WILLIS, TEXAS (April 13, 2017) – Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team, along with the World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series, were back in Texas to kick off three consecutive nights of racing in the Lonestar state starting at Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas. Jason and Bobbi are very fond of Texas as there are a lot of important people, both past and present, in their lives from the state who not only have helped form and support the development of their livelihood and professional career, but also impacted and invested in them as people. They are friends, they are mentors. They are people like the Row family from The Shop Diesel Service, the Pope family from Pope Transport, the Sutton family from Waco Metal, the Marshalls from Priority Aviation Services, LLC, the Thurns from CCC, and Scottie McDonald from Dissolvalloy. So it was show time in Texas at the Gator Bash at Gator Motorplex!
There were 28 cars and Jason and the team pulled the highest pill so they were the last car out to take time trials. When Sheldon Haudenschild completed his last lap, Jason rolled forward in the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/CCC #41 Maxim as his Kistler Engine fired and came to life. The Cajun Sensation pedaled down with his right foot and took off around this fast and racy quarter mile track. His first lap was a good one at 11.940 seconds, but not good enough to get him in the top ten. He kept digging as he was up on the wheel situated in his Fibreworks Composites seat and nailed a better lap the second time around in 11.661 seconds. As the air cleared of the sounds from the powerful 410 engines following time trials, Jason’s faster of his two laps was good enough for eighth quick overall on the night.
There were three heat races scheduled at Gator Motorplex to accommodate the 28 teams for the qualifying races. When the lineups were posted, Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing #41 team entry would be in the second heat race. Philip, Jeff and Jakob readied the car for action as Jason climbed into his Maxim Racing chassis and prepared himself for the battle. The second heat race was certainly a “who’s who” list of sprint car racing with successful drivers like Schatz, McMahan, Bacon, Price-Miller, Henry, Bell, Stewart and Schuchart filling the starting lineup. When the green flag waved over the field Schatz led McMahan and Johnson into turn one and was the rabbit setting the chase pace. Jason was driving hard aboard the Fischer Body Shop/Wilwood #41 Maxim in the show position as he was hitting his lines and carrying his speed and momentum forward. Schatz would go on to take the heat race win over McMahan in the runner-up position with Jason coming home third. Parker Price-Miller, Brady Bacon and Cap Henry secured the final three transfer positions to the feature event.
The qualifying was in the book and the only thing left was the 40-lap Gator Bash. Jason would align his Valvoline/Jonestown KOA #41 on the outside of row four for the start of the race. Putting 24 of these powerful sprint cars on the same race track is always fun, but when that race track happens to be a quarter mile oval is adds a bit more to the excitement. When the green flag waved it was Jason Sides, who started on the pole, who seized the lead as Jason got shuffled back to tenth. The Eunice, Louisiana native would fight his way back into the seventh position on lap 11 as he was aggressively looking for opportunities for more positions. At the front of the pack, Sides would surrender the lead to Paul McMahan on lap 14 as Jason kept working hard inside his cockpit to drive his Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/Schoenfeld Headers car forward. A few caution and red flags dotted the event and gave the drivers a brief respite to recalibrate themselves throughout the 40-lap race. Running in the seventh position, Jason was running clean lines as the curb was making things tricky for all the drivers. With five laps to go, Sheldon Haudenschild flipped collecting Brad Sweet. Both of the drivers were running ahead of the Ragin’ Cajun who restarted fifth when racing action resumed. He would hold that spot across the finish line to collect his 7th top five finish of the 2017 season, a 31.82% top five success rate, as David Gravel took the win with McMahan, Sides and Schatz following him under the checkers just ahead of Jason. A good night of racing and a strong top five run for Jason and the JJR Marshall Racing forty one team!