while holding off the ferocious competition behind him. He did a great job throughout the Dash and crossed the stripe in second behind Stewart, but directly in front of Brad Sweet, Madsen, Donny Schatz, Saldana, Daryn Pittman and Paul McMahan.
The 35 lap A-Main feature lineup was set. It was time to go racing at Skagit Speedway! Sitting in the cockpit of his Maxim Racing chassis, Jason buckled his Crow Enterprizes safety belts and then pulled on his Shell Shock custom painted helmet and Oakley racing gloves. He was ready to go! He pulled into his outside front row starting spot beside Shane Stewart and after the four wide salute to the fans he was ready to put on a show. When the yellow lights around the speedway changed to green he dropped his right foot and was on the gas. Stewart was showing the way with Jason right behind. The early racing action was interrupted and stopped frequently with cautions and red flag conditions after competitors spun or flipped their entries. Skagit is a demanding track that can be very unforgiving. When a series of green flag laps were finally put together, Jason got into a rhythm and was running his lines. Joey Saldana was pushing him for position before surrendering the third position to Donny Schatz. Schatz and Jason were in a fierce battle for the runner-up spot. Johnson wanted to keep it and Schatz wanted to take it. The two champions were putting on a show with Jason being relentless regarding his possession of the second spot until lap 30 when Schatz got a run on him down the front straightway and took the position coming off turn two. Stewart would take the win ahead of Schatz in the place position and Jason in the show position to fill out the podium. The third place run was a great finish for Jason and the entire JJR team. In the interview after the race, Jason commented, “We were hoping tonight was the night that we were going to break into victory lane for sure.” He continued, “These Outlaw drivers are the toughest in the world, the toughest in the business and there’s a reason why. To be up on the podium with these two guys, it’s really a good night all together.” He finished by stating, “This Priority Aviation team just keeps flying around and we keep striving really hard and hopefully a win is right around the corner.”