OSBORN, MISSOURI (September 17, 2016) – Over seven inches of rain fell throughout the week around US 36 Raceway making for some demanding and physical racing conditions on an ultra-fast racing surface for Jason and the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competitors who showed up at the Missouri oval for the FVP Missouri High-Banked Nationals. There was a total of 29 cars in the pit area and the fans patiently streamed through the front gate ready to see some great racing action.
After heat in the motors and hot laps concluded, it was time to get down to business in the ‘Show Me’ state of Missouri. Jason, the Rocky Mount, Missouri resident, pushed out early for his time trial laps and wasted little time picking up where he left off the night before when he set quick time at Clay County Fairground. He powered his way around these high banks in his Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/K&N Filters #41 as his Kistler Engines motor sang to the top end of the speed chart. The quicker of his two laps came in at 10.636 seconds and had the #41 at the top of the board. He was an instant hit. There was a ferocious group of drivers with speed yet to go, but the mark was set by the Ragin’ Cajun. When the last driver stopped the clock, it was Jason Johnson who for the second consecutive night who posted the quickest time trial lap. It was his fourth World of Outlaw quick time of the season and fifth overall.
When you are the quick timer, by default you place yourself in the fastest heat race based on time trial results – heat race number one. Not that anyone is complaining, because that is a good thing because you own the pole position in that race. The first heat race was called to the staging area and out came the beautifully prepared Fischer Body Shop/Pro Powder Coating (PPC) Maxim Racing machine which Jason has the privilege to office out of across the United States. Things certainly would not be easy as he shared the front row with always tough David Gravel in the CJB #5 with Kerry Madsen and Brian Brown right behind the two speedsters in row two. Green, green, green and the Ragin’ Cajun was off as he sailed into turn one. His elbows were up because this place was bad fast on this night. He was masterful driving the wheels off his forty-one as he drove to the heat race victory over Gravel, Madsen, Donny Schatz and Brown with Ian Madsen securing the sixth and final transfer spot for the feature event.
For the 27th time this season, Jason and the JJR crew earned their way into the coveted Craftsman Club Dash event. Before the inversion pill was drawn they were sitting on the pole, but a six pill was pulled placing him back in row three on the outside at the start. No worries. The track was still very fast and racy and certainly becoming increasingly more demanding on the drivers, but the physically fit Johnson was ready to go aboard the Priority Aviation/Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41. Danny Lasoski and Kraig Kinser were in row one with David Gravel and Joey Saldana in row two. Jason rolled to the green beside Brad Sweet and planted his right foot when the flagman gave him the okay to go. He maneuvered his way around the top and into the fifth position then bettered his position by one as the final laps clicked buy to finish fourth behind Lasoski, Saldana and Gravel. Brad Sweet and Kinser rounded out the Dash finishing order.
It was finally time for what everyone was packed in the stands for at US 36 Raceway – the 35-lap Missouri High-Banked Nationals feature event. Philip, Jeff and Jakob were hard at work prepping their JJR hot rod for their driver. With friends, family and sponsors in the house the always focused driver was ready to get rolling at US 36 Raceway. Pole sitter, Danny Lasoski, would jump out into the early lead as Jason settled into the fourth position in the early going of the race. Joey Saldana wheeled his Roth Motorsports #83 into the lead on lap five and was setting a torrid pace. Jason was very methodical as he wheeled his Maxim Racing entry around the challenging 3/8-mile oval. A caution on lap 16 regrouped the field and under the yellow Jason collected his thoughts and refocused on executing his race-to-the front strategy. Saldana bought the field to the green and Jason quickly moved into a fierce battle with Lasoski for the runner-up position. He wanted that spot and he wanted it bad. He got it and didn’t celebrate, but rather kept charging and closed in quickly on the leader. Two of the fittest drivers on the tour were waging a war for position around US 36 Raceway. The fans certainly were not going to be disappointed and ask for their money back because they were getting a show of a lifetime. The two talented chauffeurs battled for the leaf over the last five laps with Saldana getting to the checkers first followed very closely behind by the Ragin’ Cajun, David Gravel, and Shane Stewart with Brad Sweet rounding out the top five.
Saldana and Johnson were both very complimentary of each other after the race. With a big smile on his face Jason exclaimed, “That was a lot of fun!” He continued, “Look at Joey, he’s as fit as can be, He does CrossFit and works out. He wasn’t going to lay down for sure. I stuffed it in there a few times and gave it my best effort.” After pausing, the driver who calls Rocky Mount, Missouri home made sure to acknowledge the great fans by sharing, “I want to thank all of the great Missouri fans as well for coming out tonight.” He did not forget his team who has been busting their butts and making great decisions to make this team a contender every time they show up at the track. Jason explained, “Everyone has worked their tails off all year and it seems like we have come into form the last month and we have been picking up speed.” He concluded by stating, “It’s a lot of fun from our standpoint. I could not be more proud of the entire team!”
Another terrific run for the forty-one!!