KANSAS CITY, KANSAS (October 21, 2016) – It is a long season and as Jason and the JJR #41 team head into the final races of the 2016 season they were looking forward to their return visit to Lakeside Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Rumble on the River on Friday night. It was a beautiful day for racing as the World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series invaded the 3/8-mile oval. There were 26 cars on hand and the grandstands were brimming with eager fans ready to see some exciting sprint car racing.
As is usual and customary, the evening started with time trials following the conclusion of the opening ceremonies where those in attendance respectfully honored our country. Jason waited patiently in line aboard his Priority Aviation Services, LLC/Weld Racing #41 Maxim for his two individual time trial laps. When it was time to go, he pushed off and punched his right foot to the floor as his Kistler Engines high performance motor came to life. He circled Lakeside Speedway the first time around in 14.208 seconds. He stayed on the hammer and kept his momentum moving in fast forward and stopped the clock the second time around in 14.082 seconds, which was the quicker of his two laps and ended up eighth quick overall.
Earning the right to start on the inside of row two, the man they affectionately call “The Ragin’ Cajun” for his native roots in his birthplace of Eunice, Louisiana, lined up beside Shane Stewart. With the top two finishers advancing to the Craftsman Club Dash the goal was set for the field of competitors. When the green flag waved these powerful speed chauffeurs got their entries up to speed and were circling the 3/8-mile oval at an incredible pace. Front row starters, Brian Brown and Brad Sweet, were running at the front with Stewart battling Johnson’s Fischer Body Shop/Waco Metal #41. The two drivers made contact early in the race sending the forty-one flipping hard into the outside wall. Jason was okay as he unbuckled his Crow Enterprizes safety belts and climbed out of his Fibreworks Composite custom fitted safety seat system. He would be scored with an eighth place finish, but the JJR crew would be forced to pull down a second car out of the hauler and hustle to prep it to get it ready to compete in the Last Chance Showdown (LCS).
The JJR crew finished their work as Jason climbed aboard his prepared car for the 12-lap Last Chance Showdown, where he would start on the outside of row four from the eighth starting spot in the Pro Powder Coating/Wilwood #41. Only six cars were advancing to the big finale, the A-Main, so he definitely had some work to do. Polesitter Shane Stewart jumped into the early lead but all eyes were focused on Johnson’s forty-one as he was driving like a man possessed. His elbows were up and he was on the move. When Stewart crossed under the checkers it was ‘The Ragin Cajun’ right behind in the runner-up spot. Stewart and Johnson were followed by Wayne Johnson, Matt Covington and Jeremy Schultz with Kameron Key capturing the sixth and final transfer spot.
Mired back in the 20th stating position to start the 30-lap A-Main, Jason and the crew took what they learned in the LCS and made some final adjustments as the air horn blew indicating it was time to push the cars to the staging area for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Rumble on the River event. The Cajun-born driver had that look in his eyes, you know the determined one as he cinched the chin strap on his Bell Racing helmet before his engine fired. After the four-wide salute to the incredible fans of the sport, it was time to go racing in Kansas City! Outside front row starter, Ian Madsen, took the lead as the green flag was unfurled over polesitter Brad Sweet. Jason was flying in his Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/K&N Filters #41 Maxim Racing rocket. He was up to the 18th position quickly before a flat right rear tire sent him to the work area where the JJR crew bolted on a new Hoosier Racing Tire for their wheelman. He pushed back out and rejoined the field at the back of the pack. When racing resumed, Jason was undeterred by the early setback and just put his head down and elbows back up as he got back to work. Joey Saldana would overtake Madsen for the top spot as Jason maneuvered his forty-one around anything and everything in front of him. He was on the move. He worked his way into the top fifteen, then the top ten and made his way as far forward as ninth with less than ten laps to go. By this time Sweet has garnered the race lead. The track surface was abrasive so Jason’s drive forward took a toll on the tread need to gain traction on the wearing surface. Brad Sweet would go onto to collect the win over Daryn Pittman, Logan Schuchart and Joey Saldana with Shane Stewart rounding out the top five. Jason brought his Valvoline/Winters Performance Products #41 Maxim home with an eleventh place finish overcoming the challenges and obstacles that popped up throughout the night. A respectable night and certainly a strong display of the character Jason and the JJR team have when confronted with challenges and obstacles. A good run for the forty-one!