GREENWOOD, NEBRASKA (June 22, 2016) – It was a hot day in Nebraska and not just because the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series were in town. The mercury in the thermometer was pushing up over 90 degrees and the humidity was thick making it feel even hotter. Jason and the JJR #41 team were one of 23 teams registered to race for the $10,000 winner’s check in the NAPA Auto Parts Outlaw Showdown at I-80 Speedway.
David Gravel was the first car out for time trials and set the mark at 14.125 seconds for the remaining 22 drivers to shoot for as they turned in their two qualifying laps against the clock. Jason rolled out eighth for his timed laps aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/MSD Performance #41 Maxim. He pedaled down the first lap and laid down a quick lap of 14.268 seconds. Staying focused, he powered his way the second time around using his Kistler Engines speed and turned in a consistent, but slightly slower lap at 14.306 seconds. His first lap is the time they would officially record, which was 8th quick overall, with Gravel collecting the quick time of the night in his CJB #5.
After the horn sounded throughout the pit area, the WoO heat races were up next. Starting from the third starting position in heat race number two, Jason was gunning for one of the top two spots in his Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Valvoline entry in order to make the Dash. Kasey Kahne Racing’s Daryn Pittman was on the pole with Logan Schuchart’s #1s Shark Racing entry on the outside of the front row. When the green flag waved, the powerful sprint cars kicked up the dirt and got rolling under the blue skies of Greenwood, Nebraska for the eight lap event. The Louisiana speedster, affectionately referred to as the Ragin’ Cajun, stood on the loud pedal and went to work inside his office sitting comfortably in his Fibreworks Composites custom fitted racing seat as Brian Brown raced him for position from the outside of row two. The green was quickly replaced by the yellow as Brad Sweet got sideways in turn two and collected Greg Wilson. When racing resumed, Brown used the outside lane to move into second before Schuchart quickly passed him back for the runner up position. Jason ran in the fourth spot with his front bumper close to Brown’s rear nerf bar. With each passing lap he inched closer and at the end of the race he crossed the line 0.690 seconds behind third place finishing Brown, as Pittman took the win with Schuchart coming home second.
The last event during the evening of racing at I-80 Speedway is what all of these faithful fans came out to see – the 30-lap NAPA Auto Parts Outlaw Showdown! Jason would start the race in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Jonestown KOA #41 from the eleventh starting position beside South Dakota racer Dusty Zomer. As a result of finishing first and second in the Dash event, the front row of David Gravel and Joey Saldana paced the field around I-80 Speedway’s 4/10 mile, semi-banked oval before spreading out to give the 4-wide salute to the great fans of Nebraska. It was time to go racing! Jason cinched tight in his Crow Enterprizes safety belts was ready to get rolling at speed. The green flag was unfurled and the sound of sprint cars filled the air. In the first 10 laps of the race, Jason improved his position by three spots as he was running eighth. Saldana was leading the field as Jason was racing with Kerry Madsen, Jason Sides and Ian Madsen for positions seven through ten. The Cajun Sensation was running eighth at the half way point with Jason Sides just ahead of him. On lap 17, when the red flag was displayed for Logan Schuchart who lost a wheel and flipped in turn three, Jason was sitting in the seventh spot as he just got by Sides. On the restart with 13 laps to go, Saldana continued to lead Gravel as Jason was working hard in the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Maxim Racing #41 running in the sixth position. He made the pass on Kerry Madsen to move into the top five and set his sights on chasing down fourth place running David Gravel. With 10 laps to go he caught Gravel and moved into fourth. Daryn Pittman was now his next target as he was running in the show position and Jason wanted to earn the spot. He closed the gap and started to pressure Pittman for the spot when the yellow waved for a slowing Terry McCarl with 7 laps to go. Pittman headed pit side to the work area as he suffered a flat left rear. When the racing got back up to speed under green flag conditions, Jason followed Saldana and Schatz to the flag stand with the green flag waving before passing Schatz for second as there was a three wide battle for the position. The Ragin’ Cajun was right behind the leader with five to go, but Saldana was on the move. With two to go Jason’s #41 suffered a flat left rear tire to bring out the yellow and tarnish his incredible charge forward on this night. He headed to the work area and tagged the rear of the field restarting from the 14th position where he would finish after a great run for the forty one.