MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA (September 30, 2023 – Friday Preliminary Feature) – As Central Pennsylvania welcomed in the Fall season, Carson Macedo along with the stars from the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series ventured into the Keystone State to kick off the two day 61st Annual Champion Racing Oil National Open weekend. This race carries quite a bit of prestige as the winner’s list is a who’s who of sprint car racing history. Names like Gordon Johncock, Larry Dickson, Bobbie Adamson, Kenny Weld, Bobby Allen, Steve Smith, Kramer Williamson, Smokey Snellbaker, Van May, Doug Wolfgang, Steve Kinser, Don Kreitz Jr., Mark Kinser, Stevie Smith, Lance Dewease, Sammy Swindell, Donny Schatz, Greg Hodnett, David Gravel, Brent Marks, and Carson Macedo who was victorious in 2021. The famous paper-clipped shape half mile oval sitting amongst the cornfields was groomed and ready to go for the opening night as the teams and the haulers arrived at the backstretch pit shack to sign in. With dark skies and precipitation throughout the day the racing surface was refined to perfection. The teams pulled in and chose to park in either the pit area located along the frontstretch or the one located off the backstretch to work from on Friday night. There were 58 teams ready to go at Williams Grove Speedway!
With the size of the field of cars on hand, the drivers were split into two equal groups for Low-E Insulation Qualifying on the opening night of action. Carson would be the 13th driver out on the track in Group A, along with another hotshoe Justin Peck, for his two time trial laps. He climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing machine and buckled into his Crow Enterprizes safety belts. Philip, Clyde, and Nate rolled the Albaugh – Your Alternative/High Performance Lubricants/C&R Racing #41 back out of their pit stall and rolled Carson into the staging lane as he waited for his turn to make speed on the track. As he moved closer to the front of the line he was prepared to partner with his Kistler Engines power to dance around Williams Grove Speedway. When it was his turn he lowered his right foot and built up his speed down the back straightaway and through turns three and four as he headed towards the flagstand. Hammer down he raced under the waving green flag as the second hand of the clock started to move. When he completed his first half mile circuit the clock stopped at 16.298 seconds. The second hand on the clock simultaneously reset and restarted again to properly record his next lap. He was smooth and steady the next time around hoping to pick up some time on the clock. This time when he exited turn four he saw the black and white checkered flag waving. When he crossed the finish line this time the clock read 16.142 seconds. The better of his two laps positioned him third quick in Group A. The fastest driver in that group, and overall, was David Gravel with a posted lap of 16.101 seconds. Gravel claimed his 12th Simpson Quick Time Award of the season.
Using his best time trial lap to place him into the starting lineup for one of the four 8-lap heat races, Carson would find himself starting from the outside of the front row beside quick timer David Gravel in the Big Game Motorsports #2 in the first, and fastest, heat race. The top five finishers in each of the heat races would lock down a feature starting spot with the winners and runner-up finishers moving onto the dash to race for one of the starting positions in the first four rows. This heat race was sprinkled with a combination of local talents and other competitive series talent to go along with the traveling World of Outlaws touring stars. Behind two of the World of Outlaws stars, Gravel and Macedo, was Brent Marks and Justin Peck in row two, Chase Randall and Danny Dietrich in row three, Donny Schatz and Kyle Reinhardt in row four with Spencer Bayston and Jeff Halligan.
Polesitter David Gravel led the group of racers off turn four and down the frontstretch. It was a drag race down the long straightaway with Gravel and Macedo side-by-side. Gravel ripped around the bottom with Macedo hustling in the middle of the still relatively narrow racing surface. The driver from Connecticut in the Billion Auto #2 exited turn two with the lead as Carson in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 gave chase. But Macedo was soon in a race for position with Justin Peck who wanted the runner-up position. Carson held him off and was running comfortably in the second spot by lap 3. Carson was muscling his way around the tactical and fast half mile racetrack focused on continuing his speed plan aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Durst Inc./Winters Performance Products #41 Maxim. David Gravel was fast and never looked back as he raced to the heat race victory with Carson Macedo coming home second followed by Justin Peck, Brent Marks, and Chase Randall.
With his second place finish, Carson Macedo made his way into his 42nd World of Outlaws Toyota Dash of the season. With weather in the area, Carson made his way over to the command center to draw for his starting position in the six lap race. When all the numbers were pulled, Tyler Courtney in the Clausen Marshall Racing (CMR) #7BC would start on the pole sharing row one with Brad Sweet. It would be an all California row two with Rico Abreu and Carson Macedo followed by David Gravel, Lance Dewease, Brian Brown, and Freddie Rahmer for the start of the dash. When the green flag dropped it was Tyler Courtney quickly taking the lead ahead of Brad Sweet as Abreu and Macedo were racing wheel-to-wheel. It was close, oh so close, as the two made incidental racing contact in the first set of turns. Rico Abreu came out of turn two in third with Macedo in fourth, but David Gravel was looking to be opportunistic. A light mist started to fall, but the racing action continued on out on the track. Tyler Courtney just dominated the dash running away with it as he was the first drive to cross the finish line ahead of Brad Sweet and Rico Abreu. Carson Macedo protected his starting position to come home fourth with Brian Brown finishing fifth. David Gravel, Lance Dewease and Freddie Rahmer rounded out the finishing order with each driver’s finishing spot becoming their starting position in the feature.
The whopping 30 car field was set, with six cars using provisional starting spots, for the 25-lap preliminary night feature in the 61st Annual Champion Racing Oil National Open at Williams Grove Speedway. With the smoke from the fireworks still lingering overhead and weather moving in on the area, Tyler Courtney and Brad Sweet paced the field from row one. But before the race could even get started third starting Rico Abreu had to head pit side as he lost a bleeder in his left rear tire and it was losing air forcing him to the pit area. That moved Carson Macedo to the inside of row two with Brian Brown crossing over into the fourth spot with everyone behind following suit.
After the Whiskey Myers four-wide salute concluded the skies began to open up as heaven’s water began to fall. It continued forcing World of Outlaws and track officials to postpone the running of the feature to Saturday. The 25 lap feature affair from Friday night would then take place after the conclusion of the full schedule for the $75,000-to-win 61st Annual Champion Racing Oil National Open championship race.
With the opener for the National Open, affectionately called the Natty Open, now becoming the closing chapter 24 hours later for the race weekend, it was now time to go racing in the $10,000-to-win race. Tyler Courtney and Brad Sweet were again back on the front row with Carson Macedo and Brian Brown in row two as David Gravel and Lance Dewease followed in row three. Carson Macedo was eager to get started and get up to speed in the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions/Meyers Constructors/Saldana Racing Products #41 Maxim rolling in from his third starting spot.
The flagman took control as he held out the one-to-go flag as the field came down the frontstretch in their two-by-two starting formation. The yellow lights were turned off as the Toyota TRD PRO Tundra pace truck exited the track in turn three. Off turn four at the chalk stipe the quiet of the Central Pennsylvania night was disturbed when it was filled with the sweet sound of 410 sprint car engines at Williams Grove Speedway! Tyler Courtney led lap one ahead of Brad Sweet, Brian Brown and Lance Dewease. After replacing an engine in the National Open championship finale, Carson was wheeling the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 from the fifth position early looking for advancement opportunities to open up.
The first opportunity happened on lap 4 when he drove by Brian Brown into the fourth spot. He immediately started to track down third running Lance Dewease, but that charge was slowed on lap 5 when Chase Randall slowed to a stop on the backstretch. The top five was Courtney, Sweet, Dewease, Macedo and Brown.
Back to green with 20 laps to go it was Tyler Courtney driving the NOS Energy Drink #7BC back to the lead ahead of Sweet and Dewease. Carson was right there hounding Dewease for the show position with David Gravel moving into fifth. A little further ahead Brad Sweet was starting to pressure Courtney for the lead.
On lap 10, Brad Sweet moved the NAPA Auto Parts #49 into the lead with Courtney, Dewease, Macedo and Gravel giving chase throughout the top five. Two laps later, Carson raced by Dewease and now was running in third behind the leaders. The drivers at the front were fast and quickly closing in on the rear of the field. Over the last 10 laps they were actively maneuvering through traffic at speed.
With two laps to go, Brad Sweet was in control of the top spot as Carson Macedo moved the Tarlton and Son #41 by Tyler Courtney into the runner-up position. He immediately started to close the gap on the leader hoping to get close enough to contest for the lead. Sweet was smooth and fast though and he never got that opportunity so he raced across the finish line today to finish in the runner-up position with David Gravel coming home third to round out the podium. Tyler Courtney came home fourth with Brent Marks, winner of the National Open championship finale just preceding this race, completing the top five.
A Second Place Finish in the Postponed Preliminary Night of the National Open Weekend at Williams Grove Speedway for Carson Macedo and the JJR #41 Team! Photo Credit: CS Productions – Cameron Saich
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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.