HANFORD, CALIFORNIA (September 16, 2022) – As the event-filled Fall swing through the West Coast nears its end, one of the best races certainly was awaiting the drivers and teams as they traveled to Keller Auto Speedway for the 3rd Annual Tom Tarlton Classic on Friday night. It would be the last WoO race on the left coast this season as Saturday night’s 49er Gold Rush Classic race scheduled at Placerville Speedway was postponed until next year as the facility is being used as a base for regional California firefighting efforts as a fires rescue camp. Carson has distinguished himself in the first two editions of the Tom Tarlton Classic though as he has come out on top in both of them. These wins are worth their weight in gold as the old adage goes, because in addition to the generous $21,000 winner’s share of the purse and the trophy, they are sentimental wins as the Tarlton family means so much to Carson. They are family. Tom Tarlton gave Carson his first shot in a sprint car during a practice day right here at this track back in 2012. And, Tommy Tarlton has been a close friend and unwavering supporter throughout Carson’s career and life along the way. That is special and so is this race for the driver from nearby Lemoore, California and the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) team. Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp, and Nate Repetz rolled the Tarlton and Son #41 out of the trailer for the night of racing action in Hanford with a clear goal in mind. There were 32 teams onsite and registered to race on Friday night with that same goal – win the Tom Tarlton Classic.
After hot laps were completed, it was time for each of the drivers to race against the clock in My Place Hotels Qualifying around the 3/8-mile bullring. Carson Macedo would be the third driver out on the track for his two laps at speed in the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Larry Davis Farms/Durst Inc. #41 Maxim. When Logan Schuchart finished his work in time trials, the Kistler Engines power plant in the forty-one came alive and the 26 year old Californian was doing his thing inside the cockpit of his Maxim Racing machine. These smaller tracks are really demanding and just like the larger facilities magnify any mistake or bobble a driver makes no matter how small. With his elbows up he headed towards the flagstand and the waving green flag to start the clock. Carson battled through the first set of turns and immediately turned his attention to the last set. When he stopped the clock after his first lap it read 13.484 seconds. He wasn’t done yet as he had one more circuit left. He kept digging hoping to produce a little better lap reducing the time on the clock. It worked as his second lap was faster at 13.439 seconds. The better of his two recorded laps ended the night as quick time overall, his series leading tenth quick time with the WoO this season.
Each driver’s best time from time trial qualifying was then used to set the starting lineups for each of the four 8-lap heat races. When the World of Outlaws officials posted the lineups the Liquid Trucking/Bandy & Associates/WELD Racing #41 with Carson Macedo piloting it would get started from the pole position in row one with Donny Schatz sharing the row with him. James McFadden and Austin McCarl paced close behind in row two with Craig Stidham, Bill Rose, Noah Gass and Dominic Scelzi in the final two rows for the start of the race. The front row starters slowly paced to the chalk stripe in turn four before dropping their right foot on their accelerators and filling the air with the sweet sound of sprint cars (with mufflers of course). It was Macedo to the lead ahead of Schatz as they made their way around the first circuit. Carson was checking out in the Albaugh #41 entry building a lead of over two seconds over Schatz. That gap was only eliminated with 2 laps to go when Craig Stidham spun to bring out the yellow flag. Carson would lead the field back to the green in single file formation. He picked up right where he left off as he raced to the win over Schatz by 1.446 seconds with James McFadden coming home third, Austin McCarl fourth, and Dominic Scelzi locking down the fifth and final transfer position from the first heat race.
With his victory in the heat race, Carson earned an opportunity to race for his starting spot in the feature in the 6-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. He headed to the frontstretch in front of his hometown crowd to draw his starting position. He would be the first driver to pull a number and when he did his perfect night continued as he held the ‘1’ pill, which put him on the pole to start the dash. Fellow Californian, Justin Sanders, shared the front row with Carson with Spencer Bayston and Brad Sweet in row two. The proven Donny Schatz shared row three with the emerging young talent Ryan Timms with another pair of young and talented racers, Robbie Price and Corey Day, in row four. Carson paced the field slowly to the chalk stripe where the field picked up speed fast as the raced towards the green flag. Carson raced around the bottom under Sanders and into the lead on the exit of turn two. From that point forward the Lemoore, California driver checked out into to a totally different zip code. He was uncontested and raced to the win over Sanders after 6 laps by a whopping 2.837 seconds with Schatz coming home third, Sweet fourth, with Timms coming home fifth. Spencer Bayston brought the CJB #5 home sixth as Corey Day and Robbie Price securing the last two finishing positions.
The starting field was set for the 35-lap 3rd Annual Tom Tarlton Classic feature event. There were 25 cars as Noah Gass elected to use a provisional to start the race from the back of the pack. Carson had earned the pole position aboard the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Meyers Constructors/Smith Titanium #41 Maxim with Justin Sander to his outside. After the track crew finished a little work on the surface the field was called to the track. It was time to go racing at Keller Auto Speedway! The field rolled into their starting positions and split into their four-wide formation to salute the wonderful fans in central California that came out to see the World of Outlaws stars race against their talented local racers. Carson pulled back into the inside of the front row and brought the field up to speed at the start of the race. He was fast and racing at the front. There was a lot of action behind him though, but his view through the visor of his Shifty Illusions custom painted Bell Helmet was cleared. That would change 6 laps into the race when he caught the back of the field and started to weave his way through them at high speed. It appeared the only thing that would slow him down would be the flagman if he had to pull out a different colored flag. After 20 non-stop laps, that happened when the yellow flag was displayed for Justin Sanders who got over the banking in turn two. Carson was leading with Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, and Logan Schuchart right behind. When they got back going it was Macedo to the lead with Schatz close behind. They got 3 more laps in before another yellow was displayed, this time for Robbie Price, regrouping the field for another restart. It was now Macedo leading Schuchart back to the green with Schatz and 22nd starting Jacob Allen giving chase. They did not have to chase long though as one lap later Shane Golobic flipped after contact with Spencer Bayston in turn two. The engines re-fired with Carson Macedo leading Logan Schuchart, Jacob Allen, Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet ready to get up on the wheel. Before they could get going again the yellow flag waved again for Bayston. When it was time to get going Carson used his Kistler Engines power to race forward and maintain the lead. The led the next 5 laps when the final yellow flag of the night came out for Donny Schatz who made hard contact with the outside retaining wall on the front straightaway at the exit of turn four. Carson would bring Logan Schuchart, Jacob Allen, Brad Sweet and James McFadden back to the green for the sprint to the finish. Carson was holding off Schuchart, but with 3 laps to go Logan Schuchart pulled off a slide job for the lead exiting turn two. It was tight as Macedo made contact with Schuchart, but the top two raced forward. Jacob Allen took advantage of the disruption too as he raced under Macedo in turns 3 and 4 into the runner-up spot. Logan Schuchart raced to the win over his Shark Racing teammate Jacob Allen with James McFadden making a last lap, last turn pass on Macedo to round out the podium. Carson settled for fourth with Sheldon Haudenschild rounding out the top five. It was Macedo’s eleventh straight top ten finish with his worse finish being a 7th place run back at Skagit on September 3. The remaining 10 finishes have all been in the top four with four of them being wins! Another great run for Macedo and the forty-one!
Carson Macedo Races to a Fourth Place Finish in the 3rd Annual Tom Tarlton Classic! Photo Credit: Trent Gower
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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.