ALGER, WASHINGTON (September 2, 2017) – Jason, along with the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team, were parked in the pit area for night two of the Outlaw Energy Showdown at Skagit Speedway after a runner-up finish the night before. There were once again 25 teams signed into the pit area ready to tackle the 3/10-mile oval in northern Washington.
After hot laps were completed, the cars aligned for time trials. Jason waited patiently in the seat of his entry as he was slated to be the seventh car out on the track. When the push truck tapped his rear nerf bar it was ‘go’ time for the driver of the Valvoline/MSD Performance #41 Maxim. He wasted no time as he took the green a laid down a terrific first lap at 11.438 seconds, catapulting him to the top of the speed charts. He ran a consistent second lap at 11.561 seconds, but it was his first go ‘round that would stand as he was quick timer of the night – his 14th quick time of the 2017 racing season.
He continued using the speed his Kistler Engines powerplant was providing in his heat race as he charged from his pole position starting spot into the lead at the drop of the green flag as Jason Sides, Jamie Veal, Greg Wilson, Jason Solwold, Austen Wheatley, Jacob Allen, Clyde Knipp and Dominic Scelzi gave chase. The driver of the forty-one was in a rocket though as his Vortex Wing cut through the clean, Pacific Northwest air at the front of the pack. He was setting a torrid pace and when the black and white cloth flew over the event, it was the Ragin’ Cajun taking the victory over Sides and Veal with Solwold, Wheatley and Wilson wrapping up the final transfer spots.
The Louisiana-born wheelman found himself in the Craftsman Club Dash again, it was his 40th Craftsman Club Dash of the season, where he was on the pole for the pre-dash inversion in the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Schoenfeld Headers entry. Luck is a funny thing in racing, and albeit skill usually prevails a little luck surely never hurt anyone. Well luck was on his side as the ‘0’ pill was pulled keeping him on the front row that he would share with Donny Schatz. Shane Stewart and Jason Sides would line up in row two, while Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) teammates, Daryn Pittman and Brad Sweet, were in row three for the eight-lap speed shootout. When they went racing, Jason set sail. He was cruising at a high rate of speed and hitting his marks. He took the win over Schatz, Sweet, Stewart, Pittman and Sides and would sit on the pole to start the feature on night two of the Outlaw Energy Showdown.
The eight minute horn sounded and it was time for 40 laps of racing around Skagit Speedway in front of a packed house. Jason rolled into his front row starting spot before the field got the sign to move into their tradition four-wide salute to the fans. One of the most impressive sights in motorsports as Johnny Gibson exclaims, “You wanted the best, you got them four abreast!” It was time to go racing at Skagit Speedway! When the green lights illuminated, Jason rocketed into the lead but the start was negated when Greg Wilson and Mark Duperron got together to bring out the red flag. When racing resumed, Johnson again took command of the lead as he was trucking in the Mesilla Valley transportation (MVT)/FK Rod Ends #41. He encountered lapped traffic with 12 laps in giving runner-up, Donny Schatz, the opportunity to close the gap with each passing lap. Schatz was right there with 25 laps to go, when another red was displayed, this time for Clyde Knipp, Jacob Allen and Robbie Price, as the remaining cars rolled to a stop. The stop was fortunate as when they restarted Jason had a clear track and clean air in front of him. He would once again jump out to a commanding lead and was leading at the halfway point of the race with Schatz now in a tussle for position with Sweet for the runner-up spot. But with just under 10 laps to go, it was Daryn Pittman on the move in the Great Clips #9. He moved into second place and was in heavy pursuit of the forty-one. He would dive low and seize the lead on lap 35 and go on to take the win in the $12,000-to-win Outlaw Energy Showdown finale over David Gravel who seemed to come from nowhere and Brad Sweet. Jason road home fourth as Donny Schatz rounded out the top five.
Very successful two nights of competition for Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing crew at the Alger, Washington facility, as the team leave with two solid finishes in the Outlaw Energy Showdown at Skagit Speedway – a second on night one and a fourth-place finish after leading the first 34 laps on night two – as they look forward to continuing their strong surge of success at Grays Harbor Raceway to cap off the Labor Day holiday weekend of racing action on Monday night.