PORT ROYAL, PENNSYLVANIA (October 8, 2021) – The rural town of Port Royal, Pennsylvania is nestled in between the Juniata River and the Tuscarora Creek in Juniata County. The area thrives around agriculture and auto racing. Both conveniently come together at the picturesque Juniata County Fairgrounds, which has been the home of the agricultural fair (Juniata County Fair) since 1852, and home to Port Royal Speedway’s half-mile oval since 1953. With the foliage in The Keystone State about to change, sprint car fans rolled into the area to see The Greatest Show on Dirt on Friday night. It was the first of two consecutive nights of racing in the Nittany Showdown, which pits the traveling stars of the World of Outlaws (WoO) against the Pennsylvania Posse (PA Posse). Always a popular event that draws fans and teams, the pit area located off turn four outside the track was filled with 38 teams that registered at the pit gate.
With the pit area brimming with competitors, the field was split into two separate qualifying groups for time trials. Your 2021 Williams Grove National Open Champion, Carson Macedo, would be the 15th driver out onto the track in Flight A, driving the Jonestown KOA/Waco Metal/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution #41 Maxim. Philip, Clyde, and Nate were working hard to give their driver a good race car as they finalized their final setup and adjustments. Carson climbed into his Fibreworks Composites custom fitted seat and buckled into his Crow Enterprizes safety belts. It would be two cars out on the track at one time measuring their speed against the clock. When his Kistler Engines power came alive down the infield push off lane, Carson drove onto the track in turn one and pedaled down to build up his speed. He took the green and was racing against the second hand of the clock. His first lap was timed at 16.514 seconds, but the determined racer wanted to try to do better on his second lap. Carson second lap in time trials was slighter faster at 16.469 seconds. The faster of his two laps positioned him a disappointing 14th quick in Flight A, with Logan Wagner running the fastest lap of the night in Flight B at 15.832 seconds.
The results of time trials for each driver are used to establish the starting lineups for the four 8-lap Drydene Heat Races. That positioned the Lemoore, California driver in the second heat race where he would get started from the seventh position. He would share row four with Brent Shearer as he rolled the Durst/Liquid Trucking/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS) #41 into his starting spot. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) teammates, Donny Schatz and Kerry Madsen, sat on the front row with Spencer Bayston and Sam Hafertepe Jr. in row two. Two Pennsylvania drivers, Brock Zearfoss and Mike Wagner, paced from row three with Curt Stroup rounding out the field behind Macedo and Shearer. They slowed paced down the backstretch and when the field got to the chalk stripe laid down in turn four their engines roared. Schatz drove into the lead over his teammate as Carson was racing through the dirty air looking for speed. In the early going he was racing with Shearer and Stroup for position. Struggling to find drive as they laps continued he started searching different lines on the track. Meanwhile, up in the front of the pack it was all Donny Schatz. Schatz went on to take the win by 3.049 seconds over Madsen with Bayston, Hafertepe Jr., and Wagner securing the remaining transfer positions from this heat race.
Missing out on transferring, Carson and the JJR #41 team went back to work to prepare for the 12-lap Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown (LCS) where the Californian was buried back in the field in the 11th starting position. He would get started beside Landon Myers as Devon Borden and Justin Whittall led the field to the green flag. It was Whittall in the early going before making contact with the outside wall ending his night. Carson had moved up to ninth in the opening laps and was looking for more. He would have to finish in the top four to lock down a transfer position, so there was work to be done. With Borden in an all-out tussle with Steve Buckwalter for position on lap 5, Carson moved up to seventh and was looking for more. A caution regrouped the field for a restart. Macedo got a good one as a few competitors made contact with each other driving up to fourth. But an untimely yellow was displayed negating the lap as officials deemed a false start. The field regrouped and came back to the green. This time Carson did not get as good of a start. The remaining laps were finished with Devon Borden collecting the win over Steve Buckwalter, Brock Zearfoss, and a hard-charging Freddie Rahmer. Carson Macedo finished in the seventh spot missing out on qualifying.
Forced to use his first provisional of the season, Carson and the JJR #41 crew kept working on their entry for the 25-lap World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink feature on the opening night of the Nittany Showdown at Port Royal Speedway. The 8-minute horn sounded alerting the teams that “The Speed Palace” was ready for action. Carson was set to get started from the 25th starting spot in the field in the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions/Tiger Towing/Bell Racing #41 Maxim. Pennsylvania Posse member, Anthony Macri, was on the pole with Kerry Madsen to his outside. Logan Schuchart and Brad Sweet were in row two with Donny Schatz and Lance Dewease in row three and Logan Wagner, a four-time Port Royal track champion, and David Gravel in row four. It was now time for the speed show at Port Royal. The green flag waved and it was Kerry Madsen to the lead with Macri in hot pursuit. With one lap in the books the first caution of the night was displayed for Logan Wagner who slowed on the backstretch with issues. They restarted with Madsen in the lead over Macri, Sweet, Schatz and Schuchart. Further back it continued to be tough going for Carson in the first 5 laps as he went backwards before starting to come forward. On lap 6, another caution was thrown for Spenser Bayston in the CJB #5. Carson was now sitting in the 24th position and looking for more opportunities. Madsen has someone new to contend with though as Logan Schuchart was now in second and looking impressive. When they went back to green flag racing Madsen maintained the lead each time they passed the start/finish line, but Schuchart was able to nose ahead around the track. On lap 10 though Schuchart’s run ended as he had absolutely no where to go when Curt Stroup made contact with the outside wall in turn four. Schuchart was hard on the binders to try to avoid him and had to try to squeeze between Stroup’s wounded car and the wall. The result was front end damage that ended his night. During the caution Brad Sweet was forced to the work area with a flat right rear tire making the restart order Madsen, Schatz, Macri, Dewease, and Gravel. Madsen led the field again as the engines were roaring. Carson was driving hard and on lap 18 reached the highest point in the running order when he was running in 18th place. With 10 laps to go, another caution flew for James McFadden who had one of his top wing panels fly off exiting turn four leaving debris on the track. Madsen again brought the field down the frontstretch on the restart. He was leading Schatz and Dewease and would be interrupted again with 6 laps to go when Steve Buckwalter slowed on the frontstretch with mechanical issues. Carson was now running in 19th place. When they got back to speed it was Madsen in the top spot but Lance Dewease was now stalking him down. The two talented stars were putting on a show and coming out of turn four on the last lap were side-by-side. Kerry Madsen took the win by a scant 0.081 seconds over Dewease as Anthony Macri rounded out the podium with Donny Schatz and Brent Marks completing the top five. Carson Macedo was able to salvage a 21st place finish on a night they will write down as a learning lesson and use that moving forward to improve.
Searching for Speed in the Opening Night of the Nittany Showdown at Port Royal Speedway! Photo Credit: Cameron Saich
Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Tarlton and Son Inc.; Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions; Albaugh – Your Alternative, Saich Family; Border International; Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution; Jonestown KOA; Durst Inc.; Maxim Racing; The Boyd Family; Liquid Trucking; Meyers Constructors Inc.; Tiger Towing; Pro Powder Coating (PPC); Waco Metal; High Performance Lubricants, LLC; Kistler Engines; Team Jack Foundation; Mark Burch Motorsports; All Pro Auto Reconditioning; K1 Race Gear; AutoMeter; Bandy & Associates Accountancy Corporation; Bell Racing USA; Blackbeard LTD; BR Motorsports; Brown & Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS); Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; C&R Racing; Chalk Stix Torsion Bars; Crow Enterprizes; Engler Machine & Tool, Inc.; Factory Kahne (FK Shocks); Fibreworks Composites; FK Rod Ends; Fuel Safe Racing Cells; Greber Racing Components; Hoosier Racing Tire; ISC Racers Tape; Jansen Transportation; KSE Racing Products; Larry Davis Farms; Logo Daddy Graphics; Mr. Jim’s Racing; MSD Performance; RaceDiecast.com; Sam I Am; Schoenfeld Headers; Smith Titanium; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Vortex Racing Products; Walker Performance Filtration; Weld Wheels; Wilwood Racing; and Winters Performance Products.
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.