COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI (March 25, 2023) – Following a top ten run over in Eastaboga, Alabama at the Talladega Short Track on Friday night, Philip Dietz along with his JJR #41 teammates pulled their beautiful Border International truck into their pit stall at the Magnolia Motor Speedway, commonly referred to as “The Mag”, for the first time in a few years. It was a tough day throughout the state as tornadoes swept through Rolling Hills the day before leaving a devastating path of destruction through Mississippi. With a state grieving the loss of too many, sprint car racing could be a diversion for some as they headed to Columbus. The 3/8-mile gumbo track was ready to host the stars of The Greatest Show on Dirt on Saturday evening in the great state of Mississippi, meaning big river, for the Black Ice Brawl! The pit area was filled with 29 competitive race teams looking to win the biggest share of the evening’s purse.
With less than 38 teams registered to race on this night it would be single car time trials in Low-E Insulation Qualifying. Each driver would get two laps to lay down their best and fastest lap. After drawing one of the higher pill numbers, the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 driven by Carson Macedo would be the 22nd car out on the racetrack. The cool and calm speedster from Lemoore, California waited in line for his turn to race against time until he reached the edge of the pit lane and the official waved him onto the track. When he got onto the track surface he wasted little time focusing and getting his elbows up as his Kistler Engines power was eager to take him for a high speed excursion two times around the gumbo surface. He was at full song when he passed under the green flag with the clock now rolling. The second hand on the stopwatch was moving fast and so was Macedo. He stopped the motion the first time around in 11.501 seconds, which not only shot him to the top of the speed charts but also was a New Track Record (NTR) for Magnolia Motor Speedway. He was cruising looking to find a hundredth or even a thousandth of a second here or there on lap two. His performance was measured the second time around at 11.688 seconds, with the faster of his two laps ending the night as quickest overall. It was Carson and the JJR team’s series leading third Low-E Insulation Qualifying Quick Time of the early season. The track was fast as 22 of the 29 drivers ran laps quicker than the previous track record, but Carson Macedo was the quickest of them all on this night at Magnolia.
The WoO timing and scoring officials posted the starting lineups for the three 10-lap heat races that would secure a transfer position for the top six finishers in each race. By virtue of Carson’s best time trial lap he would get the Tarlton & Son/Walker Performance Filtration/Xtreme Body and Paint #41 Maxim rolling from the pole position 9on the front row. He shared the lead row with Rico Abreu as they paced ahead of Hunter Schuerenberg and David Gravel in row two. Parker Price-Miller and Brock Zearfoss were in row three followed by Bill Balog, Eric Riggins Jr., Austin McCarl and Kevin Newton. Carson knew he had a fast hotrod and showed it when the green lights illuminated as he darted into the lead with Abreu, Balog and Gravel chasing him to turn one. Gravel hit the bump in turn one and got crossed up, but recovered expertly. Macedo was stretching the legs of the horsepower being generated by his stout Kistler Engines power. The Lemoore, California racer would not look back as he raced in clean air from start-to-finish to take the win by 2.202 seconds over Rico Abreu and Bill Balog with David Gravel battling back from his early race setback to finish a solid fourth as Brock Zearfoss and Austin McCarl secured the last two transfer positions.
Earning a spot in the 8-lap Toyota Dash, Philip and the JJR crew were trying some stuff to make their driver better in the feature. Sheldon Haudenschild would get started from the pole position with Brad Sweets blue and yellow NAPA Auto Parts #49 flanking him to the outside. Donny Schatz and Carson Macedo would couple up in row two with Rico Abreu and Giovanni Scelzi in row three. When the green flag dropped it was Haudenschild to the lead as he drag raced Sweet down the frontstretch. But by the time the first lap was completed Sweet made a bold move using the outside lane on the exit of turn four to make the pass and lead lap one. The top and bottom of the track’s surface was starting to come in as Carson was exploring from the fourth spot in the running order. There was very little passing after the initial laps with Sweet streaking to the win to earn the pole position to start the feature. Sheldon Haudenschild came home second with Donny Schatz and Carson Macedo right behind. Giovanni Scelzi raced across the finish line in fifth with Rico Abreu being scored sixth.
With all of the qualifying in the books the horn sounded summoning all of the teams to the track for the running of the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Black Ice Brawl feature at Magnolia Motor Speedway. The four-time and defending WoO champion would sit on the front row with Sheldon Haudenschild to his outside. Carson Macedo would get the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions/Tiger Towing/Indy Performance Composites (IPC) #41 from the fourth position with ten-time WoO champion Donny Schatz to his inside. The track surface had evolved and was very technical and tricky for these professional sprint car drivers. They were ready to go though and when they exited turn four and the flagman unleashed the green flag they were off with Sheldon Haudenschild leading lap one with Brad Sweet, Donny Schatz and Carson Macedo right behind.
Carson had a fast car and on lap four made the pass on Donny Schatz to take the third spot behind Haudenschild and Sweet. The leaders were quickly closing in on the back of the field and before you knew it they were dicing through traffic like a hot knife through butter.
On lap 10, Brad Sweet closed in on the rear nerf bar of the NOS Energy Drink #17 and made the pass for the lead. David Gravel, who started tenth, was on the move in the Huset’s Speedway #2. He was in the top five and pressuring Schatz and Macedo for their spots in the running order. Schatz would move by Macedo and on lap 21 Gravel would race by too with Sweet and Haudenschild still running in the top two positions. Gravel would also get by Schatz and Haudenschild to move into the runner-up position behind the race leader Sweet.
The yellow flag was displayed on lap 26 for Eric Riggins Jr. who slowed to a stop on the frontstretch. It was Brad Sweet leading with David Gravel now ready to push him for the lead as Haudenschild, Schatz and Macedo rounded out the top five in the running order.
The went back to green with Sweet using the clean air to his advantage as he hustled the NAPA Auto Parts #49 around the top dominant surface. Gravel wasn’t about to give up as he was still in hot pursuit with Haudenschild staying close enough to both to make it exciting.
The drivers rolled to a stop on lap 31 when 15th running James McFadden got upside down in turn four to stop the action under red flag conditions. The running order for the top five was the same as the drivers patiently waited for the accident scene to be cleared before re-firing their engines.
With four laps to go, Carson got rolling again in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 Maxim and paced from his position. The yellow lights dimmed and the green flag waved as Sweet again used the clean air to his advantage. He had a clear track ahead of him and he was making hay. He put some distance between himself and Gravel but he was quickly approaching lap traffic again. He would only have to deal with a few lap cars on the final lap and did it masterfully as he took the win over David Gravel and Sheldon Haudenschild with Donny Schatz and Carson Macedo completing the top five.
It was a good run for the always determined Carson Macedo and JJR #41 team. The fifth place finish made them 10 for 10 on the year for top ten finishes. Another good run for the forty-one! The team will head back to the shop in Rocky Mount, Missouri to regroup this week before trucking south to Mesquite, Texas for next weekend’s two-day show at Devil’s Bowl Speedway for the Texas Outlaw Nationals.
The Californian Brings Home a Fifth Place Finish in the Black Ice Brawl in the Mississippi Delta! 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.