LAWRENCEBURG, INDIANA (May 29, 2017) – Racing on a day when we honor and pay our respects to our military personnel that we lost defending our country, Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing team along with 34 other teams crowded the pit area at the beautiful Lawrenceburg Speedway for the Memorial Day Spectacular. The racing at this 3/8 mile oval is always eventful and exciting for the fans that pack the grandstands. The skies were vivid blue with a touch of white from the few clouds overhead. It was time to go racing in southern Indiana with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
Starting the night off with a good pill draw sent Jason in the Fischer Body Shop/Engler Machine and Tool #41 Maxim onto the racing surface fifth for time trial qualifying. As you enter the speedway off turn four the wall has the word “BATTLEGROUND” with an arrow pointed towards the track painted on the wall. The Louisiana-born driver followed the sign and powered up his Kistler Engine as he roared under the green flag to start lap one. He took flight in the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/ISC Racers Tape entry and when he completed the first lap he catapulted up to the top of the speed charts with a lap of 11.951 seconds. He kept his momentum rolling forward hoping to match or better his first lap, but came in a tick slower at 12.127 seconds on lap two. When all was said and done, it was the Ragin’ Cajun who set quick time for the night, his seventh fast time of the 2017 season.
Earning the right to start from the pole position in the first and fastest heat race, Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing crew made some adjustments hoping to transfer the qualifying speed into race speed. The Eunice, Louisiana native would pace the field with Joey Saldana to his outside with Kyle Larson and Tim Kaeding right behind in row two and Christopher Bell and Tim Shaffer in row three. While the goal is always to win, the target was to insure one of the top two positions were secured to advance to the all-important Craftsman Club Dash. When the green flag was waving through the air, Saldana drove off the outside and into the lead with Johnson and Larson giving chase at speed. These drivers were putting on a high speed show for the fans as the eight laps clicked off the board quickly with Saldana taking the win and the Cajun Sensation bringing the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/KSE Racing Products #41 home in second. Kyle Larson finished third ahead of Shaffer and Bell to lock down the final transfer positions to the A-Main.
For the twentieth time this season, an impressive 70.97% success rate, Jason earned his way into the Craftsman Club Dash which is a six lap race used to establish the starting order for the feature event. An inversion pill of eight was pulled placing the forty-one on the outside of row two for the start. Paul McMahan and Donny Schatz were on the front row with names like Ian Madsen, Shane Stewart, Daryn Pittman, Sheldon Haudenschild and Joey Saldana filling the balance of the field. Schatz jumped into the early lead as chaos broke out behind him racing for position. Jason got shuffled back to sixth and maintained that position throughout the event as Schatz took the win ahead of McMahan, Madsen, Stewart and Pittman rounding out the top five as Jason, Haudenschild and Saldana filling out the finishing order.
Starting on the outside of row three for the 35-lap feature event, Jason and the team readied their Maxim Racing entry for battle. He climbed into his cockpit and buckled his Crow Enterprizes belts and pulled on his Shell Shock custom painted Bell Racing Helmet. Lawrenceburg has a reputation of producing great racing, and with some of the best dirt racers in the world onsite the anticipation was overflowing. The fans were lively and the enthusiasm was brimming as the engines fired. After completing their traditional four-wide salute to the fans, the drivers aligned into their starting positions. When the pace laps were completed and the engines came to life, Jason charged into the fourth running spot aboard the Waco Metal/Kenny’s Components #41 Maxim as Donny Schatz took the lead. Shane Stewart was on the move and started to sniff the lead and took over the top spot on lap 7. Jason was running behind the top three, but the action was tight for the fourth spot between five or six high speed artist. Jason was able to keep command of the position through the first 13 laps before a caution was displayed for a spinning Brady Bacon in turn four. On the restart, the Cajun Sensation moved back into the sixth position before losing another position on lap 21. The race at the front was getting exciting as Kyle Larson was battling with Stewart for the lead. He would get it and then surrender it as he got over the cushion as Stewart would go on to collect the win over Larson, Schatz, Sweet and fifth finishing Paul McMahan. Jason was able to come home eighth as he crossed the finish line just behind Rico Abreu and Daryn Pittman. A top eight finish at Lawrenceburg Speedway on Memorial Day 2017. A good run for the forty-one!
Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing team will head to Minnesota this week for the 3-day Jackson Nationals that starts on Thursday at the Jackson Motorplex!