PEVELY, MISSOURI (April 14, 2023) – Following the High Limit Sprint Car Series race over at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City on Tuesday night, Carson Macedo and the JJR #41 sprint car team continued to stay close to their headquarters and shop this weekend. The team traveled east to Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 near St. Louis for the two-day I-55 Outlaw Showdown at Kenny Schrader’s incredible bullring of speed on Friday night. This springtime double header at the 1/3-mile high-banked oval always proves to be exciting, fast, demanding, and produces incredibly entertaining shows for all involved – the drivers, the teams, and just as importantly the fans. When the best in the sprint car business roll down Herky-Horine Road they know they need to be at the top of their game, in all phases, in order to optimize their performance at I-55. Anything missed or a little off will show up when the cars hit the track. There were 34 race teams situated throughout the pit area that is situated over the hill in turn two and halfway down the backstretch. It was time to go sprint car racing at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 World of Outlaws style!
After buzzing a few laps around I-55 Raceway in hot laps the drivers pulled down into the infield to await their shot to race against the clock in Low-E Insulation Qualifying. With a full field of cars, the time trial order was arranged by luck in the pill draw. Carson would go out for his two laps aboard the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Tiger Towing/LogoDaddy Graphics #41 Maxim mid-pack as he would be the ninth car to roll up the banking in turn one. His Kistler Engines power came alive and he dropped his K1 Race Gear boot on the accelerator and bolted towards the flagstand when he exited off turn four. The clock was ticking as the Lemoore, California driver was masterfully turning the Matador 16 inch steering wheel wrapped in Joe’s Racing Products tape for grip to hit his marks. Things happen quickly around I-55 Raceway as depicted by his first lap coming in at 10.372 seconds, which shot him to the top of the speed charts. Carson stayed laser focused the next time around digging and hoping for more speed and less time on lap two. When he crossed the timing stripe for the last time, his performance and speed were measured succinctly at 10.464 seconds. The better of Carson’s two time trial laps secured his fifth quick time award of the season.
The starting lineups for the 10-lap heat races were pulled together and posted based on each driver’s best lap in qualifying. That positioned the Tarlton and Son/Buckwalter Trucking/AutoMeter #41 driven by Macedo on the inside of row one with Logan Schuchart rolling beside him. Robbie Price and Noah Gass rolled closely behind them with Sam Hafertepe Jr., Kasey Kahne, Scotty Milan, Ryan Timms, and Jason Keith slowly pacing in the rows behind them. With the field perfectly aligned in their side-by-side starting formation all heck was about to break out when they crossed the white chalk stripe laid down in turn four. When they hit the stripe Macedo and Schuchart drag raced down the frontstretch with Carson driving underneath the Shark Racing #1s and into the lead on entry of turn one. Carson quickly went to work to build momentum and his lead with each completed lap. He was able to put 1.3 seconds between himself and Schuchart a few laps in and was making tracks and not looking back. Action was slowed though on lap 7 when Robbie Price slowed with a flat right rear tire and headed to the work area. Macedo led the field back to the green in the single file restart order with Schuchart stalking close behind as they raced past the orange cone on the front straightaway. Carson led every lap aboard the Albaugh #41 to take the heat race victory over Logan Schuchart. Noah Gass and Kasey Kahne with Sam Hafertepe Jr. securing the final transfer spot out of the first heat race.
The eight drivers that earned spots in the 8-lap Toyota Dash headed to the frontstretch to draw for their starting position. By virtue of winning the first heat race, Carson would be the first driver to draw and he pulled a ‘4’ pill which meant he would start from the outside of row two. When each driver pulled their numbers the starting order would see David Gravel and Brad Sweet on the front row with Donny Schatz joining Carson Macedo in row two. Giovanni Scelzi and Garet Williamson were beside each other in row three with Brock Zearfoss and Logan Schuchart in the fourth and final row. When the green flag waved, Davis Gravel drove the Big Game Motorsports #2 into the lead as a three-way battle broke out for the runner-up position between Brad Sweet, Donny Schatz and Carson Macedo in the Border International/Team Jack Foundation/Smith Titanium #41 Maxim. Brad Sweet took control of the position and immediately started to race with Gravel at the front for the top spot. Simultaneously Donny Schatz and Carson Macedo were battling for position along with Logan Schuchart and Giovanni Scelzi. Excitement everywhere as these talented racers did their things at I-55. David Gravel would not be denied as he took the dash win over Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz with Carson Macedo bringing the Albaugh #41 home fourth followed by Giovanni Scelzi, Logan Schuchart, Brock Zearfoss and Garet Williamson.
With the 24 car starting field set and ready to roll for the 40-lap NOS Energy Drink I-55 Outlaw Showdown feature, Philip Dietz and the JJR crew made some last minute tweaks to the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Saldana Racing Products/Weld Racing #41 to prepare for success as the track crew finished up some pre-race prep work. The excitement was about to begin as the drivers spread across the track in the Whiskey Myers four-wide salute to the fans and hustled back into the starting formation. The green flag dropped with David Gravel driving into the lead over Brad Sweet and Carson Macedo. It was early but the action was fast and furious everywhere. With 5 laps in the books David Gravel was at the head of the field with Carson Macedo working the low side to get by Sweet for second.
On lap 8, the leaders had caught the back of the field with the forty-one closing in Gravel for the lead. One lap later though as Macedo was pressuring Gravel for the lead the yellow flag was displayed for Garet Williamson who had front end damage on his #24W machine to end his night. Back to green it was Gravel, Macedo, Sweet, Scelzi and Schuchart racing in the top five. Gravel was working the high side of the speedway with Macedo digging on the bottom. Gravel maintained the lead, but Macedo was staying within striking distance.
Action was abruptly halted on lap 14 when Anthony Macri dove low in turn one and made contact with Justin Peck sending his #39M up across the track as he flipped collecting Joe B. Miller, Jacob Allen, Tim Estenson, and Justin Peck. When they were ready to go back to green flag racing it would be Gravel, Macedo, Sweet, Donny Schatz and 15th place starting Michael “Buddy” Kofoid.
Gravel maintained the lead over Macedo as Sheldon Haudenschild, who is always incredibly impressive here in the NOS Energy Drink #17, overtook Kofoid to move into the top five. By the halfway point of the race the leaders – Gravel, Macedo, Sweet, Haudenschild, and Schatz – were now back in traffic and navigating at high speeds. The talented group of racers were masterfully weaving through the traffic, but the racing was tight and the speed of the leaders was different than those they were attempting to pass.
On lap 23, Carson Macedo was rolling the bottom in the Albaugh #41 and was scored as the leader of the lap as he and Gravel crossed the stripe side-by-side at the flagstand. David Gravel roared back into the lead entering turn one and a few laps later they were again dealing with lap traffic during their duel. Entering turn one Gravel threw a slider on the lap car of Brock Zearfoss to make the pass, but Zearfoss turned back underneath him on the exit of two and race into turn three on the low side with Macedo right behind Zearfoss’ #3z. Gravel was in the middle of the track just above Zearfoss with Macedo hugging the low line moving up a lane to drive by Zearfoss on the exit of turn four. The two leaders made contact sending Gravel spinning resulting in a flat left rear tire. He headed to the work area and rejoined the field.
Carson kept going but both Brad Sweet and Sheldon Haudenschild passed by relegating Macedo to third for the restart. When they went back to green it was short-lived as Donny Schatz got up into the wall in turns one and two and flipped leaving Robbie Price nowhere to go. The red flag was displayed as they engines silenced.
When they got back going it would be Brad Sweet bringing them back to the green flag with Haudenschild, Macedo, Schuchart and Scelzi right behind. Sheldon Haudenschild was losing air pressure in his right rear tire but drove it back to the waving green flag. Carson drove the Albaugh #41 by Haudenschild into the runner-up position as he was trying to keep pace with the leader Brad Sweet.
The final caution of the night flew over the field when Sheldon’s tire finally was exhausted. He headed pit side as his crew changed his Hoosier Racing Tire for him to rejoin the field. The race interruption wiped out Sweet’s three second lead over Macedo with only 8 laps remaining. They went back to green with Sweet owning the lead and Macedo right behind him. Logan Schuchart was fast yet and right there with Macedo as James McFadden and Giovanni Scelzi were in the mix too.
Brad Sweet would not be denied as he collected his third win of the season as James McFadden came home second after racing by Macedo with two laps to go. Logan Schuchart also made the pass for position netting him a third place finish as Carson Macedo brought the JJR #41 home fourth with Giovanni Scelzi rounding out the top five. Another exciting and good run for Macedo and the forty-one!
Carson Macedo Drives the Tarlton and Son #41 to a Fourth Place Finish at I-55! Photo Credit: Trent Gower Photography
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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.