WEST LIBERTY, IOWA (June 23, 2017) – Jason and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series made their first ever visit to West Liberty Speedway to compete in the West Liberty Hawkeye 25. There were 27 cars lined up in the pit area at the big half mile oval in Muscatine County, located to the southwest of Iowa City – Home of the Iowa Hawkeyes. It was a beautiful day to race under blue skies filled with a few puffy, white clouds.
Jason would hot the track 20th for his two time trial qualifying laps around West Liberty in his Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/FK Shocks #41 Maxim. The previous competitors had set the bar high with Jac “Wild Child” Haudenschild setting the top mark at 15.737 seconds driving the Stenhouse Jr. Wood Racing #17. Jason would get his Kistler Engine up to speed and roar around the big oval the first time around in 15.947 seconds. He kept her wound up and ran another quick lap, albeit slightly slower, at 16.343 seconds. The Louisiana speedster ended up sixth quick overall on the night with the faster of his two laps.
Jason started from the outside of row one, beside Brad Sweet’s #49, in the third and final heat race aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Schoenfeld Headers #41. Danny Lasoski and Sheldon Haudenschild were in row two, followed by Brent Marks and Logan Schuchart to start the 8-lap heat race. Sweet would grab the early lead and set sail in the clean air with the Ragin’ Cajun quickly chasing the forty-nine entry. Sweet’s lead was building as Jason extended his hold in second place over Haudenschild and Lasoski. Sweet would go on to take the heat race win over Johnson, Haudenschild, Lasoski and Marks with Schuchart securing the sixth and final transfer position to the feature.
Earning his 28th Craftsman Club Dash event appearance, and 29th Dash overall so far this season, Jason climbed into his Fibreworks Composites custom fitted racing seat and buckled his Crow Enterprizes safety equipment for the six lap race after a lengthy delay. He was slated to start sixth in the pre-dash inversion, but when the six pill was pulled it would put the Cajun Sensation on the pole with Shane Stewart to his outside. Kasey Kahne Racing’s Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet made up row two with Ian Madsen and Jac Haudenschild rounding out the starting grid. When the green flag dropped, Stewart would wrestle the top spot away from Johnson and the field would get in line at speed. There wasn’t a lot of passing after that point as Stewart went on to take the win over Johnson, Pittman and Sweet with Madsen and Haudenschild finishing fifth and sixth respectively.
The field was set for the West Liberty Hawkeye 25 event with Shane Stewart and Jason Johnson sitting on the front row. The track started to take on rubber, so getting to the front early was key. When the initial green flag waved, the Ragin’ Cajun drove the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Fischer Body Shop #41 into the lead with Brad Sweet right behind. Before a lap could be completed though the yellow flag was displayed and the field had to reset for a complete restart. This time Stewart drove the Larson Marks Tracing entry into the lead with Johnson and Sweet in tow. The Ragin’ Cajun and Sweet had a competitive battle for the runner-up position as Stewart started to extend his lead until the caution flag was waved on lap 12 for Ian Madsen. On the restart, Jason made a valiant attempt for the top position aboard the Waco Metal/All Pro Heads #41, but was unsuccessful and in the process lost the runner-up position to Sweet who snuck by. Jason stayed up on the wheel and ran a patient and smart race as Stewart took the win with Sweet, Johnson, Pittman and Schatz rounding out the top five on this night.
Another great run for the forty-one! It was Jason’s and the JJR Marshall Racing team’s second consecutive podium finish as they look to continue their strong runs by carrying their momentum into Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday night for the running of the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial race.