PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA (April 8, 2015) – The World of Outlaw (WoO) Sprint Car Series, after a brief respite from competition over the Easter holiday, were eager to get back on the track at Placerville Speedway for Brad Sweet’s Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown. The buzz around town leading up to the event was tremendous and Brad Sweet and his team did everything and anything to make sure they brought high speed WoO racing to the fans in California. The only thing threatening the event seemed to be Mother Nature as the week unfolded, but Sweet and his dedicated team even tried to minimize that risk as they covered the entire quarter mile oval with tarps to help maintain the surface from the wet stuff.
When race day rolled around, the rain subsided and 37 cars filled the pit area under blue skies with puffy white clouds overhead. Jason and the JJR team had their sharp looking Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Fischer Body Shop #41 ready to get going around Placerville’s racy oval. After all 37 cars wheel packed the speedway and completed hot laps, they were ready to put on their one person show in time trials. It certainly doesn’t take these guys long to get around this track and when Jason hit the track he turned a quick lap in 11.223 seconds, which was 20th quickest overall.
Starting on the inside of row three in the last heat race, beside California native Justin Cox, the WoO Rookie of the Year contender from Rocky Mount, Missouri was determined to lock into the feature with a top five finish. When the green flag waved, the front row of Jacob Allen and David Gravel got the qualifying field up to speed. Jason was wheeling his Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/BMRS Maxim around the fast and tacky surface as he held down the fourth spot in the finishing order as he raced across the stripe behind Gravel, Allen and Kyle Hirst.
As the Cajun Sensation prepared for the 35 lap A-Main, he climbed into his ButlerBuilt Professional Seat System, pulled on his Arai Helmet and pulled the straps tight and secure on his Crow Enterprizes safety restraint system. The action was sure to be fast and furious around this quarter mile bullring they call Placerville Speedway. With James Sweeney’s #20J to his inside, when the flagman gave the heavy right footers the sign to go at full speed, they abided and set sail. Kyle Hirst led the first lap as Jason had his right foot planted and his left foot ready when needed as he tried to maximize his speed and line around the track and competition. After a few breaks in early race action as signified by the red and yellow flags, the racers were eager to get back up to speed. Jason mashed the power pedal and was able to make some forward progress, but on lap 21 in a chain reaction series of events he flipped on the frontstretch and Daryn Pittman and Kraig Kinser made extremely hard contact with the JJR entry. Safety personnel were quick to the scene and after a short period of time were able to tend to the Eunice, Louisiana native, as well as Daryn Pittman, the crews were able to stabilize the situation and transport both drivers to a local hospital for further evaluation and observation. It has been confirmed that Jason sustained a fractured back. He is stable, alert and talking and for that we are grateful. We are committed to keeping you updated regarding Jason’s condition and injuries and will provide updates as more information becomes available.
As always, the racing community is just simply amazing with their caring support. While race car drivers are fierce competitors, and the fans are equally as passionate about supporting and cheering for their favorite drivers, in times like these they all come together as one big family to show their support. It is what the media usually never writes about when scribing about sprint car racing and racing in general, but it is truly the heart and soul of our sport. It’s a game changer. Everyone at Jason Johnson Racing, along with all of our sponsorship partners, certainly appreciate all of the heart felt thoughts, prayers and well wishes sent to Jason and his family following the accident last night. A sincere thank you to the entire racing community for their unwavering support of all of the drivers and teams.