PORT ROYAL, PENNSYLVANIA (October 6, 2023) – It was now the traveling band of World of Outlaws (WoO) NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series stars turn to fill the pit area at Port Royal Speedway, affectionately referred to as The Speed Palace, for their final two races of the season in Pennsylvania. After racing hard all night to secure a fifth place finish after starting tenth in the 56th Annual Tuscarora 50 on Thursday evening, Carson Macedo and the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) #41 sprint car team were back at the track and eager to open up the Nittany Showdown along with a total of 49 entries for the evening of high speed action with dark, cloudy and ominous weather clouds wandering overhead. Mount Nittany is a small mountain located about 45 minutes north of the speedway that sits off to the east overlooking Penn State University, which is home to the Nittany Lions embraced in this area of the country. The World of Outlaws were in the Land of Nittany for the weekend.
With greater than 38 cars, the field of cars was evenly split into two separate groups for Low-E Insulation Qualifying. Luck plays a key role in the pill draw as it sets the time trial order. That positioned Carson as the 18th driver out on the track in Group B aboard his Albaugh – Your Alternative hotrod. When it was his turn to complete this one mile speed chase at the Juniata County race facility, which is two timed laps around the half-mile oval, he would be joined on the track by Liverpool’s TJ Stutts in the Village Square Plaza #11T. He watched the drivers qualifying before him with DIRTVision on his phone and then disconnected to get to work. His Kistler Engines fired as he pushed out into turn one and Carson was off to the races in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Saldana Racing Products/AutoMeter #41 Maxim as he headed around the oval while building up speed to take the green flag. When he arrived at the flagstand he was at speed and quickly made his way through the first set of turns. He kept his right foot busy making speed as he headed down the backstretch and finessing his way through the last set of turns before completing his first lap in impressive fashion in 16.010 seconds. He continued to stomp and steer his way around The Speed Palace the next go around stopping the clock the final time in 16.068 seconds. The better of his two laps was quick time in Group B. When both groups were done with qualifying though Brad Sweet out of Group A had earned the Simpson Quick Time Award with the fastest lap of the night at 16.008 seconds, just 0.002 seconds quicker than Carson’s best lap.
Soon after time trial qualifying had ended, the World of Outlaws Timing & Scoring officials posted the starting lineups for each of the four 8-lap heat races. When scanning the lineups the JJR #41 was spotted in the third heat race where their driver would get started from the pole position in the front row beside Tyler Courtney in the NOS Energy Drink #7BC. The starting field around them was comprised of Kasey Kahne and Cory Eliason in row two with Logan Wagner and Kyle Reinhardt rolling in row three, Mike Wagner and Danny Dietrich in row four, Garet Williamson and Ryan Smith side-by-side in row five, as Michael Walter and Kody Lehman were exited to get up to speed in row six.
Each of the drivers moved into their starting positions and rolled slowly down the backstretch anticipating the green lights around the track to turn on when they hit the chalk stripe laid down across turn four. When Carson arrived the white dust flew and the field roared down the front stretch jockeying for position with Courtney on entry into turn one. But green flag racing was short-lived as Logan Wagner and Mike Wagner made contact collecting Michael Walter sending the #55w of Wagner and the #33W of Walter flipping in tandem fashion off turn four to bring out the red flag.
It would be a complete restart and when they went back to racing it was again and entertaining show between two talented racers – Macedo and Courtney. Carson was fully engaged in the battle from the comfort of his Fibreworks Composites carbon fiber seat with a Sharp Advantage insert when they exited turn two. Courtney this time took the lead at the start, but Carson wrestled it right back entering turn three. He had the High Performance Lubricants/Engler Machine & Tool/Vortex Racing Products #41 stepping at speed from first position early. Tyler Courtney was right there as the two continued to dice for the point position over the next four laps. They were putting on an incredible show at speed and showing why they are professional race car drivers and entertainers.
Carson was doing a masterful job holding off Tyler Courtney through the first five laps. But on lap six Courtney flexed his muscles when Macedo entered low into turn one and two and scrubbed off some of his speed as the driver of the #7BC carried his speed around the top and took the lead off turn two. When the white flag flew it was Tyler Courtney leading the field just in front of Macedo and Eliason with a half mile of racing remaining around Port Royal Speedway. Tyler Courtney would race to the win ahead of Carson as those two would advance to the dash. Cory Eliason came home third with Kasey Kahne and Danny Dietrich rounding out the top five.
Officials summoned the dash drivers to the Command Center to draw for their starting spot for the 6-lap Toyota Dash where the finish determines the starting lineup for the first four rows of the feature. James McFadden had luck on his side as he would start from the pole position beside Carson Macedo in the front row. Sye Lynch and Logan Schuchart were right behind at the start in row two with David Gravel, Tyler Courtney, Brad Sweet and Parker Price-Miller occupying rows three and four at the start. When they came off turn four it was McFadden racing into the lead in the Roth Motorsports #83 with Carson Macedo right beside him entering turn one in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41. McFadden was low with Macedo working the extreme high side. McFadden exited turn two with the lead ahead of Macedo, Schuchart, Lynch and Courtney. Behind the leader Carson was battling with Schuchart and Lynch was trying to hold off Courtney. Logan Schuchart moved the Shark Racing #1s by Macedo into the runner-up position as Courtney made his way by Lynch into fourth. James McFadden was fast and showed the way as he took the win over Schuchart and Macedo with Courtney, Lynch, Sweet, Gravel and Price-Miller completing the finishing order.
For the 73rd time this season, a 100% success rate, Carson and his JJR team of Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz had earned a starting spot in the 25-lap opening night Nittany Showdown feature event. There was $10,000 on the line awaiting the winner of the race, but the journey between the green and the checkers would not be an easy one for any of the drivers throughout the field. This track is fast, tricky and technical. The winner of this race was going to earn it.
Carson rolled the Durst Inc./Bandy and Associates/Jansen Transportation #41 Maxim out onto the track to stage for the feature. He calmly finalized his race strategy inside his high speed office. The engines started to fire around the track as he flipped down the shield of his Bell Helmet to prepare for success. He would get started from the inside of row three from the third starting spot in the field alongside Tyler Courtney in the NOS Energy Drink #7BC. James McFadden and Logan Schuchart were in the front row with Sye Lynch and Brad Sweet in row three followed by David Gravel and Parker Price-Miller.
The fans were ready. The drivers were ready. It was simply time for the best in the business to put on a show World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series style at Port Royal Speedway. Off turn four the front row of McFadden and Schuchart pounded the loud pedal as these powerful racecars raced down the long front straightaway. McFadden was out front as Schuchart, Macedo and Courtney went three wide through two for the runner-up position with the #7BC coming out ahead. James McFadden led the opening circuit with Courtney in hot pursuit chasing after him with Schuchart and Carson running in third and fourth place respectively.
Carson was maneuvering from the fourth position and on lap three lost a position to the quick approaching Sye Lynch. The driver of the forty-one was trying extremely hard to find grip and speed. He used what he found to drive back around Lynch the next lap to retake the fourth spot in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41.
On lap 9, David Gravel was methodically and patiently working the bottom and closing in on Macedo. Soon it was an incredible race between the two racers as they exchanged the position multiple times over the course of the next few laps. Up front Tyler Courtney had chased down James McFadden and took over the lead and with 15 laps in the books it was Courtney, McFadden, Gravel, Schuchart and Macedo in the top five.
David Gravel had the Huset’s Speedway #2 moving on the bottom and on lap 17 he took over the runner-up position behind Courtney. Tyler Courtney though had a big lead with lap cars in between himself and the driver of the Big Game Motorsports #2 with 8 laps to go. Carson was relentlessly trying everything to keep his speed and maintain his spot, but he was being challenged every lap. Brad Sweet hustled by on the low side as Lance Dewease followed by too. Carson was now running seventh as the white flag came out.
Tyler Courtney was dominant and raced to the victory over David Gravel and James McFadden with Logan Schuchart and Lance Dewease rounding out the top five in the finishing order. Brad Sweet came home sixth with Parker Price-Miller making a last lap pass to earn seventh directly in front of Carson Macedo who was scored eighth with Justin Peck and Cory Eliason rounding out the top ten. Carson and the JJR #41 team will take the lessons learned and apply them on Saturday night when they return for the final night of the Nittany Showdown at Port Royal!
Working Hard at Port Royal Speedway to Open the Nittany Showdown to Earn an Eighth Place Finish in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41! Photo Credit: CS Productions – Cameron Saich
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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.