NEW RICHMOND, WISCONSIN (June 30, 2023) – Carson Macedo and the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) #41 team headed back to Wisconsin this weekend, a state that shares coastlines on two Great Lakes – Lake Michigan and Lake Superior – and has an interior that is covered in forests and farms. It was the 30th state admitted to the Union back on May 29, 1848, and has 34.8 million acres of land area. Nestled on a small parcel of that land in St. Croix County is the town of New Richmond which is home to Cedar Lake Speedway’s 3/8-mile dirt clay oval. With beautiful blue skies overhead, the talented stars of the sport were in town to entertain with their speed show traveling along with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. Friday night would kick off a scheduled two-day race weekend for the Independence Day Spectacular which always entertains to a capacity crowd. The haulers were rolling into the pit area to park as 32 teams were set to battle it out. It was time to go racing at Cedar Lake Speedway!
After each driver went out for their hot lap session in groups, the cars were lining up for Low-E Insulation Qualifying in the staging area waiting to be pushed off one car at a time. Each driver’s position to be pushed out on the track in time trials was determined by a random pill draw earlier in the evening. That meant Carson would be the 24th car out on the track driving the always sharp looking Albaugh – Your Alternative/C&R Racing/Smith Titanium #41 Maxim. Carson has had the JJR #41 at the top of the speed charts in time trials a WoO series leading ten times already this season and was looking to make more speed tonight. He would go out late, so the track would change between when time trials started and he hit the track. He cinched down his Crow Enterprizes safety belts one last time as the push truck approached his rear nerf bar to help him get rolling. His Kistler Racing Engines power fired as he dropped his right K1 Race Gear shoe on the accelerator. When he broke through the timing light to start the clock on lap one he was movin’ and groovin’ in front of the trademark yellow painted outside walls. He blasted off turn four and across the line as he recorded his first lap in 11.731 seconds. Carson stayed up on the wheel and was carrying his speed and momentum forward. He raced down the backstretch and through the last set of turns stopping the clock the second time around in 11.781 seconds. The quicker of his two timed circuits ended qualifying 14th quick overall. Bill Balog, the first driver out on the track, rode the fastest pony on night one in time trials at Cedar Lake with a lap of 11.257 seconds to earn the Simpson Quick Time Award.
Based on the size of the competitive field there would be four 10-lap NOS Energy Drink heat races. The top five finishers would transfer directly into the A-Main feature with the balance of the finishing order heading to the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown (LCS). As an added bonus, the heat race winners and second place finishers would head to the Toyota Dash to race for their feature starting positions. Carson Macedo would get the Albaugh #41 started from the fourth position in the second of four heat races. He would line up alongside ten-time World of Outlaws (WoO) champion, Donny Schatz, in the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Carquest Auto Parts #15 in row two. They would follow polesitter Robbie Price and his front row partner Brad Sweet. Iowa-based racers Josh Schneiderman and Austin McCarl were in row three with Jack Berger and Kevin Ingle rolling in row four.
The drivers anxiously paced slowly as they were prepared to get up to speed in short order. Carson Macedo was on Brad Sweet’s bumper in the outside row. When the front row starters hit the chalk stripe in turn four, the field of competitor’s engines roared as they raced down the front straightaway. Macedo and Schatz almost made contact at the start, but narrowly missed each other to continue racing forward. Robbie Price led Brad Sweet and Carson Macedo at the end of lap one, but Sweet was on the prowl trying to track down the #7s. Brad Sweet raced into the top position on lap 2, with Robbie Price now dealing with Carson Macedo in a tussle for the third position. Carson used his KSE Racing Products to steer the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Team Jack Foundation/BR Motorsports #41 Maxim from the show position as they reached the halfway point of the race. Brad Sweet had checked out and was dominating the field in clean air. Carson stayed close to Price and was putting on the pressure. But with the laps winding down and Robbie Price driving a great race in the Sides Motorsports #7s, Carson crossed the finished line third behind Price and Sweet. Donny Schatz came home fourth with Austin McCarl locking down the final transfer spot out of the second heat race of the night.
Missing out on an opportunity to race for his feature starting position in the Toyota Dash, Carson and the JJR #41 team watched and learned as the track continued to change. They were locked into the feature, so they were going to have to race forward. It was time to go race for the money and points at Cedar Lake Speedway!
The 24 drivers who earned a starting spot in the 35-lap NOS Energy Drink Independence Day Spectacular opening night feature were all climbing into their speed machines and strapping into their safety belts. The cars rolled out onto the track’s surface as these talented athletes were set to put on a highly entertaining show for the fans.
After the saluted the fans with the Whiskey Myers four-wide salute the drivers re-arranged themselves into their two-by-two starting formation readying for the waving of the green flag. The Toyota pace truck pulled off as the yellow lights dimmed and the green lights came on as Logan Schuchart and Brad Sweet led the way through turns three and four. The green flag was out and the field was off. Sweet jumped into the early lead, but the initial start was waved off when the yellow flag was displayed before the lap could be completed for a multi-car melee involving Ryan Timms, Austin McCarl, Noah Gass, Bill Rose and Donny Schatz in turn four.
It would be a complete restart and this time polesitter Logan Schuchart got a great start and kept his car number at the top of the running order ahead of Brad Sweet and fast approaching Rico Abreu. Carson moved the Tarlton and Son/Boltz Family/Xtreme Body & Paint #41 Maxim into the ninth spot and was looking to move forward. There was a three car battle for the lead forming between Schuchart, Sweet and Abreu when the red flag halted action for another multiple car accident involving Brock Zearfoss flipping after having nowhere to go when Robbie Price got sideways collecting Giovanni Scelzi, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Buddy Kofoid. It made for a busy Federated Car Care Work Zone, but these crews were hard at work to get their teammates back out on the track.
Carson drove around the outside of Robbie Price to just miss the accident that calmed the engines and would restart from the seventh position. The engines re-fired as Logan Schuchart led Brad Sweet and Rico Abreu back to the green flag. Schuchart had the hammer down in the Shark Racing #1s with Sweet hustling close behind in the NAPA Auto Parts #49. Carson had the Albaugh #41 moving too and was battling beside James McFadden in the Roth Motorsports #83 for track position.
On lap 7, Brad Sweet, known as “The Big Cat”, drove by Logan Schuchart to take command of the lead with Rico Abreu still running fast in third. The top three drivers were proving to be the cream of the crop at this point of the race as they put some distance between themselves and fourth place running Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Rico Abreu was pressuring Logan Schuchart for the runner-up spot, as Schuchart simultaneously closed the gap on leader Sweet. It was getting good, as always, at Cedar Lake.
James McFadden made the pass on Carson for the seventh position and with 14 laps in the books Carson Macedo’s JJR entry slowed heading into turn one to bring out the caution flag with a flat right rear tire. He headed to the Federated Car Care Work Zone as Nate. Clyde and Philip put a fresh, new Hoosier Racing Tire on so Carson could rejoin the field at the back of the pack.
Brad Sweet led Logan Schuchart, Rico Abreu, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and David Gravel back to the starting line. Rico Abreu blasted by Brad Sweet momentarily for the lead into turn one, but Sweet snatched it back right away bringing Schuchart back along. Carson was on a mission and wasted no time making his way forward as he moved into the top twenty off the bat and soon was running in 15th place. Up front Brad Sweet was in control as David Gravel passed Schuchart for second, but Schuchart passed him right back. Gravel was relentless and passed him back, but Schuchart was just as tenacious and retook the second spot for good and started to track down Brad Sweet again.
A few laps later, the Lemoore, California driver picked up another spot and with 10 laps to go was just outside the top 10 aboard the Albaugh –Your Alternative #41. A lap later his was up to tenth. Another lap down and he was now running in the ninth spot and hoping for more with the laps diminishing in the race.
Brad Sweet held on for the win over fast closing Logan Schuchart with David Gravel rounding out the podium. Sheldon Haudenschild recovered to come home fourth followed across the finishing line by fifth running Spencer Bayston. Carson brought the Albaugh #41 home with a 9th place finish. A show of resiliency after being forced off the pace with a flat tire. Another good run for Macedo and the forty-one!
Carson and the JJR #41 team will be back at it in the Independence Day Spectacular finale at Cedar Lake on Saturday night. Stop by the JJR/Macedo merchandise trailer to buy some cool apparel if you are at the track. If you are not able to make it, tune into DIRTVision to watch the race and check out the apparel at Carson’s or JJR’s websites.
Cutting through the Field at Cedar Lake to a 9th Finish to Open the Independence Day Spectacular Weekend! Photo Credit: Trent Gower Photography
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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.