MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA (September 30, 2023 – Championship Feature) – There was a lot of racing ahead on Saturday with the opening night feature of the weekend on Friday night being postponed until the end of Saturday night’s scheduled action when the rain started to fall. When the racecars pulled back into the pit area when the rain started to fall on Friday night just before the start of the 25-lap preliminary night feature at the 61st Annual Champion Racing Oil National Open, Carson Macedo pulled into the pit area in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 and climbed out of his office.
The race teams and drivers would all return on Saturday with their game faces on as there was a lot of opportunity and work to do with some bigger stakes available to the victor on this night as exemplified by the $75,000 payday that would be earned by the winner of the championship finale with $10,000 going to the preliminary night victor that was postponed. Plus, the winning driver of the championship finale would get to add their name to the prestigious list of past winners that already have their name inscribed in the history books. Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz open the trailer door and backed out the forty-one for their driver. They used their notes from what did get completed on Friday night and all of their previous visits to the famous half mile oval and were confident they had a solid game plan for the night. They also welcomed Karson, a student at Milton Hershey, as a crew member for the pit crew experience for the night. A walk throughout the pit areas located on both the frontstretch and the backstretch counted 52 race teams back at the track ready to race in this crown jewel sprint car event.
When hot laps were completed, the cars in the first group of Low-E Insulation Qualifying began to form in the staging area for time trials. It would be two cars out on the clock at the same time looking to accomplish the same thing – make their way around the half mile oval as quickly as possible. The drivers would each get two laps with the better of the two standing. Carson would be the 14th driver out in Group B. He would be joined on the historic oval by Jordan Givler in the #90. The Lemoore, California native exited turn four in the Liquid Trucking/WELD Racing/Fibreworks Composites #41 Maxim and was digging towards the waving green flag. The key at “The Grove” is to hit your marks, be smooth all around the track as you optimize your speed strategy. The clock is everyone’s measuring stick, so when Carson completed his first lap his grade that appeared on the stopwatch was a good one at 16.824 seconds. He stayed focused and carried his sped and momentum through the first set of turns as he Hoosier Racing Tires were trying to grip the surface. He drove hard into turn three and got up over the lip before exiting turn four on his way to the checkered flag. Lap two was slightly worse than his first attempt as it was timed in 17.295 seconds after the stumble in the last set of turns. The faster of the driver of the forty-one’s two time trail laps was second quick overall in Group B with Brad Sweet topping the charts in that group with a lap of 16.812 seconds. Earning the Simpson Quick Time Award though was Rico Abreu with a lap of 16.462 seconds out of Group A.
When the lineups were posted for the four 8-lap heat races, Carson would get the Boltz Family/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads/Tiger Towing #41 started from the pole position in front row alongside Brent Marks in the M&M Painting #19. Giovanni Scelzi and Daryn Pittman would get rolling from row two with Kyle Reinhardt and Brian Brown in row three. Row four paired Garet Williamson and Danny Dietrich with Landon Myers and Kody Hartlaub in row five. The last row was filled in with Austin Bishop and Jordan Givler.
There is just something special seeing these powerful sprint cars with talented drivers piloting them side-by-side as they roll slowly under the historic blue bridge over the backstretch as they make their way down towards turn three. The only thing more impressive is when they reach the chalk stripe in turn four and these 900 horsepower engines come to life as the charge down the frontstretch. Leading the pack in heat four was outside front row starter Brent Marks as he raced ahead of Carson Macedo and Daryn Pittman out of turn two. Pittman raced the famous #69K underneath Macedo on the opening lap to take second away from him. Marks was out front at the end of the first lap with Pittman and Macedo battling each other. Carson had his elbows up and had the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 hotrod dicing with Pittman for track position.
Daryn Pittman and Carson would swap positions multiple times over the next few laps before Pittman settled in behind race leader Marks in the second spot. Carson continued to run in third followed by Brian Brown and Kyle Reinhardt as he made his way around the clay surface. Brent Marks raced to a dominant 2.930 second win over Pittman with Carson coming home third, Brian Brown fourth, and Kyle Reinhardt fifth.
Missing out on moving onto the Toyota Dash, Carson and the JJR #41 crew just focused on getting their car ready for the feature where they would start on the outside of row six. The air horn sounded indicating to the race teams that earned their way into the show they had eight minutes to finalize their work and have their car and driver out on the track to wait to be pushed off for the 40-lap 61st Annual Champion Racing Oil National Open feature event. Carson was confident that Philip, Clyde and Nate gave him a strong car to compete as he climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing machine.
Macedo buckled the chin strap of his Bell Helmet and pulled on his K1 Race Gear fireproof driving gloves. With assistance from a push truck his Kistler Engines power came alive and was ready to contribute to the speed equation. While Carson was rolling around under yellow flag conditions he prepared his mind and body for the race. When the flag and showed the field the one-to-go sign it was time to turn strategy into execution sprint car style.
Off of turn four the front row of Brent Marks and Justin Peck led the incredible field of sprint car talent down the long frontstretch and into the sweeping first set of turns. Off turn two there was another long straightaway ahead of them before entering the narrower last set of turns. Brent Marks was recorded as the leader of the first lap ahead of Justin Peck, Rico Abreu and Daryn Pittman. Carson was wheeling the Albaugh – Your Alternative/Buckwalter Trucking/KSE Racing Products #41 from the tenth spot and looking to claw his way forward.
He gained another spot the next time around moving the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions #41 Maxim into ninth as Justin Peck moved back by Marks into the lead. There was a lot of racing throughout the field. Daryn Pittman was coming fast on the bottom and moved by Marks into the second position. This is what sprint car racing is all about World of Outlaws style. The action was fast and furious and before you knew it there were 10 laps in the books with Peck still leading Pittman, Marks, Sweet and Gravel. Carson was still holding down the ninth position in the running order. Daryn Pittman was racing a determined race and the next time around moved the Don Kreitz Jr. #69k by Peck into the lead.
The first race stoppage, a yellow flag, came out on lap 15 when Lance Dewease spun in turn four and backed it into the fence. While under caution, race officials decided to go to an “Open Red” so teams could refuel to make it to the end of the race without having to have another planned stop. After the crews topped off the tanks the field realigned ready to take the green.
Daryn Pittman would drive into clean air ahead of Brent Marks and Justin Peck. Carson raced into the eight position at the restart and was running there on lap 17 when the red flag was displayed when eighth running James McFadden spun and collected thirteenth running Logan Schuchart as they both flipped in turn one. The running order was Pittman, Marks, Sweet, Abreu and Gravel with Carson sitting in the eighth spot. Under the red flag the people in Beer Hill filled the time playfully chanting “Infield Sucks!” That is what makes sprint car racing just the best.
Back to green flag racing with 23 laps to go, Daryn Pittman raced the powdered blue #69k back into the lead ahead of Marks and Abreu. At the halfway point of the race Pittman was still out front of Marks and Abreu with Brad Sweet and Sheldon Haudenschild completing the top five. A few laps later though the Myerstown Missile was gaining speed and raced by Pittman to reclaim the lead. Carson had gained a spot and was running eighth, but Donny Schatz hustled by Carson to take over eighth.
Brent Marks continued to show the way and on lap 30 he was still out front with Pittman, Abreu, Sweet and Haudenschild still trying to keep the pace. Carson was still holding down the ninth position in the running order and looking to see if he could gain some ground. The final 10 laps moved by quickly when the white flag was shown. Brent Marks was digging and raced to his second National Open victory with Daryn Pittman and Rico Abreu rounding out the podium spots. Sheldon Haudenschild secured fourth ahead of Brad Sweet who rounded out the top five.
Carson was running in the top ten the entire race and on the last lap his engines shut down dropping him off the pace as he rolled into the pit area in turn three relinquishing his spot in the top ten. He ultimately would be scored with a disappointing 19th place finish. Before his tires even stopped in the pit stall Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp, and Nathan Repetz went to work as they needed to change the engine so they could run the Friday night feature that was postponed by rain. All part of this spot and the teamwork was admirable and incredible all wrapped up in one.
After a Solid Night of Racing, Carson Macedo is Scored with a 19th Place Finish After Slowing Down the Backstretch on the Last Lap of the National Open! 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.