NEW RICHMOND, WISCONSIN (July 1, 2023) – With his ninth place finish on Friday night to open the two-day Independence Day Spectacular event at Cedar Lake Speedway, Carson Macedo and the JJR #41 sprint car team closed the books on the month of June as they fine-tuned their attention and focused forward towards the opportunities for more success that awaits them in July. After a full day of maintenance and hard work to get ready for night two, all of the race teams were back on Saturday night to compete in front of some amazing fans at a great race track in Wisconsin. The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series schedule is certainly not for the faint of heart. These teams cover a lot of geography and have sizable demands on their time along the way. Each of these race teams work extremely hard day-in and day-out out in the varying temperatures throughout the long season that starts in February and ends in November to make sure they have their equipment prepared for optimal performance to put on the best show possible each and every night. The sport of sprint car racing is demanding on the drivers too as they take a beating inside the cockpit, but are incredibly tough and resilient while loving what they do as a profession. A walk around the pit area at Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday night found 34 teams unloaded and ready to go racing in the finale of the two-day Independence Day Spectacular.
Following hot laps, the first competitive item on the evening’s race agenda for the drivers and teams is Low-E Insulation Qualifying. During this portion of the show, each driver gets a shot at the clock with two timed laps around the oval measured closely by the ticking stopwatch down to the thousandths of a second. Where each driver goes out in the time trial order is determined earlier in the night when a representative of each team selects a numbered pill at the World of Outlaws Command Center. These numbers are then arranged sequentially, lowest to highest, to indicate when each driver hits the track. For Carson on this night, by the luck of the draw, he would be the first driver to test his skills and speed aboard the Tarlton and Son/Border International/Walker Performance Filtration #41 Maxim. When it was his turn to speed, he jumped on the loud pedal and built up his momentum heading towards the waving solid green flag. He made good time through the first set of turns before charging down the backstretch with the wind flowing over the top of his Vortex Racing Products wings. He stopped the clock at 11.434 seconds on lap one. The second time around Cedar Lake Speedway was all about trying to find something that he may have missed on lap one. When he completed his final time trial lap the clock indicated that he found something as he did his work this time around in 11.350 seconds, which was slightly better than his first attempt. His quickest lap was good enough to withstand the test of time as he maintained the top spot on the speed charts earning him his eleventh Simpson Quick Time Award of the 2023 racing season.
Following the conclusion of time trials, the World of Outlaws Timing and Scoring Officials were busy consolidating the starting grids for the four 10-lap heat races based off of each driver’s best time. That positioned Carson in the first of four heats where he would get the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads/Sam I Am #41 started from the pole position. He was flanked on the right side of the front row by defending and four-time WoO Champion Brad Sweet with Knoxville, Iowa’s own Riley Goodno and Fargo, North Dakota’s Donny Schatz in row two. The remainder of the starting lineup featured Jacob Allen, Noah Gass, Josh Schneiderman, Ryan Bowers, and Reed Allex.
Before the first heat race could get started the red flag was displayed for a medical emergency situation in the pit area that required the assistance of the ambulance and the medical team. Officials turned it into and “Open Red” for the teams to allow them on the track. When the situation was addressed, the drivers were given the heads up to re-fire their engines. Macedo and Sweet paced slowly until they hit the stripe in turn four. When they hit it, Carson catapulted off the bottom into the lead ahead of Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz. Sweet had to quickly turn his attention to try fending off the hard-charging Schatz as they battled for second.
Donny Schatz moved into the runner-up position as Carson Macedo extended his lead. He had built over a 2.5 second lead by the halfway point of the race and was beginning to search the different lines collecting some intelligence for later in the evening. Carson would not be denied as he raced across the finish line in dominant fashion over Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet and Jacob Allen with Noah Gass securing the fifth and final transfer spot out of CASE No. 1 Engine Oil Heat Race #1.
Carson made his way into his 26th WoO Toyota Dash this season. It would be eight cars that would race eight laps to determine their starting spot in the feature. Carson’s luck continued as he was the first driver to pull a pill out of the oversized NOS Energy Drink can as he held the ‘2’ pill, which put him on the outside of the front row for the dash. Spencer Bayston would join him as he pulled the lowest pill to start on the pole. The front row duo would be followed by Brock Zearfoss, Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, David Gravel, Donny Schatz, Logan Schuchart, and Giovanni Scelzi. When the green flag waved it was Bayston driving into the lead with Macedo and Kofoid right behind. Bayston had the CJB #5 on rails and was cruising as Gravel, Scelzi and Schatz were racing hard for the fourth spot in the running order. Spencer Bayston went unchallenged as he took the win over Macedo and Kofoid with Gravel winning the battle for fourth followed by Schatz, Scelzi, Schuchart and Zearfoss.
With all of the qualifying in the rearview mirror for the 24 cars that made the feature field, it was time to go racing at Cedar Lake Speedway – World of Outlaws style! The 8-minute air horn sounded as the teams completed their final adjustments for the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Independence Day Spectacular feature finale. But before any racing action occurred the fans were treated to a truly incredible fireworks show to honor the country’s independence ahead of the fourth of July holiday.
Carson climbed into his office in the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Meyers Constructors Inc./Mr. Jim’s Racing #41 Maxim eager to get up to speed at Cedar Lake from his second starting position. He nestled himself into his Sharp Advantage custom molded seat insert that fits perfectly inside his Fibreworks Composites carbon fiber seat. Safety belts latched and helmet on as he rolled out onto the track to await the start of the race where he would line up beside Bayston.
With the remnants of all the fireworks festivities still clearing from the air, the field was ready to go racing at Cedar Lake. The green flag waved with Bayston and Macedo racing side-by-side for the lead. Bayston was scored as the leader on the first lap ahead of Macedo, Kofoid and Gravel. The next time around though Carson drove the Albaugh #41 into the lead overtaking Bayston.
By lap 6, Carson was approaching slower traffic as they quickly chased down the back of the field of competitors. As the leader he had to be selective as he navigated through lap traffic. This gave second running Spencer Bayston an opportunity to close the gap between himself and the forty-one. He caught him as Carson got stuck on the bottom giving the lead back to Spencer Bayston.
Six laps later, on lap 12, the yellow flag was displayed for Christopher Thram’s #24T who spun in turn four. It was Bayston, Macedo, Kofoid, Gravel and Scelzi in the top five as they came back to the green flag. They got back up to speed, but the green was promptly replaced with the yellow flag when Bill Balog slowed on the frontstretch with a flat right rear tire after contact at the start. They tried again and this time Carson and third running Michael “Buddy” Kofoid made contact entering turn three as Kofoid tried to squeeze under the Albaugh #41 sending him spinning up the track collecting Brooke Tatnell.
They would try to restart again with 23 laps to go with Bayston driving into the lead with Macedo following. They were both working the high line, but the bottom was coming in and David Gravel was honing his skills down low running in the show position. Giovanni Scelzi was also up high and drove around Gravel temporarily before the Big Game Motorsports driver hustled back by Scelzi.
On lap 20, the racing action was once again slowed when Noah Gass had the air go out of his right rear tire. He was in the Federated Car Care Work Zone and Kofoid joined him with a flat tire on his #83JR. It would be Bayston, Macedo, Gravel, Scelzi and Sheldon Haudenschild bringing the field back up to speed when they went green with 15 laps to go.
Spencer Bayston maintained the top spot, but David Gravel raced under Carson Macedo to take over the runner-up position right before the red flag came out for Josh Schneiderman who flipped in turn three after racing contact with Austin McCarl. The laps was not recorded, so Carson regained the second spot for the moment.
The leader would come back to the green with the field in single file order. Bayston led Macedo and Gravel with Brad Sweet moving into fifth from his ninth starting position. On lap 24, David Gravel moved by Macedo into second and immediately started to close in on the race leader. Bayston was on the high side. Gravel was on the low side. With 7 laps to go, David Gravel raced into the lead.
Carson was running in the third position as he was trying to fend off Jacob Allen who was on the move on the bottom. With 5 laps to go, Allen drove his Shark Racing #1A by Macedo into the final podium position. David Gravel raced to the win over Spencer Bayston and Jacob Allen. Carson Macedo brought the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 Maxim home fourth with Giovanni Scelzi rounding out the top five. A good run for Macedo and the forty-one!
A Top Five Run for the Forty-One at Cedar Lake Speedway to Wrap Up the Independence Day Spectacular! Photo Credit: Jessica McIntyre
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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.