PEVELY, MISSOURI (August 5, 2022) – The JJR #41 team was back in their home state of Missouri at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely after spending some time in recent weeks racing on the East Coast. The Night Before the Ironman race would be the start of a busy nine-day stretch of racing for the teams before they headed to the neighboring state of Iowa for the 11th Annual Capitani Classic on Sunday and the 61st Annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals that kicks off on Wednesday night at Knoxville Raceway. After a break for a few days, Carson Macedo was eager to get back into his high speed office aboard the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 Maxim to compete in the Night Before the Ironman. The last time the World of Outlaws were her in mid-April, Carson picked up his first win at the track on an unusually rough racing surface. Following days of rain throughout the week, it was a beautiful evening for racing as the fans were streaming into the grandstands and milling around the merchandise area buying their favorite driver’s apparel. The teams were busy getting their cars ready for competition down in the pit area. The drivers were finalizing their race strategy for the night. There were 39 teams entered to race at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 to start the back-to-back nights in Pevely.
The competitive portion of the night at World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series races starts with My Place Hotels Qualifying. Each driver gets two laps on the track to record their fastest time. Their best lap time is ranked ordered from fastest to slowest when everyone is done and used to set the heat race lineups. Based on the car count this night, the field was split into two separate groups for time trials. Carson Macedo has earned a series leading eight Slick Woody’s Fast Time Awards this season aboard the Albaugh #41 and was hoping to have another fast hotrod on Friday night. When hot laps were completed, he waited patiently to get up to speed in the Border International/LogoDaddy Graphics/Bandy & Associates #41 Maxim as he would be the sixth driver to push up onto the banking in turns one and two in the first group of qualifiers. Carson wasted little time getting his elbows up and went to work navigating his Kistler Engines power around Federated Auto Parts at I-55’s surface. He was exercising his decision making and courage as he circled the track the first time. He exited turn four and completed the first circuit in 10.575 seconds. He stayed the course the next time around, this time completing his last lap in 10.560 seconds. His best effort positioned him as the second quickest driver on the speed charts from Group A with Zach Hampton just ahead with a lap of 10.545 seconds. Brad Sweet, out of the second group of qualifiers, established quick time overall with a recorded lap of 10.399 seconds.
When WoO Timing and Scoring officials tabulated the heat race lineups for the four 8-lap events, Carson would line the Tarlton and Son/T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication/Motor State Distributing #41 on the inside of row one beside Justin Peck. Brock Zearfoss and JJ Hickle were in row two, Josh Schneiderman and Brian Bell paced from row three, with Slater Helt who was racing his first ever WoO event, Jason Keith, Trevin Littleton, and Kevin Ingle filling in the remainder of the starting lineup. The top five finishers would earn spots in the money paying feature event based off of their finishing positions. Justin Peck drove off the outside of the front row into the lead over Macedo on the initial start, but before a lap could be completed JJ Hickle bicycled in turn three and flipped to bring out the red flag. When the crash scene was cleared and the field came back to the green flag, it was Carson wheeling the Tarlton and Son #41 into the top spot over Peck to lead lap one. He was in clean air and digging around the racy 1/3-mile surface at I-55. Peck stayed close to his rear bumper, but with each passing lap Macedo put a little more distance between himself and the second place competitor. At the halfway point of the race, Brian Bell got into the wall in turns one and two to bring out the caution flag. The field regrouped for the single file restart with four laps to go as Macedo brought them back to the green flag. Carson was not contested over the last four laps and collected the heat race victory by 1.876 seconds over Peck, with Zearfoss and Helt following them across the finish line as Josh Schneiderman locked down the fifth and final transfer position to advance to the feature.
Carson would get some more track time as he earned a spot in the 6-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash where he had to draw for his starting position. There were eight pills in the oversized NOS Energy Drink can and the lower the number each driver pulls the better their starting position for the dash. He would be the third driver to test his luck, or not so good luck, as when his hand exited the can he held the highest number in the can – an eight. Not deterred, he smiled and quickly headed back to the pit area to collaborate with his team on their setup and race approach. The air horn sounded and the cars moved into their starting positions with Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet sitting in row one, Justin Peck and Kraig Kinser occupying row two, Sheldon Haudenschild and James McFadden perched in row three, with Marcus Dumesny sharing row four with Carson Macedo. When the green flag waved Donny Schatz led Brad Sweet on lap one, but it was the Lemoore, California racer aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Pro Powder Coating (PPC)/Boltz Family #41 Maxim making some noise using his Kistler Engines power to drive off the low side of turn two and down the backstretch from his last place starting spot into the fourth position during the first circuit. And he wasn’t done yet as he maneuvered by Kraig Kinser the next time around to seize the third spot in the running order. Brad Sweet was pressuring Donny Schatz for the lead and got it at the halfway point of the race. Sweet would lead the remaining laps to take the win over Schatz and Macedo with McFadden, Peck, Haudenschild, Dumesny and Kinser completing the finishing order for the dash.
After Chase Crum won the Xtreme Midget feature, it was time for the powerful 410 field of stars to hit the track. With the top four rows for the 30-lap Night Before the Ironman feature event set based on the dash finish, it was time to go racing at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. The track had some character in it as it welcomed the field of stars to its’ surface. Carson Macedo would get the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions/Weld Racing/Meyers Constructors #41 started from the inside of row two beside James McFadden. The front row for the feature would be comprised of a combined 13 World of Outlaws championships with Brad Sweet (3 championships) on the pole and Donny Schatz (10 championships) pacing from the outside of row one. Carson climbed into his high speed office with his silver Albaugh – Your Alternative custom K1 Race Gear suit as he locked into his red Crow Enterprizes safety belts. The field assembled side-by-side in 12 rows for the start of the race. The green flag waved and the cars roared into turn one. Quickly a red flag was displayed as both Brock Zearfoss and Kerry Madsen flipped in turn two. The engines silenced and Jacob Allen rolled into the work area for some repairs too. The yellow lights replaced the red ones and the field was ready to get back up to speed again. Brad Sweet jumped into the lead over Schatz with Macedo with McFadden close behind. On lap 2 though the red flag reappeared, this time for Kraig Kinser who went hard into the outside wall in turn two after contact with Logan Schuchart while dicing for the eighth position. When they came back to the green it was in single file order due to track conditions with Sweet leading Schatz and Macedo. The two champions were tussling for position and so were Macedo and McFadden for the third spot. Carson had speed and was using the low line to close in on Schatz. He made the pass and was now running in second behind Sweet. Brad Sweet would eventually put some distance between himself and Macedo as he built a huge, dominating lead. The leader caught and began picking through lap traffic seemingly giving Carson an opportunity to close the gap. That was not happening though as Sweet was doing a masterful job maneuvering lap traffic and adding to the margin of this lead. In fact, he had built a 3.8 second lead over Macedo who was running second and racing just ahead of McFadden and Haudenschild. With 16 laps in the books though that lead would be erased when Marcus Dumesny spun by himself in turn two just ahead of the leader to bring out the yellow flag. Carson now had the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 right on the bumper of Sweet’s NAPA Auto Parts #49 with McFadden, Haudenschild and Schatz running in the top five positions on the track. When they went back to racing it was Sweet holding the lead over Macedo as the field dropped their right foot on the accelerator. Sweet was leading Macedo and McFadden as the laps were winding down. He again had built a lead of just over one second over Macedo, but Carson was closing the distance between the two drivers with two laps to go. Carson was digging in the forty-one. When Brad Sweet passed under the waving white flag he had a 0.753 second lead over Macedo but was approach lap traffic. It was about to get really exciting. As the leader exited turn two he encountered Dumesny. Sweet slowed a bit as he spun his tires down the backstretch. Macedo seized the opportunity as Sweet got held up a bit more when Dumesny drove back underneath Sweet entering turn three forcing the #49 to enter turn three higher than he preferred. Carson saw a hole between Dumesny and Sweet and meticulously drove the Albaugh #41 into it hard as he slid in front of Sweet, found some grip and drove off turn four around Dumesny and under the waving VP Racing checkered flags with a last-lap, last-turn pass for the win by 0.447 seconds over Sweet with McFadden, Schatz and Schuchart rounding out the top five! What an incredible, courageous and bold move for the win for Carson Macedo and the JJR #41 team!
With the Tarlton family (Tarlton and Son) and Dyson family (Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions) in the house at I-55, Carson cleared the scales and headed to the frontstretch for the victory lane celebration after the miraculous win. He climbed out of the cockpit and gave Tommy Tarlton and Sean Dyson each a big hug, with another one for his partners in speed Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz, as he headed up top of his Vortex Racing Products wing to celebrate amongst the falling confetti. Chase Ridenour interviewed the elated driver who reflected on Sweet getting slowed up, “There was a little luck involved there.” He continued, “I saw him get caught up and then spin the tires down the backstretch and I knew there wasn’t much grip up top where he was pointed. I had been doing it for much of the race where I’d run into turn three as hard as I possibly could to the center and find a little strip of grip with my right rear. That would get me to the center off and from there I could just hope he was flustered and couldn’t cross me.” The humble winner exclaimed, “Beating Brad, a three-time champion and one of the best out here, like that feels really special. That was a really great race, It’s why we’re here, to put on amazing shows like that for you fans. This place is tough, but it’s a lot of fun. You really have to get your elbows up and get after it. Hopefully we can add an Ironman title tomorrow.” A great race indeed. A job well done Carson, Philip, Clyde and Nate!
An Electrifying Last-Lap Pass on Brad Sweet Garners a Victory for Carson Macedo in the Night Before the Ironman at I-55! Photo Credit: Trent Gower
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To stay connected with Jason Johnson Racing (JJR), go to www.jasonjohnsonracing.com.
To stay up-to-date with Carson Macedo and his success journey on and off the track, as well as to purchase his gear and merchandise directly, visit www.carsonmacedoracing.com.