BARBERVILLE, FLORIDA (February 14, 2016) – For the fifth straight night, Jason and the entire JJR team along with 29 other competitive team filled the sprint car pit area at Volusia Speedway Park. It was night five of the 2016 edition of the DIRTcar Nationals and the third of three nights of WoO competition at the blazing fast half-mile oval.
With the track surface very fast and racy, Jason rolled out onto the surface in his Fischer Body Shop/ Country Custom Creations #41 Maxim to take his two time trial laps. On a track like this, hundredths of a second separate the best from the rest. His first trip around the oval yielded a time of 13.580 which was not going to be good enough. He stayed on the hammer and improved his second lap time, stopping the clock at 13.384 seconds, which ended up being 24th quickest overall.
Not deterred, Jason and the team knew they had their work cut out for themselves in the heat race if they wanted to earn one of the six automatic transfer positions. Philip led the crew to make the necessary adjustments and get the Maxim Racing chassis ready for action. Once Jason secured his Crow Enterprizes safety harness and pushed off he was focused on doing his part on the race track during the third heat race. Lucas Wolfe and David Gravel made up row one with Donny Schatz and Sammy Swindell in row two. Danny Lasoski and Jason Sides aligned wheels in row three with Doug Esh to the inside of the Ragin’ Cajun in row four. Gravel would take the lead at the start as Jason used the high side of the track to build up momentum in search for positions. The low line was fast too, but you can’t pass where others are racing so he stayed up top and was making some progress. Just around the midway point of the race he entered the top six and when Gravel took the checkers Jason held the sixth and final transfer position to advance to the evening’s feature event.
Volusia Speedway Park is a demanding track on the drivers and engines alike. It requires a lot of power from under the hood and a great amount of technical expertise from the driver’s seat. Having strengths in both areas is required, not just desired. All of the 24 drivers that made up the field were all very talented racers. It was go time in Florida with 30-laps of racing ahead of them. Aboard the Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) entry, Jason rolled into his 18th start position. Joey Saldana and Brad Sweet brought the field to the green as Jason went to work right from the get go, but all was negated as Daryn Pittman slid to a stop against the front stretch wall. The next restart wasn’t any better as Doug Esh found himself upside down on the front straightaway. When racing did get going, Jason was working hard inside the cockpit and making progress. He entered the top fifteen and on the restarts was able to consistently get good starts to position himself to make passes. As the Valvoline oil heated up and flowed smoothly through his Kistler Engines power plant, he continued to make his way forward getting as far up as the tenth spot before being shuffled back a few spots. Brad Sweet would pass Saldana and take the victory as Jason scooted across the line in 12th place, almost catching Kerry Madsen for the next spot coming off four. In fact, Jason’s race forward earned him his first KSE Hard Charger Award for the 2016 season!
With a brief respite in the early season WoO schedule, Jason and the team will be back on the track at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas on Friday, February 26th. If you are in the area, be sure to make plans to be at the track to catch some great racing action with Jason and the JJR #41 team, as well as, our fellow Craftsman World of Outlaw racing series competitors. They will be sure to put on a great show in Texas!