BARBERVILLE, FLORIDA (February 19, 2017 – Day Race) – Rain moved in Saturday night and washed the show out after time trials were completed, but the event was postponed until Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining brightly with some white puffy clouds over head, but not enough of them to keep the warm southern sun off the day time racing surface. Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team were one of 36 teams signed in to compete in the second of three World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series DIRTcar Nationals events to open the 2017 season at Volusia Speedway Park.
Jason would be the 16th car in the staging area as he waited patiently in his Fibreworks Composites seat. As he moved forward in the line it was about ready to go racing. He flipped down the shield of his Bell Racing helmet as the Kistler Engine came to life in the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Wilwood #41 Maxim. He got his motor humming going down the backstretch and took the green under the glare of the afternoon rays in sunny Florida. He stopped the stopwatch the first lap in 13.574 seconds. He stayed on the hammer the second lap, but his speed was slightly slower at 13.708 seconds. When the final driver stopped the clock, the Ragin’ Cajun’s fastest time was fifth quick overall.
With the sunlight bringing out the wonderful color scheme on the forty-one he pulled into his front row starting spot in the first and fastest heat race beside polesitter and quick timer David Gravel. When the green flag waved, Gravel accelerated off the bottom to take the lead heading into turn one with the 2016 Knoxville Nationals champion close behind in the Jonestown KOA/racediecast.com Maxim. Gravel and Johnson were pulling away from the field as Brent Marks ran in the third spot. Jason was using the top side and running around the cushion to keep his speed and momentum moving forward. Gravel would go on to win the 8-lap event with Jason close behind as the top two crossed the stripe about a half of a straightaway ahead of Marks who came home third followed by Terry McCarl and Brad Sweet who rounded out the top five transfer positions.
By virtue of his second-place heat race run, Jason advanced on to the Craftsman Club Dash where he would start on the inside of row three in the fifth starting positon aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Schoenfeld Headers #41. When the green flag waved, polesitter Chad Kemenah and Donny Schatz led the field to the green with Schatz taking control of the command position on the field. David Gravel jumped the cushion and hit the wall early as Jason motored into the fourth position behind Christopher Bell. Jason would get by Bell for the show position as Donny Schatz took the win ahead of Kemenah and Jason with hard charging Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Christopher Bell, Danny Dietrich and Gravel rounding out the field.
World of Outlaws officials decided to trim the 30-lap feature event at Volusia Speedway Park, deservingly referred to as the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, down to 25 laps due to the daytime conditions, with Donny Schatz and Chad Kemenah on the front row and the Ragin’ Cajun and Brownsburg Bullet (Joey Saldana) close behind in row two. Jason was eager and ready to roll in the Fischer Body Shop/ISC Racers Tape #41 Maxim. When the green lights were illuminated, he took off in the Priority Aviation hot rod chasing early leader Chad Kemenah and Donny Schatz. A caution on the sixth lap for a slowing Aaron Reutzel regroup the field with Jason running in the show position. On the restart, Kemenah regained the point position followed by Schatz and the Ragin’ Cajun. Schatz would work his way around Kemenah for the lead as Jason started to close the gap on Kemenah’s rear nerf bar when another caution flag flew on lap 14 for Daryn Pittman. They restarted again and before a lap was completed another caution flag waved for Brad Sweet who spun after making contact with a fellow competitor. This time it was a single file restart and when they got up to speed Jason drove into the runner-up spot and started to track down the leader. When the black and white checkered cloth flew, it was Schatz collecting the win with Jason coming home second and Chad Kemenah claiming the last step on the podium. Another great run for the forty-one in the Floridian sun!