SARVER, PENNSYLVANIA (September 24, 2016) – After loading up at Eldora after the races Friday night, the JJR team headed East to the Keystone State so they could prepare for the 35-lap Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway. There were 36 cars present at the famous Western Pennsylvania facility and the grandstands were filling with spectators for an opportunity to see the competitors of The Greatest Show on Dirt, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, run around the racy, 4/10-mile oval.
For time trials, Jason rolled out and pedaled down as he pushed off for his two laps in the individual portion of the show. He was scooting around this place in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/www.racediecast.com #41. He crossed the timing line the first time in 13.079 seconds. Staying on the accelerator he powered through turns one and two and down the backstretch. He sailed into turn three and off turn four for the final time, this time stopping the clock at 13.056 seconds. He waited patiently as the final competitors toured the speedway during their two solo laps and when all was said and done the faster of his two laps was 16th quick overall on the night out of 36 cars entered.
The heat race lineups were posted as scribed on the chalkboard was the fourth heat race: 83-1A; 49-41; 19JK-7W; 40-23; and, 22S. Two Knoxville Nationals champions, one former (Tim Shaffer – 50th Annual Champion) and one present (Jason Johnson – 56th Annual Champion), made up row two for the 8-lap event. When the green flag waved, the sound of horsepower filled the air. It was racing at its best. Shaffer and Saldana were duking it out for the lead as Jacob Allen and Jason were dueling for the show position. Shaffer (#49) would take the heat race victory over Saldana (#83) with Allen (#1A), Johnson (#41) and Logan Wagner (#7W) rounding out the top five to lock in transfer positions into the Commonwealth Clash feature.
The field was set for the 35-lap Commonwealth Clash showcase of speed. Logan Schuchart and Brad Sweet were on the front row, and when the field went four-wide to salute the fans the second row of Tim Shaffer and Donny Schatz joined them. Jason had the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Schoenfeld Headers #41 Maxim Racing machine on the outside of row eight in the 16th starting position at the start of the race. When all of the pomp and circumstances were completed to get the fans ready for the real show, it was time to go racing. The green flag waved and the racing was on – World of Outlaw style! The green lights were quickly replaced by red ones on the first lap as Sye Lynch flipped and collected Paul McMahan. Jason slowed to a stop to avoid contact at the accident scene, but was not involved, so when racing resumed he inherited his spot back in the running order. Restarting twelfth he awaited the green flag. Logan Schuchart would lead the field back to racing from the top spot while Jason was maneuvering in traffic. Lap two saw the Cajun Sensation get off track on the backstretch bringing out the caution flag for the forty-one as he had a flat right rear tire. The JJR crew replaced the it with a new Hoosier Racing Tire and Jason rejoined the field in the 23rd spot. Schuchart would continue to lead as Jason was up on the wheel racing his way forward. In one lap he moved into the top twenty. By lap ten he was all the way up to the 16th position. At the front of the pack, Schuchart surrendered the lead on lap 14 to Donny Schatz with the #15 driver setting an ultra-fast pace. On lap 20, Jason moved into the top fifteen. He was rolling and navigating the traffic at speed. As the laps clicked by, the Ragin’ Cajun continued to be selective as he made passes when opportunities availed themselves to avoid causing trouble. He moved into the twelfth position on lap 29 where he stayed for the remainder of the race as Schatz took the win over Schuchart, Sweet, and David Gravel with Shane Stewart who continued his strong runs rounding out the top five. A show of recovery and perseverance for Jason and the JJR crew at the Commonwealth Clash that resulted in a 12th place finish!