SOMERTON, ARIZONA (January 9, 2016) – “Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh!” screamed Charlie Brown after Lucy pulled the football out as he went to kick it. I can only imagine this is how Jason and the JJR team felt last night as they worked hard to position themselves at the front of the pack for the feature at Cocopah Speedway. That damn Lucy van Pelt, better known as just Lucy to most, the bossy and crabby so-called friend in the Peanuts neighborhood!
The pits were again full with 40 very competitive cars and drivers vying for the $12,000 winner’s take of the purse in the last race of the Winter Heat Showdown series. Jason, Philip and the JJR guys made top to bottom changes on the Priority Aviation Services/Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 Maxim Racing machine in preparation for the final night of racing in the desert.
The Rocky Mount, Missouri resident shared the front row of heat five in his forty one with pole sitter Christopher Bell. Trey Starks and Shane Stewart were in row two. When the green flag was waved over the field, Jason took flight in the Priority Aviation entry and was cutting through the air at the front of the pack. Shane Stewart was giving chase, but the Kistler Engine powered Maxim with the Ragin’ Cajun in the cockpit was on the move and checking out over the field. He took the white flag and was sailing around Cocopah’s 3/8th mile speed palace nestled in the desert. The Cajun Sensation would take the win over Stewart, Bell, Starks and Jacob Allen.
Next up was the Qualifier race which found Jason on the outside of row three for the start in the Dissolvalloy Frac Ball Revolution/Valvoline #41. Bill Balog and Craig Dollansky made up row one with Roger Crockett and Christopher Bell in row two. When the racing got up to speed, Balog set the pace with Dollansky right behind. Jason was on the move using the fast lane to move his way forward. He stayed up on the wheel and worked his way into the fourth position where he would finish when Balog took the win ahead of Dollansky and Crockett. Earning some more passing points in this event, combined with his heat win and points, made the Eunice, Louisiana born racer the high point driver of the night.
After working hard to get the results they expect, Jason climbed into the cockpit and pulled down one last time on his Crow Enterprizes safety harness. After securing the chin strap of his Shell Shock custom painted Bell Helmet he pushed off and lined up on the front row with Greg Hodnett. Daryn Pittman and Danny Lasoski were eagerly waiting to get started. After the four abreast salute to the fans, the competitors powered off and realigned in the two-by-two starting formation. Hodnett would jump into the early lead over Johnson with Lasoski using the low side to make his way by. Lasoski tracked the leader, Hodnett, down and led lap two with Pittman and Johnson fighting for position. Soon thereafter Jason’s car came to a halt near the infield after doing a massive wheel stand and spin exiting turn two, bringing his night to an end in the 24th position. Lasoski would go on to take the win over Pittman, Hodnett, Dale Blaney and Kasey Kahne.
Jason and the JJR team completed their first competition in the Winter Heat Showdown at the Diamond in the Desert, Cocopah Speedway, tied for 15th overall in the point standing with 702 points. A very respectable showing after overcoming the challenges that are commonplace at the beginning of the season. But, note to Lucy, please stay away from this team in 2016 . . . they have big plans and are going to work hard to produce better results. No football shenanigans!