WICHITA, KANSAS (April 8, 2023) – When the engines silenced over at US 36 Raceway on Friday night following Sheldon Haudenschild’s incredible battle with Carson Macedo, who brought the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 Maxim home with a runner-up finish, the JJR #41 team loaded up and headed to 81 Speedway over to Kansas for the 5th Annual Jason Johnson Classic. This is a special race each year for the team as it honors their founder, boss man, and competitive teammate for the legacy and mark he made in the sport of sprint car racing. David Gravel, driving the JJR #41, collected the win in the inaugural event in 2019 with James McFadden (2020), Brad Sweet (2021) and Jacob Allen (2022) crossing the finish line with victories to win the coveted trophy that is produced by Tony Baustert at T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication each year. This year there was another beautiful trophy, an 18-wheeler on a custom wood base with FK Rod End handles, awaited the winner along with a $20,000 check. It was game-on for all 32 teams at 81 Speedway’s 3/8-mile dirt oval on a night sure to meet and exceed expectations for the fans, the drivers, the teams, and the World of Outlaws. It was a standing room only crowd at 81 Speedway for the Jason Johnson Classic and it was time to go racing!
The evening began with an Easter surprise at the driver’s meeting where 8 drivers got some lucky eggs filled with a token of appreciation as an added surprise from Jaxx Johnson. Then it was onto Low-E Insulation Qualifying where each driver would get two laps against the clock. The challenge is to manhandle your beast at speed around the oval faster than the second hands moved on a stopwatch. The goal is to make your laps in the least amount of time amongst the brave drivers who are in attendance. Two shots (i.e. laps). One driver. No mistakes. Carson Macedo would be then 20th driver to make his attempts aboard the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Saich Family #41 Maxim. He climbed into his Fibreworks Composites carbon fiber seat with a custom Sharp Advantage insert as he got secured in comfortably with his red Crow Enterprizes safety belts. He waited for a tap on his rear nerf bar to fire his Kistler Engines/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads/Engler Machine & Tool power plant under the hood of the Albaugh #41. When Rico Abreu completed his time trial laps, the engine under the hood of the JJR #41 came to life and Carson was laser focused as he headed towards the waving green flag to start the clock on his first lap. The Californian made quick work of his first circuit turning a lap in 13.367 seconds. Carson maintained his momentum and kept digging the next time around to see if there was anything left. When he forty-one crossed the finish line his second lap was better as it was recorded in 13.319 seconds, which for a moment shot him to the top of the speed charts. The better of his two attempts though ultimately positioned him second quick overall to start the night at the 5th Annual Jason Johnson Classic. David Gravel would have his name etched in the records as the quick time for the night with a lap of 13.319 seconds.
The field of cars was split into four equally sized groups for the 10-lap heat races based on their time trial results. That put Carson Macedo’s Tiger Towing/FK Rd Ends/Winters Performance Products #41 Maxim on the pole for the second heat race with fellow Californian Giovanni Scelzi to his outside. Pennsylvanian Jacob Allen was on the inside of row two with Justin Peck, row three was made up of Ayrton Gennetten and Kasey Kahne, with Jake Bubak and Wayne Johnson completing the starting grid. The engines were fired as the heat race participants paced from their starting spots. When they exited turn four and crossed the chalk stripe it was Macedo accelerating into the first turn with the lead over Scelzi, Allen, Peck and Bubak. Philip Dietz and the JJR crew had the Albaugh #41 on rails for their driver and he was screaming around the track ticking off lap after lap as he built his lead over Scelzi. Carson would keep the forty-one at the front of the pack from the drop of the green flag to the waving of the checkered one as he took the heat race win over Scelzi with Allen coming home third and Peck and Bubak locking down the last two transfer spots out of heat race two.
The winners and runner-up finishers from each of the four heat races qualified for the 6-lap Toyota Dash to compete for their feature starting spot. The y made their way in front of the packed house and drew their positions. Rico Abreu would get rolling from the pole position with the Durst/Liquid Trucking/FK Shocks/Team Jack Foundation #41 with Carson Macedo behind the wheel on the outside of the front row. Giovanni Scelzi and David Gravel were in row two with Sheldon Haudenschild, Spencer Bayston, James McFadden and Brock Zearfoss in the final two rows. After the initial start was called off they would try one more time to get to green flag racing. When they did get up to speed it was Macedo using the outside lane to take the lead over Abreu and Gravel. The top three stayed that way as they received the 2 laps to go signal from the flagman. Carson Macedo would lead every lap of the dash in the Albaugh #41 to take the win over Rico Abreu and David Gravel with Spencer Bayston coming home fourth, Giovanni Scelzi fifth as Haudenschild, McFadden and Zearfoss completed the finish rundown.
After some extensive track prep was completed for the 30-lap NOS Energy Drink 5th Annual Jason Johnson Classic feature, the drivers and teams were alerted to the track with the new siren roaring. They rolled out on to the track as they waited for a push truck to get their engines fired. When the field was lined up and were instructed to go ‘four-wide’, Carson Macedo would pull out to the front so they could present the missing man formation to honor not only Jason Johnson, but also for Justin Owen who earlier in the evening at Lawrenceburg Speedway in a USAC event succumbed to racing injuries. The drivers, teams and fans alike shared their thoughts and prayers as they remembered these two heroes.
The field gassed their way back into their positions in the two-by-two starting formation with Macedo on the pole and Abreu to his outside. When the green flag was waving in the air it was Carson Macedo running the low line aboard the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions/Greber Racing Components (GRC)/Pro Powder Coating (PPC) #41 with Rico Abreu challenging on the top side of the track surface in his #24. Both of these speed chauffeurs were bolding battling for the lead but only one could have it. When the first lap was completed it was Rico Abreu in first with Carson Macedo and David Gravel right behind.
The first caution of the night flew with four laps completed when Justin Peck spun into the infield in turn four. It was Abreu, Macedo, Gravel, Bayston and Zearfoss in the top five as they came back to the green flag. Rico Abreu maintained the lead, but David Gravel hustled by Carson Macedo to claim the second position. They got one more lap in the books when another yellow slowed the action when Brad Sweet made contact with the frontstretch wall and spun across the track collecting Ayrton Gennetten and Justin Peck.
They tried to go back to green on the restart, but before they could get going the engines were silenced when the red flag came out for Aaron Reutzel and Justin Peck who got together and flipped at the exit of turn four. It would be a single file restart now with Abreu, Gravel, Macedo, Bayston and McFadden now in the mix.
All the cars re-fired and lined up so they could go back to racing. The track was starting to take on rubber and when they went back to green flag conditions as Abreu was stubbornly holding the lead with Gravel putting on the pressure while trying to hold of Macedo in the Albaugh #41. Carson was battling hard with Gravel and made the pass with a clean slide job in turn three to seize back the runner-up position. Meanwhile, Rico Abreu was pulling away from the field with open track ahead of him . . . at least for the moment.
The leader caught the back of the pack and Carson Macedo was closing the gap and getting within striking distance. With four laps to go Macedo was right there, but waiting to make the move for the lead. He was giving it all he had bouncing off the cushion with his elbows held high. He was determined, but Abreu was sitting in “the cat bird seat” at this point of the race. With 2 laps remaining, Carson Macedo tried to make his way around the leader but came up just short. He tried everything, but just could not get by as Rico Abreu won the 5th Annual Jason Johnson Classic over Carson Macedo and David Gravel with Spencer Bayston and James McFadden rounding out the top five.
Parked on the frontstretch for the third consecutive race, a smiling Carson Macedo stated, “It would have been really cool to park the Jason Johnson Racing car in victory lane at Jason Johnson’s race, but nevertheless we were on the podium again and had a solid night.” He continued reflecting on the last few laps, “At the end there I gave it everything I had and then some to try and win it.” Another great run for the Macedo and the forty-one at 81 Speedway in the Jason Johnson Classic!
A Podium Run in the Forty-One for Macedo and the JJR Team in the Jason Johnson Classic! Photo Credit: World of Outlaws
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.