GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA (August 26, 2022) – Carson Macedo and the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) team were excited to be back in North Dakota, particularly on the grounds at the Grand Forks County Fairgrounds on Friday night, where they were victorious the last time they were at the track back on June 3, winning from the pole position. Friday night was the kick off for the Second Leg of the Northern Tour with two nights of racing in the Peace Garden State. Carson was coming into the weekend with six podium finishes in the past eight races. The two nights of racing action was set to start at River Cities Speedway on Friday followed by some more high speed entertainment at Red River Valley Speedway on Saturday night. This quarter mile, high-banked oval around the bottom and 3/10-mile around the top was built back in 1909. It has consistently produced some great racing action when the World of Outlaws have been in town producing entertainment for all in attendance. The fans were working their way to their seats as the drivers and crews unloaded and prepared for the night of racing. There were 33 teams that pulled through the pit gates anxious to put a great show on for the fans again while chasing the win.
When the time trial order was posted based off the random draw for My Place Hotels Qualifying, Carson Macedo would be the 28th driver to hit the track for his two laps aboard the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Buckwalter Trucking/ISC Racers Tape #41 Maxim. The name of the game for each driver in time trials seems so simple to many, but it is much more challenging than it appears. On this night the goal was to circle River Cities Speedway as fast as you can as a driver against the clock in order to produce the best (fastest) lap time in one of their two time trial laps. Then they have to wait patiently and hope their best lap time is faster than everyone else, or at least most, in the field. The hard part though is for the drivers to perfectly hit their marks on the track so they can execute their speed strategy. That is why the talented drivers of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series are the best in the business – because they figure this out night-in and night-out on different sized tracks across the country. There is no home track for these traveling tour of sprint car stars. So when it was the Lemoore, California drivers turn to attempt his laps, the Kistler Engines power came to life and Carson drove onto the track off turn four. He dropped his right foot to releases the horses from his engine under the Indy Performance Composites (IPC) carbon fiber hood. His perfectly engineered WELD Racing wheels, along with the Hoosier Racing Tires, were turning and making traction as he headed towards the waving green flag. Carson roared around the artfully manicured 1/4-mile oval, stopping the clock on his first lap in under 10 seconds at 9.894 seconds. That vaulted him to the top of the speed charts at that point of qualifying. He wasn’t done yet though as he carried his momentum forward and around the River Cities surface again, this time securing a slightly slower lap at 10.016 seconds. When the final qualifier, Josh Swangler, completed his two laps at speed, Carson’s best qualifying lap in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) #41 ended up second quick overall. The top qualifier was Brad Sweet in his Napa Auto Parts #49 who laid down a lightning fast lap in 9.885 seconds to top Carson by a mere 0.0009 seconds and trump the field in time trials.
Each driver’s best time in time trials was then used to set the heat race lineups for the four 8-lap races where the top two finishers would lock into the dash and the next three would lock down a coveted spot in the feature. Carson Macedo and the Tarlton and Son/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Sam I Am #41 Maxim would get started from the pole position on the front row. Fellow front row starter Robbie Price was penalized two starting spots for being late to the staging area, which moved Mark Dobmeier to the outside of row one Brock Zearfoss and Robbie Price sat in row two followed by Brendan Mullen, Jade Hastings, Josh Swangler, Travis Strandell, and Todd Mickelson. When they approached the chalk strip in turn four, Carson pounded the loud pedal and drove down the frontstretch sliding up to the cushion in turn one ahead of Dobmeier. Dobmeier dove low entering turn three to attempt to steal the lead, but Macedo used the high line to carry his speed exiting turn four to maintain the top spot. He was legging out his lead until the red flag waved just after the halfway point of the race for Travis Strandell’s #41T that was upside down over turn one. When racing resumed, the field was single file with the Lemoore, California hotshoe bringing them back to the green flag. Green flag racing was brief though as the yellow quickly came back out for Josh Swangler who slid off the backstretch. They went back to green with Carson again showing the way around River Cities Speedway. He led the remaining four laps to take the heat race win over Mark Dobmeier, Brock Zearfoss, Robbie Price and Brendan Mullen.
With weather moving into the area, track officials were hustling the show along so the dash draw occurred in the pit area for the 6-lap DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash. Carson would get the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 started from the fifth starting spot beside Logan Schuchart. Sheldon Haudenschild and Spencer Bayston rolled from the front row with Brad Sweet and David Gravel in row two. James McFadden and Mark Dobmeier were in row four ready to go. Haudenschild led the field to the green flag with Bayston right behind. Sweet settled into third with Gravel and Macedo right on his tail. Carson was working the bottom as David pounded the top side trying to catch Sweet. The race went uninterrupted though with Haudenschild taking the win over Bayston with Sweet, Gravel, Macedo, Schuchart, McFadden and Dobmeier with the full field finishing in the exact same positions where they all started the race.
The first four rows for the 35-lap Second Leg of the Norther Tour feature event were set with a lot of talented racers as more filed the rows behind. North Dakota native Donny Schatz was starting from the inside of row six with Canadian Thomas Kennedy to his outside. Carson Macedo fired the engine in the Liquid Trucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/Engler Machine & Tool #41 Maxim and rolled into his fifth starting position. Polesitter Sheldon Haudenschild jumped into the early lead aboard his NOS Energy Drink #17 ahead of Spencer Bayston and Brad Sweet. Brad Sweet worked his way by Bayston on lap two with Gravel and Macedo running in the last two spots in the top five. On lap 4, the leaders had already tracked down the back of the field and started to navigate through the slower cars. That allowed Gravel and Macedo to close the gap. By lap 11, Sweet had caught Haudenschild and made the pas for the lead. Carson was racing with David Gravel as they were both making their way forward as their numbers continued to climb on the scoreboard. A yellow flag slowed the action again on lap 15 when debris was spotted on the track and Jade Hastings slowed to a stop. Brad Sweet was leading David Gravel and Carson Macedo, but eleventh starting Donny Schatz was now running fourth in front of the home state crowd just ahead of Sheldon Haudenschild who rounded out the top five. Sweet chose the inside lane for the restart, which put Carson in the low lane too as he was running third. The green flag came back out with Schatz jumping ahead of Macedo. But the yellow flag quickly came out for Thomas Kennedy who was off the pace. When they went back to green it was Sweet maintaining the lead over Gravel and Macedo with Schatz and Haudenschild putting on a show for the fourth position. Another caution flag flew with 11 laps to go when Tim Estenson’s #14T dropped over the banking in turn two. They went back to green but it was short lived when Austin Pierce went flipping out over the banking in turns 3 and 4 after catching the cushion. The running order at the front of the field was the same when they went back to green with Sweet, Gravel and Macedo leading the field. The top three had really fast race cars, but it was Brad Sweet who outraced David Gravel and Carson Macedo to collect his fourth win of the season as Donny Schatz and Sheldon Haudenschild rounded out the top five. Carson and the JJR Team’s consistency continued with another podium run in the forty-one!
Another Podium Run for the Albaugh #41 with a 3rd Place Finish at River Cities Speedway! Photo Credit: Trent Gower
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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.