PEVELY, MISSOURI (August 8, 2015) – The naming of this event is appropriate – the Ironman 55. It is an ultra-competitive event that requires all contributing components – driver, car and crew – to be top notch and in sync just to make the show. Jason and the JJR team had their Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Fischer Body Shop entry in the pit area along with 31 other competitors.
When the time trial order ball, commonly known in the racing world as the draw pill, rolled out it was a pretty high number for the JJR team. In fact, so high it put the Rocky Mount, Missouri native as the last driver that would have the opportunity to take to the 1/3 mile high banks known as Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 for his time trial qualifying laps. When the Cajun-born driver pushed out in the Pro Powder Coating (PPC)/Schoenfeld Headers Maxim he throttled down and made some noise. With times tailing off from beginning to end, he was able to turn a quick lap of 11.306 seconds which was 21st quick overall.
Once again Jason would find himself in the quickest heat race, heat one, starting from the outside of row three in the sixth starting spot. Christopher Bell and defending Ironman champion, Kerry Madsen, were on the front row with Rico Abreu and Joey Saldana staring at their tail tanks. Jason shared row three with Jamie Veal and at the start used the outside lane to his advantage in the Dissolvalloy Frac Ball Revolution/Valvoline Maxim to take over the fifth spot. The pace was fast, but he kept his foot planted and was trying to track down fourth running Saldana. Madsen would take the win ahead of Bell, Abreu and Saldana with Jason and Jamie coming home in the fifth and sixth spots respectively to advance directly into the Ironman 55 feature field.
Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 is an awesome place for both the racers and the fans. But 55 laps around this joint is certainly challenging for even the most diehard of racers and fans. Ironically, once the mission is accomplished both parties wish it wasn’t over as they yearn for more. Jason would roll his Weld Racing wheels and Hoosier Racing Tires onto the prepped surface of the racy oval for the 55 lap A-Main event. He maneuvered into his 20th starting spot beside fellow World of Outlaw competitor Jason Sides. Madsen and Daryn Pittman were pacing the field from the front row with the Australian driver seizing the lead at the start. Jason was using the top side of the speedway to make his tracks. The pace around this joint is fast and furious, meaning things happen quickly. Madsen led the first 32 laps before surrendering the lead to Donny Schatz. Schatz then held the lead until lap 44 when the yellow flag came out. When they restarted, Shane Stewart dove underneath Schatz in turn one to take the lead and the win ahead of Abreu, Schatz and McMahan with Saldana rounding out the top five. Jason endured and road home in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Waco Metal #41 with a fifteenth place finish.
While not the exact result they were looking for the JJR team will learn and grow and be better next time. The team will now make their way to Knoxville, the Mecca of Sprint Car Racing, for the 55th Annual FVP Knoxville Nationals. Jason and the JJR team are scheduled for the Thursday night qualifying group, so stop out and support them in the quest at Knoxville Raceway.