PRYOR, OKLAHOMA (October 22, 2016) – It was race day in the Sooner State as Jason and the JJR #41 team headed to Salina Highbanks Speedway to compete in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Twister Showdown on Saturday night. Once again there were 26 cars and drivers on hand and registered to race on Salina’s fast 3/8-mile oval as the grandstands were filling with fans eager to see these stars of speed. From the merchandise areas to the concession stands things were bustling with excitement. Everyone was eager to see some terrific racing World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series style.
After heat in the engines and hot laps were completed, it was time for each driver to individually take their two qualifying laps to see who could get around the track the fastest on this night. When Jason’s Kistler Engines motor awoke under the hood of his Fischer Body Shop/CCC #41 Maxim, he pedaled down and got up to speed as he set sail. He circled his way around the oval the first time in 12.040 seconds, which was a good lap but not good enough. He was not content so he stayed on the loud pedal and improved his time the second time around ending with a lap of 11.888 seconds. When the last qualifier took the checkers, the native-born son from Eunice, Louisiana, had the eighth quickest time overall aboard his Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Waco Metal #41 Maxim Racing entry for the second straight night.
He would line up on the inside of row two in the second of three heat races where the top six finishers transfer directly into the feature event at the end of the night. Shane Stewart and Donny Schatz made up row one, as Jason shared row two with Kerry Madsen for the start of the 8-lap event. The green flag flew and Stewart seized the lead with Schatz and Jason close behind. They got these high-speed machines churning and were making tracks and not looking back. Stewart would go on to take the heat race win over Schatz, Johnson, Madsen and Johnny Herrera with Sammy Swindell coming home in the sixth and final transfer position. A strong run for Jason and the team in their backup car that they pulled down after a heat race accident at Lakeside the night before.
When all the qualifying ended, only 24 cars earned their way into the 30-lap feature event so it was money time as the cars rolled onto the track for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Twister Showdown. Jason started on the outside of row four in his Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Valvoline #41 beside Joey Saldana’s Roth Motorsports #83 entry. The front row of Daryn Pittman and Ian Madsen separated as the row two drivers, David Gravel and Shane Stewart, pulled up to fill out the front row for the four-wide salute to the incredible fans of Oklahoma. It was time to race ‘World of Outlaw style’ at Salina Highbanks Speedway. The fans were ready. The teams were ready. And, the best in the business, the drivers, were ready. When the yellow lights dimmed and the green lights illuminated, Pittman drove into the lead ahead of Madsen. Jason quickly got rolling in his forty-one and was capturing the attention of the crowd as he began his march forward at this high-speed joint. At the halfway point of the race, Pittman was still leading the field as Jason was keeping his shiny Weld Racing wheels turning running in the fifth position. Never satisfied, as he has a heart of a champion, he overtook the fourth spot from Stewart and then set his sights on third place running Ian Madsen for the show position. A late race caution regrouped the field nose-to-tail and under the green-white-checkered restart the Ragin’ Cajun gained the position finishing third behind race winner Daryn Pittman and runner-up David Gravel to earn his 21st top five finish, a 23.86% success rate, on this rugged coast-to-coast schedule competing against the best sprint car teams across the country night-in and night-out.
A pleased owner and driver, after the race Jason commented, “These JJR guys did a great job giving me a really good car to drive tonight.” Comfortable in his backup car, he continued, “We had a lot of confidence in this car, as well as, all of our Maxim cars. We build a chain of them throughout the winter months and each car has a lot of similarities. Tonight, when we get in a predicament like that which forced us to get a car down, we know what to expect. We had to get one down after the wipeout last night in the heat race, but we are always confident in our cars.” Another great run for the forty-one!