OSKALOOSA, IOWA (August 8, 2022) – The extremely hot and humid temperatures finally broke over the Hawkeye State of Iowa after rain moved through Sunday night bringing along a cool front, the exciting racing action continued to stay hot on Monday night at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa with the 27th running of the Sage Fruit Front Row Challenge on the big half-mile oval. This racing event is always a fun one as a party breaks out in the infield and the racing conditions and format make it a really enjoyable event for both the fans and the drivers. Carson Macedo, along with his JJR #41 speed partners – Philip, Clyde and Nate, headed East down Route 92 to the fairgrounds track to have a little fun as they chased the generous winner’s share of the purse along with 30 teams. Each of the haulers were situated throughout the pit area located in the grassy area just off of the backstretch at the cool facility. Fans were all over. Some under the covered grandstands. Some roaming the pit area. And, most celebrating the event in the infield with smiles on their face. As the sun was going down, it was time to put on a show at Southern Iowa Speedway, or as the guest say “Osky”!
With single car qualifying in time trials, Carson Macedo would be the ninth driver to hit the track. He waited in the cockpit of the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Walker Performance Filtration/High Performance Lubricants #41 Maxim and when it was his turn, after Anthony Macri completed his laps and set quick time to this point of the process, he powered down the backstretch looking to take the green flag off turn four. His Kistler Engines/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads/Engler Machine and Tool power was stout and the second hand on the stopwatch was moving. The track record here was set back on August 10, 2015 by Kerry Madsen with a scorching lap of 14.849 seconds. When Carson raced under the white flag his first lap was recorded in 15.629 seconds. His elbows were up and his speed was evident to the eye. He exited turn four for the last time and powered by the waving checkered flag, this time lowering his time down to 15.554 seconds and knocking Macri off the top of the speed charts. Carson’s fastest lap withstood the test of time on this night as he ended the night earning the SeaFoam Quick Time Award and the $500 check that goes along with it.
Next up on the racing agenda in Oskaloosa were the three 8-lap heat races. Ten cars would be in each race with the top six fastest drivers in each of the heat races inverted forcing the competitors to race forward to earn a good finish. The front row in the first heat race was Rusty Hickman and Giovanni Scelzi with Ayrton Gennetten and Corey Day in row two. Daryn Pittman shared row three with Carson Macedo as Austin McCarl, Sawyer Phillips, Ryan Timms, and Chad Kemenah filled the final two rows. When the green flag was displayed and the same colored lights illuminated around the track it was Giovanni Scelzi to the lead over Rusty Hickman and Corey Day when they completed lap one. Carson Macedo was running in fourth in the Complete Parts and Equipment Solutions/RaceDiecast.com/Greber Racing Components (GRC) #41 ahead of Daryn Pittman. He immediately set his sights on chasing down Corey Day for the show position and with each passing lap closed the gap as Carson was hitting the bottom and carrying his speed forward. He caught Day and made the pass for position. With a few remaining laps to go, Scelzi was checked out at the front, but the #45 of Hickman was within striking distance. Carson made his best attempt to get close enough to race for position, but time ran out as Scelzi took the win over Hickman and Macedo with Day coming home fourth and Pittman rounding out the top five.
Adding to the fun, the promoters scrapped the on track dash type racing in favor of holding the Priority Aviation Services LLC Foot Race in order to determine the starting lineup for the feature. There would be two four driver heat races with the winners of each running for the pole and the $1,500 winner’s check. Carson headed to the frontstretch in his silver custom K1 Race Gear Albaugh – Your Alternative race suit to show off his athleticism. After Anthony Macri and Brian Brown had a photo finish in the first heat race, it was Carson’s turn against JJ Hickle, Daryn Pittman and Giovanni Scelzi. They were lined up and ready. The tension could be felt and Macedo jumped the initial start. They lined up again and this time the lightning bolt from Lemoore, California darted off the line and before you knew he was across the finish line winning by a few lengths. The final heat race saw Macedo, Macri and Brown on the line. The $1,500 winner’s check awaited the driver with the fleetest of feet. Wade Aunger counted down, 3-2-1, and they were off with Macedo getting traction and racing to the win over Macri and Brown. What a fun, and unique way, to entertain the fans.
Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz were finishing up their work as they prepared the Albaugh #41 for the 30-lap, $21,000-to-win Front Row Challenge where Carson Macedo would get started from the pole position with Anthony Macri to his outside. Brian Brown and JJ Hickle were in row two with Kyle Larson, Daryn Pittman, Corey Day, and Giovanni Scelzi making up the remaining two rows. The four-wheelers pushed the cars out onto the track to wait for a push from the push trucks. It was time to go racing in the 27th Annual Sage Fruit Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. After the four-wide salute to all of the fans in attendance and watching on FloRacing, the drivers realigned in their two-by-two starting order and came to the green flag. Macedo drove the Tarlton and Son/Boltz Family/Schoenfeld Headers #41 into the lead over Macri and Brown. Kyle Larson was running fourth. Carson had a lot of speed and was extending his lead, but quickly approaching the rear of the field where he would need to begin navigating lap traffic. He started maneuvering through the slower cars, but Macri was closing the gap. Kyle Larson has moved into the third spot and before you knew it was in a fierce battle for position with Macri. At the halfway point of the race, the top three were all together with Macedo leading Macri and Larson. Larson used his speed and the bottom side of the track to work his way into the runner-up position and by lap 20 had made his way up to your leader. Carson entered high, Kyle was working the low side and middle. Coming off two the two talented racers focused on their strategy. Larson dove low and slid himself gaining the lead over Macedo. Carson turned back under him, but Larson ripped the lead away. He led the remaining laps to collect his second consecutive Front Row Challenge, and third overall, over Carson Macedo and Anthony Macri with Brian Brown and Daryn Pittman rounding out the top five. It was another great run for Carson and the forty-one!
Carson Macedo Earns a Runner-Up Finish in the 27th Annual Sage Fruit Front Row Challenge! Photo Credit: 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.