MERCED, CALIFORNIA (March 18, 2022) – It has been quite some time since the stars of the NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series have been back to Merced Speedway in the Central Valley, 2014 to be exact, but the pit area was brimming with 33 teams as fans streamed in and made their way to find a seat under the covered grandstands. Merced Speedway is a quarter mile bullring that is known for consistently producing high speed and exciting racing action “California Style” that is fun for both the drivers and the fans.
The pilot of the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Complete Parts & Equipment/Bandy & Associates #41 Maxim is from approximately one hour up the road in Lemoore. Carson would be the 23rd high speed daredevil to take to the track for his two laps against the second hand of the stopwatch. He climbed into his office in his Maxim Racing chassis and buckled up his Crow Enterprizes safety belts as he headed to the staging area to patiently wait for his turn. The drivers before him set the mark high as the quick time when he pushed off was 10.134 seconds. When he was given the green light his Kistler Racing Engines power fired and he built up his speed. He was hammer down and making his rounds. When he crossed the timing stripe after his first circuit he vaulted to the top of the speed charts with a lap of 10.107 seconds. His second lap was a good one too, albeit slightly slower at 10.173 seconds. There would only be one driver to top his best time and that was fellow California Giovanni Scelzi with a quick lap of 10.057 seconds, which established a New Track Record (NTR).
When you race with the World of Outlaws and the local drivers out here in California there are no ‘easy’ heat races. Everyone is stout and race ready. Carson would start on the pole aboard the Meyers Constructors/Border International/KSE Racing Products #41 in the second 10-lap heat race with Kerry Madsen’s #83JR to his outside. Sheldon Haudenschild and Dominic Scelzi made up row two with Michael Faccinto, Brock Zearfoss, Chase Johnson and Tanner Thorson pacing behind. When the field made their way to the green flag it was Madsen to the lead using the top lane over Macedo. Madsen was running in clean air as Carson gave chase with Dominic Scelzi running in third. Madsen would not be denied as he took the heat race win over Macedo, Scelzi and Faccinto with Zearfoss locking into the fifth and final transfer position.
When the draw for starting positions was completed for the 8-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, Carson would line up on the inside of row three in the Tarlton and Son/Wilwood Racing/High Performance Lubricants #41 Maxim. He shared the row with Spencer Bayston to his outside. Brad Sweet and Giovanni Scelzi were in row one with Tanner Carrick and Tyler Courtney in row two. Current point leader David Gravel and Kerry Madsen were locked and loaded in row four. Brad Sweet stomped on the accelerated and raced into the lead from the drop of the green flag over Scelzi. Carson was battling for position with Gravel and Bayston. The racing was tight at these speeds, but these talented drivers made it look easy. Brad Sweet went on to secure the win and the pole for the feature event. Giovanni Scelzi came home second followed by Courtney, Carrick and Gravel with Carson Macedo placing sixth as Bayston and Madsen rounded out the finishing order.
Following the completion of the Last Chance Showdown (LCS), the 24 car starting grid was set for the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink feature event at Merced Speedway. There was a trophy and check awaiting the winner, but before anyone could put their hands on both of the rewards they need to put in the work. Philip Dietz and the JJR crew made some final adjustments on the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Durst Inc./Vortex Racing Products #41 Maxim as the air horn sounded. The drivers and teams were ready and so were the fans in the packed grandstands. After the tradition salute to the fans the green waved with Sweet to the lead as Macedo picked up two positions to garner the fourth position. All was for naught though as the red flag came out as Donny Schatz and Justin Sanders were tangled together at the exit of turn four to bring out the red. Schatz headed to the work area and rejoined the field. They went back to green and this time Macedo secured the fifth position with Sweet leading Giovanni Scelzi. Three laps into the race saw Carson Macedo pass Tanner Carrick to take over the fourth position. Sweet was still leading and fending off Scelzi as Carson was laser focused on tracking down Tyler Courtney for the show position. By lap 10 he accomplished his goal and was now running in third behind Sweet and Scelzi. The leaders were navigating lap traffic at speed and Carson was reeling them in with each completed lap. He was right there when the yellow lights came on for Corey Day who shredded a tire right in front of the leaders with 22 laps to go. The realigned for the double file restart and when they went back to green it was Giovanni Scelzi taking the lead from Sweet. But before a lap could be completed the yellow was re-displayed for a multi-car incident in turn four. With the safety lights from the pace truck reflecting off the Albaugh #41, Carson was methodically evaluating his race strategy and ‘move forward’ plan as he paced behind the front two cars. When the drivers got back up to speed following the single file restart Sweet maintained the lead but Carson Macedo used the inside line to make the pass into the runner-up position over Scelzi. With 14 laps to go, the final yellow of the night was displayed for Mitchell Faccinto who spun off of turn two. Carson pulled up to the outside of the front row for the restart when leader Brad Sweet chose the inside lane. When they came off turn four Carson used the high side to generate speed and drove into the lead heading into turn one. He was ripping the lip and making tracks with Sweet now in pursuit of the forty-one. Sweet was within striking distance and as Macedo was navigating lap traffic. With 9 laps to go, the Grass Valley, California native in the NAPA #49 was right there and slid Macedo to take the lead momentarily but Macedo turned back under him off turn two to reclaim the lead. Sweet, the 3-time defending WoO champion was not going anywhere. With 5 laps to go, he was back for another attempt at the leader. Carson was able to hold his position and raced to the win over Sweet and Giovanni Scelzi to make it an all-California podium with Tyler Courtney and Spencer Bayston completing the top five.
After Carson rolled off the scales to make it official, Clyde Knipp pulled behind on the four-wheeler to push the Albaugh #41 to victory lane. When they arrived Clyde and Nate Repetz were the first to congratulate him shouting “Yeah baby . . . That was awesome!” Carson climbed out and received a hug from his mother and father along with congratulations from his brother Cole before taking time to thank his crew. He then headed up to the top of the wing to celebrate under the falling confetti as he acknowledged the crowd. With a broad smile across his face, he started his interview by stating, “Wow, California sprint car racing is awesome! What a cool racetrack. That was really fun. Racing at home is really special.” He continued as he reflected on his battle with Brad Sweet for the lead, “I can’t tell you how nerve wracking it is in lap traffic like that while you still have to battle for the lead. It’s a fine line between being aggressive enough to split cars, but patient enough to not give the win away.” A fine line he walked to perfection on this night competing against one of the best in the business – Brad Sweet. A great run for the forty-one!
The JJR #41 Team Picks Up Their Second Victory of the Season Riding the Ledge at Merced Speedway in the Albaugh #41 Maxim! Photo Credit: MM Racing Photos
Albaugh, LLC; Border International; Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Saich Family; Tarlton and Son Inc.; Boltz Family; Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions; Durst Inc.; Liquid Trucking; Bandy & Associates Accountancy Corporation; Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution; Jansen Transportation; Larry Davis Farms; Meyers Constructors Inc.; Mr. Jim’s Racing; RaceDiecast.com; Sam I Am; Team Jack Foundation; Mark Burch Motorsports; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Tiger Towing; All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads; AutoMeter; Bell Helmets; BMRS(Brown & Miller Racing Solutions); BR Motorsports; C&R Racing; Crow Enterprizes; Engler Machine & Tool, Inc.; Factory Kahne (FK Shocks); Fibreworks Composites; FK Rod Ends; Greber Racing Components; High Performance Lubricants, LLC; Hoosier Racing Tire; Indy Performance Composites (IPC); ISC Racers Tape;K1 Race Gear; Kistler Racing Engines; KSE Racing Products; Maxim Racing; Motor State Distributing; Pro Powder Coating (PPC); Saldana Racing Products; Schoenfeld Headers; Smith Titanium; Vortex Racing Products; Walker Performance Filtration; Weld Racing; Wilwood Racing; Winters Performance Products; and Xtreme Body and Paint.
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.