GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA (August 25, 2023) – After securing his second consecutive Jackson Nationals title with the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) team last Saturday night in Jackson, Minnesota, Carson Macedo and the team headed even further north to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota to kick off this weekend’s action on Friday night with the Second Leg of the Northern Tour presented by Gerdau. Back in June of this year when the traveling tour of speed stars visited here Carson drove the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 to a fourth place finish. That strong run backed up his stellar results last year during the 2022 season where he was able to pick up the win during the early June visit, while finishing third when the World of Outlaws returned in late August. The forty-one team, back in their 2023 race paint scheme, were looking to continue that consistency and success at the always demanding, but equally as entertaining, quarter mile bullring. The World of Outlaws (WoO) teams were greeted with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-70s – it was race day in The Peace Garden State! There were 33 sprint cars unloading throughout the pit area in preparation for act at the Grand Fork’s “World Famous Legendary Bullring.”
The local fans, as well as our friends from Canada, were making their way into the Grand Forks County Fairgrounds excited to see the stars of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Series do their thing at their hometown track. After heat in the engines and hot laps concluded, it was time for Low-E Insulation Qualifying. One car. One stopwatch. Two laps with the quicker of those two laps representing each driver and team in the final time trial order. Carson Macedo would be the sixth driver out on the track aboard the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Xtreme Body & Paint/C&R Racing #41 Maxim. He waited patiently in the staging area located off turn four and when it was his turn his Kistler Engines power came to life with a tap on the rear nerf bar. He dropped his right foot while raising his elbows high as he hustled his Maxim Racing hotrod around the high banks. The clock was ticking as he was making tracks and not looking back. He was working the high side and when he crossed the start/finish line his lap one time was 9.803 seconds. He kept digging as his Hoosier Racing Tires embraced the moisture in the track’s surface that was making it lightning fast. He flew into turn three and exited turn four with a head of steam. His second lap was recorded at 9.830 seconds. The faster of his two circuits positioned him 11th quick overall when the last qualifier, Sheldon Haudenschild in the NOS Energy Drink #17, took the checkers. Current point leader Brad Sweet’s name was listed at the top of the speed charts as he earned the Simpson Quick Time Award with an impressive lap of 9.587 seconds. The track was incredibly fast as Johnny Gibson pointed out on the DIRTVision live stream, with 22 of the 33 drivers recording time trial laps in the nine second bracket.
Using each of the fastest times for the competitors, World of Outlaws Timing & Scoring officials put together the starting lineups for the four 10-lap heat races. When scanning the lineups, Carson would get the Tarlton and Son/RaceDiecast.com/Engler Machine & Tool, Inc. #41 started from the inside of row two with East Grand Forks, Minnesota’s Nick Omdahl flanking him. The row two starters would follow front row starters James McFadden and Logan Schuchart in the two-by-two starting formation. Cole Macedo would get the Tarlton and Son/Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions #21T started from fifth with Austin Pierce, Jordan Graham and Zach Omdahl filling in the balance of the starting grid.
As the drivers slowly paced in order as the flagman showed the field the rolled upped white flag indicating they would go green the next time by. When the front row starters reached the chalk stripe in turn four they were hammer down. The field of cars roared down the front straightaway and into the first set of turns. When they exited turn two it was polesitter James McFadden with the lead with Logan Schuchart right behind as Carson wheeled the Albaugh #41 from the third position.
With one lap in the books the caution flag came out for the #2A of Austin Pierce who slowed to a stop at the top of turn two. It was reported that he was covered in engine oil, so his racecar was pushed back to the pit area. The restart order would be McFadden, Schuchart, Carson Macedo, Cole Macedo and Nick Omdahl.
On these high speed bullrings the drivers never get a moment to relax when they are racing. They are always up on the wheel. The green lights were back on with McFadden hustling in clean air as Carson Macedo looked low on Schuchart attempting to take the runner-up position. Schuchart used his speed to hold Macedo off as McFadden began to check out in the Roth Motorsports #83.
Carson was pacing at speed along with the Shark Racing #1s, but throughout the balance of the race really did not get another opportunity to challenge Schuchart as both racers were fast and racing clean lines. Meanwhile, James McFadden was flying at the front of the pack preparing to land with the white flag waving. McFadden raced to the heat race victory over Schuchart who was followed across the finish line by Schuchart and Carson Macedo. Cole Macedo came home third with Nick Omdahl securing the fifth and final transfer position out of the third heat race.
Missing the Toyota Dash by one position, as only the top two finishers advance into the dash, Carson along with Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp and Nathan Repetz were watching and learning. They had locked into the feature and were just observing how the track conditions and racing surface were being prepped. They all got busy as they worked to prepare the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 for the 40-lap NOS Energy Drink Second Leg of the Northern Tour feature race at River Cities Speedway. It was time. Carson climbed into the cockpit of his hotrod and buckled in tight with his Crow Enterprizes safety belts before putting on his K1 Race Gear safety gloves. It was time to go racing in The Peace Garden State, known as such because it straddles the international boundary between North Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
Carson would line up in the 11th starting position located on the inside of row six beside Grand Fork, North Dakota’s own Brendan Mullin. He flipped the shield of his Shifty Illusions custom painted Bell Racing helmet down as he prepared for battle. After the pre-race festivities concluded it was time to go racing World of Outlaws style.
The initial green flag waved over the feature field as Donny Schatz and Sheldon Haudenschild paced the field. But it was quickly replaced with the red flag that abruptly halted the action. Noah Gass made contact with the inside tire and made contact with Jack Croaker sending them both upside down and collecting Gage Pulkrabek in turn two.
When the accident scene was cleared, the green flag was back out with second starting Sheldon Haudenschild driving into the lead over hometown favorite and polesitter Donny Schatz with Logan Schuchart racing in the third position. Carson was wheeling the Albaugh #41 from his original starting spot in the early going as he was in dirty air amongst the all-out chaos that is sprint car racing at its bets. He was looking to claw his way forward as the leader was already approaching the slower traffic at the back of the field by lap 3.
On lap 5, Carson moved the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Tiger Towing/Smith Titanium #41 Maxim into the top ten and two laps later moved forward one more spot into ninth. He was getting into sync when the caution flag was displayed for Buddy Kofoid who rolled to a stop with engine issues in the Roth Motorsports #83jr. Carson was scored in the ninth spot with the running order up front listing Haudenschild as your race leader followed by Schatz, Schuchart, Kasey Kahne and Spencer Bayston.
They would come back up to speed in single file formation with Sheldon Haudenschild racing back into the lead over Schatz and Schuchart. Carson picked up two spots running the outside lane to gain the seventh position before James McFadden passed him back. With McFadden racing in the seventh position and Macedo wheeling the JJR #41 from the eighth the race for the better position was on between these two talented race car drivers. Over the next few laps they were putting on a show while dueling for the better spot on the scoreboard.
On lap 14 the red flag was thrown, this time for 14th running Brock Zearfoss who had nowhere to go and made contact with the #1T of Tanner Holmes. Holmes was running in 13th place and made contact with the frontstretch wall sending him careening across the frontstretch collecting Zearfoss. Sheldon Haudenschild was still leading Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart with Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet now rounding out the top five.
Carson Macedo was running in the eighth position aboard the Border International/Meyers Constructors/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS) #41 Maxim. The racer from Lemoore, California was ready to continue his march forward when the engines re-fired. The green flag waved again with 26 laps to go and Carson was back on the gas and his Kistler Engines power helped him move by James McFadden into seventh and a lap later hustle around Spencer Bayston into the sixth position.
Haudenschild was still out front in the NOS Energy Drink #17 with Donny Schatz now in a full tilt battle with Logan Schuchart for the runner-up spot. Schuchart would make the pass to take over the second position behind the race leader Haudenschild. Just after the halfway point of the race, lap 21, the red flag was back out this time for James McFadden who flipped in turn three after there was contact with Spencer Bayston while the two racers battled for the seventh spot on the track on entry.
Carson was sitting just outside the top five in the sixth position when the cars realigned for the restart with 19 laps to go. He would have to wait a little bit longer though as a push truck ran over Brad Sweet’s NAPA Auto Parts #49 when they were pushing off so his crew rightfully received 6 minutes in the work area to make the necessary repairs to get their driver back out.
Sheldon Haudenschild raced back up to speed with Schuchart and Schatz on his tail. Brad Sweet passed Kasey Kahne for fourth when they went back to green flag racing. Carson now had his sights set on Kahne’s FuelME #9. On lap 26, Carson caught the former NASCAR star and racer from Enumclaw, Washington and moved the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 Maxim underneath him entering turn three to move into the top five.
The track was still incredibly fast as Sheldon Haudenschild was setting a torrid pace at the front of the pack as he gracefully navigated through lap traffic. Logan Schuchart was fast too as he was catching the NOS Energy Drink #17. The laps were winding down and at the front of the pack a race for the lead was forming. Carson was also trying his best to gain another spot as he was battling with Sweet for the fourth position. With 3 laps to go, Schuchart made his move and took the lead off turn four from Sheldon Haudenschild.
Logan Schuchart went on to win the race ahead of Sheldon Haudenschild with Donny Schatz completing the podium. Brad Sweet came home fourth with Carson Macedo recording his 41 top five finish of the season (a 70.69% Top 5 Success Rate). Another good run for Macedo and the forty-one!
A Top 5 Finish in North Dakota for the Lemoore, California Speed Chauffeur and His Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) #41 Team! Photo Credit: CS Productions – Cameron Saich
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; 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; Premium Coach Group; 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.