KNOXVILLE, IOWA (June 10, 2023) – When the engines quieted and the dirt stopped flying on the Friday night running of the Premier Chevy Dealers Clash, Carson Macedo ended the night with a fifth place finish to kick off the two race weekend at The Sprint Car Capital of the World – Knoxville Raceway in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41. With light rain going through the area earlier in the day, the raindrops had stopped leaving just the dark grey clouds and skies overhead with no more precipitation. The JJR #41 team was back at it working hard again doing their daily post-race maintenance and cleaning to prepare their speed machine for continued success on Saturday night. The racing slate was wiped clean and it was a whole new night of competition at Knoxville Raceway. There were 48 competitive 410 teams back at the elite oval lined up in their numbered, concrete padded parking spots located at the famous half-mile oval throughout the infield pit area. The track prep crew was out working their behinds off with the wet clay to create the best possible racing surface for the race teams that returned to compete for the winner’s check at the end of the night here in the true “heart” of Iowa – a place fondly called Knoxville by sprint car fans.
The field of racing athletes was again split into two groups for Low-E Insulation Qualifying with the size of the field entered on Saturday night. For the first time though they would have three cars out for qualifying versus one or two to keep the show moving along to beat any additional weather. The driver of the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Tarlton and Son/Xtreme Body and Paint #41 Maxim would be the 18th car to roll onto the track in Group A. Carson would take to the track in three car qualifying along with Kasey Kahne and Brock Zearfoss, as all three of drivers were ready to attack the track in a tussle against time. When the JJR #41 passed the flagstand, the Kistler Engines power under the Indy Performance Composites (IPC) hood was delivering the horsepower needed to propel him in fast forward motion. The Hoosier Racing Tires were digging into the black gumbo clay surface that is the special speed maker here at Knoxville Raceway. Carson ran a smooth first lap turning in a pretty good time at 15.339 seconds. Not knowing what the clock read or his position on the speed charts at that point, Macedo just kept his K1 Race Gear boot throttle down as he was humming down the backstretch on his second circuit. He rolled through turns three and four for the last time and used his speed to surge towards the finish line to complete his second lap in 15.359 seconds. The faster of his two time trial attempts was 4th quick overall on the night out of Group A. James McFadden, who time trialed as part of Group A, established the best lap of the evening against the clock driving around Knoxville Raceway in 15.169 seconds.
When the lineups were posted for the four 8-lap heat races, the 2019 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year would start second aboard the Durst Inc./Larry Davis Farms/BR Motorsports/Mr. Jim’s Racing #41 Maxim. The entire field of competitors at Knoxville was stout making each heat race very competitive and challenging as only the top five finishers would earn a transfer position to the A-Main feature at the end of the night. Carson would roll into his second starting position paired up with his friend and fellow competitor Spencer Bayston on the front row. Kraig Kinser and Lachlan McHugh were rolling in row two with Robbie Price and Kasey Kahne in row three. McKenna Haase, A.J. Moeller, Noah Gass, Aaron Reutzel, Sawyer Phillips, and Cole Mincer completing the starting grid.
The starting lineup was set and slowly pacing side-by-side into turn four when the dust from the chalk stripe was kicked up as the front row starters powered towards the Justin Clark’s waving green flag. Carson was the first driver into turn one using the outside lane to carry his speed with torrid battles for position happening behind him through the first set of turns and down the back chute. When lap one was complete it was all Carson Macedo with Spencer Bayston locked down in position two aboard the TrueTimber CJB #5. Carson used the clean air to his advantage building on his lead and using his time to search some different lines. He was in command and never looked back as he raced to 18th World of Outlaws heat race win of the season. Spencer Bayston came home second to join Macedo in the dash with Lachlan McHugh, Robbie Price and Kraig Kinser securing the three remaining transfer spots.
Carson would represent the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) team aboard the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Tarlton and Son/Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 Maxim in his 23rd Toyota Dash of the season. The finishing order after six laps would determine the starting lineup for the first four rows at feature time. World of Outlaws Timing and Scoring officials summoned the drivers to the command center rather than to victory lane for the drivers to pull their starting spot from the oversized NOS Energy Drink can. David Gravel drew the one pill which put him on the pole, with Spencer Bayston to his outside on the front row. Knoxville regulars Austin McCarl and Brian Brown would get rolling from row two with Californians Carson Macedo and Rico Abreu in row three. James McFadden was on the inside of row four with Cory Eliason to his outside. When the green flag was unfurled it was Gravel to the lead over Bayston with Brown, Abreu, and Macedo chasing. Brian Brown would muscle his way around Bayston to take over the runner-up position as Carson was battling for position with McCarl for the fifth spot. David Gravel raced to the dash win over Brian Brown and Spencer Bayston with Abreu, Macedo, McCarl, McFadden and Eliason filling positions four through eight at end of race.
With all of the qualifying in the books, the drivers and teams prepared for the 25-lap NOS Energy Drink Premier Chevy Dealers Clash feature finale as the 8-minute horn sounded throughout the pit area. The fans in the stands were ready to watch some of the best in the business get after it for the winner’s share of the purse.
Saturday night would be the last time for the World of Outlaws stars to race on the surface to build their notebooks before they return in early August for the 62nd running of the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals. So their pens and notepads were documenting everything along the way.
The front row would be made up by the formidable tandem of David Gravel and Brian Brown. Carson Macedo would start his pursuit forward in the Border International/Team Jack Foundation/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads #41 Maxim from his fifth starting position. The field fanned out into the Whiskey Myers four-wide salute to the faithful fans who came out to see them do what they love at Knoxville Raceway! It was time to go racing at The Sprint Car Capital of the World – World of Outlaws style!
With no further ado, the green flag dropped and these 410 engines roared loudly down the wide frontstretch of The Sprint Car Capital of the World. It was David Gravel in the Big Game Motorsports #2 seizing the lead over Brian Brown and Rico Abreu as the field motored past the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (NSCHoF) overlooking turn two. Carson was up on the wheel and just behind running in fourth place in the Albaugh #41 after he passed Spencer Bayston when the first lap was scored and in the books.
The Lemoore, California racer was not done advancing. He had the pedal down and had a fast racecar as he used his KSE Racing Products to steer by Rico Abreu on lap two to move into third. Carson was not content. He wasted very little time as he was digging and closing in on second running Brian Brown.
Carson was hungry and had narrowed the gap between the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 and the Casey General Stores #21 of Brian Brown. David Gravel was out front racing in clean air, but on lap 8 Carson moved the forty-one by Brown into the second position. Carson then started to track down the race leader. He was making progress as the leaders entered lap traffic with 10 laps in the books. A few laps later the night changed.
On lap 12, the red flag came out and it was for Carson Macedo. It appeared something had broken turning the car hard right and directly into the outside wall at speed in turn four sending the car into a series of wicked flips and ending with fire erupting around the forty-one. Knoxville track officials and the safety crew were quickly to the scene trying to contain the fire as they came to the driver’s assistance.
In addition, there were heroes voluntarily climbing out of the security of their cockpits to assist with an emerging and extremely dangerous situation. Giovanni Scelzi, Spencer Bayston and Brad Sweet, without any hesitation, unbuckled their safety belts and immediately jumped into action to help Carson Macedo. No one asked them. I am 100% sure it is not part of their job description as a driver or competitor. They individually, and quickly, made the decision to “do the right thing” on their own and they “just did it”, which meant running into a scorching hot fire, to help a fellow competitor. They are heroes. Each of these drivers have already defined themselves as incredible racecar drivers and competitors throughout their careers, but their actions in this situation fully displayed they are even more authentic and incredible human beings with unwavering character. They are truly heroes and we (everyone involved at Jason Johnson Racing) are, and will be, forever grateful!
These three drivers are great ambassadors for sprint car racing and the exact reason why this form of racing is simply the best. Sprint car racing is made up of incredible individuals that choose to be involved in the sport at all levels from the individual racers to the track owners/promoters, race officials and safety teams to the product manufacturers, team owners, crews and sponsorship partners. The sport is filled with people who have all worked extremely hard to earn their success and do what they love – race. That group includes the team owners, drivers, sponsors, and the fans who spend their hard earned money to enjoy this form of entertainment.
Once extracted from the car, Carson was safely transported to the local hospital following the accident for further evaluation. After extensive monitoring, testing and treatment, he was released throughout the night and walked out of the hospital setting. Once again, a sincere debt of gratitude to the track officials, safety crew and all of the healthcare workers who shared their expertise in extending care to Carson. He is not only the driver of the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) #41 . . . Carson is part of our family! His family and friends are our family and friends. His goals are our goals. His dreams are our dreams. His safety and well-being are paramount. He is our hero and friend. We are thrilled Carson is ok and will be here to support him . . . no matter what.
David Gravel went on to take the win, his series leading sixth of the season, followed by Brian Brown and Garet Williamson who rounded out the podium.
In the Face of Adversity and Challenge We Are Filled with Blessings and Gratitude!
Albaugh, LLC; Border International; Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Saich Family; Tarlton and Son Inc.; Boltz Family; Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions; Durst Inc.; Liquid Trucking; Bandy & Associates Accountancy Corporation; Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; Jansen Transportation; Larry Davis Farms; Meyers Constructors Inc.; Mr. Jim’s Racing; RaceDiecast.com; Sam I Am; Team Jack Foundation; Mark Burch Motorsports; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Tiger Towing; All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads; AutoMeter; Bell Helmets; BMRS (Brown & Miller Racing Solutions); BR Motorsports; C&R Racing; Crow Enterprizes; Engler Machine & Tool, Inc.; Factory Kahne (FK Shocks); Fibreworks Composites; FK Rod Ends; Greber Racing Components; High Performance Lubricants, LLC; Hoosier Racing Tire; Indy Performance Composites (IPC); ISC Racers Tape; K1 Race Gear; Kistler Racing Engines; KSE Racing Products; Maxim Racing; Motor State Distributing; Premium Coach Group; Pro Powder Coating (PPC); Saldana Racing Products; Schoenfeld Headers; Smith Titanium; Vortex Racing Products; Walker Performance Filtration; Weld Racing; Wilwood Racing; Winters Performance Products; and, Xtreme Body and Paint.
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.