PEVELY, MISSOURI (August 4, 2023) – When Carson Macedo pulled the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 to the back of the trailer after finishing in second place last Sunday night at Weedsport Speedway in New York, he and his JJR teammates immediately debriefed and started to plan for their continued success in August as they headed west back to the shop located in Rocky Mount, Missouri. Carson and the JJR #41 team completed the month of July with two wins and an average finish of 4.18 for the month of July. There average finish for the 2023 season as of the end of July sits at 5.45. With a Sunday night race this week and a 1,000 plus mile drive back home, it was a short turnaround week without a lot of sleep before the team had to reload and compete again, but at least it was closer to home.
While the World of Outlaws tour was staying in the state of Missouri for two nights of racing in the always entertaining Ironman 55 weekend at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, there would be no rest for the weary as most of the teams knew that when the checkered flag flew on Saturday night after the Ironman 55 they would have to wait in traffic and head directly to Iowa for one of the biggest weeks of sprint car racing on the calendar starting with the 12th Annual Capitani Classic on Sunday. The week would ultimately culminate the following Saturday night at the 62nd Annual NOS Energy Drink 410 Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s. But first things first with racing at Kenny Schrader’s always impressive Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 – World of Outlaws style!
When you come to this racy oval positioned parallel to Interstate 55 just south of St. Louis, the city of the hometown and beloved St. Louis Cardinals, all of the race teams have to be on point in everything aspect of their operations. Plus, having a few kind blessings sent your way from “Ms. Lady Luck” throughout each of the nights never hurts one bit either. After days of rain, track officials did a terrific job getting the racing surface to a point where they could go on with the show. The sun was shining overhead, but the surface was moist. The fans flowed through the gates meandering around the merchandise area located outside turn four as they looked for their favorite driver’s apparel on their way to their seats. The Night Before the Ironman race was on tap Friday night with 36 race teams and drivers ready to grind it out around the 1/3-mile bullring of pure racing awesomeness.
With a lot of moisture still in the track surface, each of the drivers went out in their qualifying groups for hot laps. With the heat still coming off his Schoenfeld Headers, Carson climbed out of the cockpit of his racecar to give some feedback to crew chief and car owner Philip Dietz and the JJR crew. The meticulous crew chief took the feedback and made some adjustments to the Albaugh #41 looking to give Carson a faster hot rod for Low-E Insulation Qualifying. When hot laps were completed, Carson Macedo would be the first driver that went out to start the time trial session. The talented California racer, driving the Team Jack Foundation/Indy Performance Composites (IPC)/Xtreme Paint and Body #41 Maxim, was ready to take his shot at beating the clock. He flipped the shield down on his Shifty Illusions custom painted Bell Helmet lid and was ready to get to work. Carson hammered the loud pedal and was movin’ and groovin’ when he took the green flag to start lap one. He made his way through the first set of turns and down the backstretch before blasting through the last set of turns through the developing ruts. When he crossed under the waving white flag his first attempt was timed in 10.633 seconds. The racing lane was still relatively narrow as he relentlessly continued to attack the track the next time around and kept his Hoosier Racing Tires digging into the surface for more speed. When the checkered flag flew to end his two lap session, the second circuit was recorded in 10.737 seconds. The quicker of his two circuits ended the night seventh quickest overall when time trials concluded. David Gravel continued his speed as he was on top of the speed charts with a quick lap of 10.416 seconds to earn his eighth Simpson Quick Time Award of the season.
By virtue of his best lap in time trial qualifying, Carson would line up second in the third of four 10-lap heat races driving the Liquid Trucking/RaceDiecast.com/LogoDaddy Graphics #41 Maxim. Four-time champion a fellow Californian, Brad Sweet, was also pacing around in row one just to the left of Carson’s side nerf bar as they waited for the flagman to give them the signal to go racing. Another California driver, Corey Eliason, was in the third spot alongside Robbie Price. Corey Day and Scotty Milan were in row three followed by Riley Goodno, and Kevin Ingle in the starting lineup with Kraig Kinser having to scratch for the night after flipping in hot laps.
With the racing lane still very narrow, heat three pushed out. The green cloth soon waved overhead soon after the Toyota push truck exited the track as the field rushed down the frontstretch and into turn one dicing for positions at full speed. When they exited turn two it was Brad Sweet to the lead just ahead of Carson Macedo’s Albaugh –Your Alternative #41 with Cory Eliason running in third. There was multi-car battles for the positions behind the top three.
The yellow flag flew early for Kevin Ingle who was sitting nose first into the inside barrier. Sweet would bring the field back up to speed followed by Macedo, Eliason, and Price when the green lights were turned back on. Carson had his elbows up and was wheeling the Albaugh #41 from the second position as he was still in striking distance of the leader. But he would soon have his hands full trying to fend off Cory Eliason for the second position. Eliason was digging and moved his Crouch Motorsports #11 by Macedo into the runner-up position. There was no more passing the remainder of the race with Brad Sweet collecting the win ahead of Cory Eliason, with both drivers locking down spots in the Toyota Dash. Carson came home third followed by Corey Day and Robbie Price to secure the final three transfer positions.
Following the MicroLite Last Chance Showdown, the 25 car field was set for the 30-lap NOS Energy Drink Night Before the Ironman at I-55 feature. The track was challenging, but it was the same for every driver. There was some drama before the race even started as eighth starting Sheldon Haudenschild experienced some more mechanical issues when he pushed off, unfortunately sidelining the NOS Energy Drink #17 in the pit area before the green flag even came out.
Cole Macedo would get the race started from the pole position aboard the Tarlton and Son #21T with the current WoO point leader David Gravel to his outside. Spencer Bayston and Brad Sweet lined up in row two with Giovanni Scelzi and James McFadden in row three. Carson would get the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions/Mr. Jim’s Racing/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads #41 Maxim started from the inside of row six beside Bendigo, Victoria, Australia’s Rusty Hickman.
Follow their traditional four-wide salute, Cole Macedo fired off turn four into the lead over David Gravel as the green flag waved. The front two were followed by Spencer Bayston and Brad Sweet into turn one. When they completed the first laps, Cole Macedo was still in the top spot but Brad Sweet was now running second followed by Bayston and Gravel. Carson had moved the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 up to 9th place during the early laps. At the front of the pack, Cole Macedo was in command until he hit a bump entering turn three and bicycled allowing Spencer Bayston to seize an opportunity to drive by the leader. He did so and was followed by Sweet relegating Cole Macedo back to third.
It did not take long for the leaders to encounter the slower cars as they began to maneuver around lap traffic on the tricky surface. Most of the drivers were in preservation mode and driving cautiously as the track was becoming more treacherous. On lap 18, the yellow flag was thrown for Logan Schuchart in the Shark Racing #1s as he slowed erasing leader Spencer Bayston’s four plus second lead over Giovanni Scelzi, Brad Sweet, James McFadden and Cole Macedo. Carson was trying his best to make the most of the situation as he was sitting back in the 12th position and battling behind Corey Day, but just not able to move forward.
Under yellow flag conditions, World of Outlaws (WoO) officials made the right call and threw the red so the drivers could restock their tearoffs. It was an “open red” so the teams topped off their fuel tanks and cleaned off the mud that had accumulated on their wings.
There were 12 laps to go when the field re-fired. It would be a single file restart with Bayston leading the pack ahead of Scelzi and Sweet. They went back to green in that order as the field came up to speed. The racing action though came to an abrupt stop quickly, as the aforementioned Corey Day took a wild flip in turn four after bouncing through the ruts resulting in his car ripping the retaining fence down around the outside of the track. Thankfully Corey Day was ok, but officials made the decision to call the remainder of the race due to conditions as it would take quite a bit of time to repair the fencing. Spencer Bayston Collected his first win of the season as Giovanni Scelzi came home second with Brad Sweet rounding out the podium. James McFadden and Cole Macedo rounded out the top five.
Carson rolled the car into the trailer after the race in one piece, which was a small victory in and of itself, after being scored with an 11th place finish in the Night Before the Ironman. While not necessarily the night they were hoping for, the team would regroup and prepare for Saturday night’s 15th Annual Ironman 55 . . . weather dependent of course as the advanced forecast was not looking so great.
An Eleventh Place Run for the Forty-One in the Night Before the Ironman at Pevely! 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.