PORT ROYAL, PENNSYLVANIA (October 14, 2017) – Jason and the crew pulled out of the Jonestown KOA, which has served as their home base while they were racing back here in the northeast, and headed up Route 322 to Port Royal Speedway for the Nittany Showdown. There were 40 cars sitting behind their haulers in the pit area, which is just one of the many improvements made at the half-mile oval, dubbed the Speed Palace, that sits on the Juniata Fairgrounds.
After rain for a number of days, the track officials had the racing surface pristinely manicured and ready for a night of action on the red clay. The field was split for time trials with the Jonestown KOA/Pro Powder Coating #41 Maxim set to go out twelfth in Flight A. Dave Blaney was the first car out and set the mark at 15.997 seconds. The track was allowing for laps in the low 16 second bracket until the speedster from Eunice. Louisiana pushed off. His Kistler Engines power came to life and he accelerated up to speed. He tripped the clock and barreled into turn one on the low side. Smooth and steady he darted down the backstretch and cruised through turns three and four before stopping the clock at an impressive 15.730 seconds. He kept his Hoosier Racing Tires turning and was fast again. In fact, he was fast enough to improve his time to 15.704 seconds. That time stood atop the speed charts as he was not only quick time in Flight A, but overall for the night. It was his 16th quick time of the year.
Starting on the pole in the first heat race, Philip Dietz and the JJR Marshall Racing crew went to work to ready the car for qualifying action. Former World of Outlaws champion, Dave Blaney would share the front row with the Ragin’ Cajun as two Pennsylvania Posse members, Danny Dietrich and Ryan Taylor, made up row two. Eight laps of high speed action was lined up and ready to go at the Speed Palace. They approached the starting stripe two-by-two and the green lights came on. Jason dropped his right foot and the Fischer Body Shop/CCC #41 took off down the straightaway with Blaney giving chase. Jason led wire-to-wire, but just as impressively turned in eight consistently fast laps to win by a full straightaway over Blaney who came home second ahead of Dietrich as Taylor and Parker Price-Miller secured the final two transfer positions.
Making his 50th dash event of the year, his 48th Craftsman Club Dash in World of Outlaws competition, he was listed to start on the pole in the pre-inversion dash starting lineup. But when an inversion pill of eight was pulled it relegated him to the outside of row four to start the 6-lap Dash. Jacob Allen, who was the second fastest car in time trials with a lap of 15.705 seconds, had to scratch for the night after finishing second in his heat race and blowing a left year tire after taking the checkers and backing it into the wall. The reigning 2017 Port Royal Speedway champion, Brock Zearfoss, was on the pole with Jason Sides to his outside as Blaney, Donny Schatz, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brad Sweet and Johnson completing the starting field. Zearfoss would go on to take the win over Sides and Schatz, as Jason drove the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/KSE Racing Products #41 home to finish sixth as he crossed the finish line right behind Blaney and Sweet as Haudenschild finished seventh.
In the final World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series race in PA Posse land for 2017, Johnny Gibson started at the back of the field and read down the 26 feature event starters. Jason would start from the outside of row three in the sixth starting position aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/K&N Filters #41 Maxim beside Brad Sweet’s Ollie’s Bargain Outlets #49. Under the new Musco lighting the racing surface was illuminated under the bright lights as the recently installed LED lights on the front stretch were being turned on and off sequentially as they passed by the packed grandstands in their traditional four-wide salute to the fans. When the green flag waved, Zearfoss jumped into the early lead over Schatz. He was hammer down as Jason was in a serious tussle for position with Brad Sweet and Dave Blaney for the fourth through sixth running position. A yellow on laps 14 and 19 regrouped the field, but Schatz was not the leader as he took over the top spot on lap 18. Jason was running sixth on the last restart and drove off the high side of turn four moving temporarily into the fourth spot before Sweet slid under him to retake the spot. Schatz went on to take the win over Lance Dewease and Daryn Pittman with Sweet and Johnson rounding out the top five. It was Jason’s 29th top five finish on the year, a 33.72% top five success rate, as he rolled back his Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Winters Performance Products #41 back to his hauler.
Jason and the team will now head north for two straight nights of racing in New York, with racing at Weedsport Speedway on Sunday night and them in the western part of the state on Monday evening. Come out to the track and catch up with the Ragin’ Cajun and the entire team!