SOMERTON, ARIZONA (November 15, 2014) – It has been a long and at times challenging season for Jason and the entire Stenhouse Jr. Racing team. Every time they were in position to win or get a top podium finish something seemed to happen . . . and, that “something” usually was not something good. But they kept their heads up high, stayed focused and persevered.
Throughout his successful career, very few of his fellow competitors or those around him would have said Jason was a man of patience. This driven, hard-charger from Eunice, Louisiana was focused, fast paced and always on a mission. But, some of that has changed a little bit since May 8, 2013 when Jaxx Hosea joined the Johnson family. The defending and 4-Time ASCS National Tour champion has practiced and learned the value of patience through the pride of his life. After getting their pit passes on the final night of the season, Jaxx and his dad walked hand-in-hand with Bobbi right behind to the pits as the Rocky Mount, Missouri resident focused on doing everything he could to secure his fifth Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour championship. He entered the night in the third position, thirteen points behind Brad Loyet with Jeff Swindell two points in front of him in second.
After collecting his first ASCS National Tour victory on Friday night in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Waco Metal #41 Maxim the driver and team were locked in to the season finale. With 45 cars in the pit area, Jason and the team watched as the evening’s qualifying events took place around Cocopah’s beautiful facility. When the A-Main field was finalized, there were twenty six cars racing for the $10,000 winner’s check. But, there were also four drivers – Brad Loyet, Jeff Swindell, Johnny Herrera, and Jason – racing for the honor and prestige of being named the 2014 Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour Champion!
When the 26 cars pushed off for the 30-lap feature, Jason wheeled his CURB Records/AccuDoc Solutions/FK Rod Ends machine onto the outside of row three to start the event beside Willie Croft. Pacing the field from the front row was Danny Wood and Shane Stewart in the Scottie McDonald owned #88. In row two it was Phil Dietz and Logan Forler. The excitement in the air could be felt as the rumble and roar of the powerful 360 engines powered down the front straightaway on the start. Danny Wood led early with Shane Stewart in second and the Cajun Sensation moving forward and coming hard. Stewart would pass Wood and take the lead on lap four, putting Wood right in front of the Ragin’ Cajun’s screaming Maxim. Wood and Johnson would get locked in a terrific battle for the runner-up spot and in the process closed in on the leader. On lap 18, Jason would put his Weld Racing wheels in front of Wood and set his sights on Stewart. It got interesting quickly as the Ragin’ Cajun worked the top and bottom and pulled even for the lead. The two talented speed chauffeurs raced each other cleanly and were putting on an ASCS style show to remember for all in attendance. On lap 23, Jason pulled a perfect slide job to take the lead from Stewart only to see the yellow flag displayed to negate the pass. On the restart, the two would go back at it for the remaining seven laps with Stewart taking the win over Jason by 0.939 seconds. Roger Crockett, Danny Wood and Jeff Swindell rounded out the top five.
With his win on Friday night and runner-up finish on Saturday night, Jason overcame the late season point deficit to secure his fifth Lucas Oil ASCS National points championship with 4,198 points over Jeff Swindell (4,183), Brad Loyet (4,173) and Johnny Herrera (4,102). The results at this point are “unofficial” as a fellow competitor protested the cylinder heads under the hood of the forty one. The cylinder heads will be sent for inspection before the points are finalized and made official for Jason and the Stenhouse Jr. Racing team. In the meantime, Jason and the team will be patient before they celebrate their incredible comeback story to take the season long championship on the last night of the season.
After the race, and the season, a very tired driver commented, “Unbelievable. Just Unbelievable. This is truly a team effort. I just can’t say enough about these Stenhouse Jr. Racing boys and everyone who supports this race team to give me this great opportunity to be racing out here.” He continued, “Shane is a class act. Racing side-by-side down the back straight-a-way, he slide up and I got by him. Then he slid me, but Shane isn’t going to make the same mistake twice, so I knew he was going to be really tough to pass after the restart.
The evening ended the way it began. A proud champion with his head held high walking back to the motorhome after giving it everything he had throughout the season with his beloved son, Jaxx, and his wife Bobbi. A true champion . . . even if the official designation is delayed a bit that proclaims him the 2014 Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour champion!