JACKSON, MINNESOTA (August 17, 2023) – After racing in Iowa last weekend at the always competitive and prestigious 62nd Annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals, Philip Dietz guided the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) sprint car team on a return visit to the state of Minnesota with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series to Tod Quiring’s beautiful Jackson Motorplex located off 550th Avenue for the three day 45th Annual AGCO Jackson Nationals. This 4/10-mile dirt oval is a first class facility to put on a show for the fans. In one of the coolest traditions leading up to the racing, the Jackson Nationals Hauler Parade takes place on Wednesday night in downtown Jackson to welcome the fans and drivers to the event. For the competitors this event is yet another measuring stick of where they are at as a team because the best in the business come here to compete. As with some other big events the driver earns points every time they hit the track, so performance matters. The car has to be just right and the driver has to be able to adapt their driving style as conditions dictate and evolve. Carson Macedo, the defending champion of the Jackson Nationals, was happy to be back and ready for the new challenge as he climbed into his K1 Race Gear crafted Albaugh – Your Alternative race suit to prepare for the first night of action. There were 40 race teams who registered and strolled through the pit gates ready to unload and get after it at Jackson Motorplex to start the Jackson Nationals on Thursday night.
Under the Jackson National race format it would be single group qualifying for Low-E Insulation Qualifying with each driver getting two laps to record their best lap time. The track record here was set last year by Carson Macedo, who turned an impressive lap in 12.572 seconds back on August 20, 2022, during the day portion of the doubleheader due to rain last year. That would be the mark everyone would be reaching for as they prepared to take their laps against the clock. As is usual and customary, the time trial order was established by random draw after registering at the pit gate, which meant the Lemoore, California driver in the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/ISC Racers Tape/FK Rod Ends #41 Maxim would be the very last car out, 40 out of 40, out on the track. Philip Dietz, the owner and crew chief for the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) #41 had his entry ready for speed. Carson waited in the staging lane located off turn two for his turn to “drop the hammer” as Chet Christner announces to perfection. When the track official waved Carson on to the track from the turn two push off lane his Kistler Engines power came to life under the Indy Performance Composites (IPC) carbon fiber hood and he dropped his right foot. He raced under the waving green flag as the second hand started to tick to measure his timed performance. He made his way around the track the first time with a very good lap time in 12.673 seconds. He continued to finesse to accelerator trying to balance his horsepower, traction and speed. He hustled down the backstretch and through the last set of turns before exiting turn four and charging under the checkered flag. His second lap was recorded in 12.828 seconds. The faster of his two attempts positioned him fifth quick overall on night one at the Jackson Nationals earning him 96 event points. Tanner Holmes, in the Shark Racing #1T, earned his first Simpson Quick Time Award as the fastest driver of the night with a lap of 12.616 seconds securing the top point total in time trials collecting the full 100 points.
With the different format for the Jackson Nationals, the top 24 drivers in time trials would be inverted in the four heat races with the top four drivers in time trials starting from the outside of row three with the fifth through eighth fastest drivers starting to their inside of their respective heat races. World of Outlaws Timing and Scoring officials posted the starting lineups for each of the four 8-lap heat races. This event format is based on points versus solely just finishing position with the top 20 in points following the heat races locking into the feature. Carson would get the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 Maxim started from the inside of row three from the fifth position in the first and fastest heat race. He would drive his hotrod into his starting position beside quick timer Tanner Holmes. They would pace behind James McFadden and Brad Sweet in row two with Chase Randall and Christopher Thram leading the field in row one. Ian Madsen, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Rusty Hickman and Scott Winters would occupy rows four and five to start the race.
The field was set and pacing side-by-side down the backstretch waiting to get on the gas, without jumping, until they reached the chalk stripe in turn four. When the front row starters arrived they pounded the loud pedal and filled Minnesota air with the sweet sound of sprint cars. It was Chase Randall getting to turn one first with James McFadden right behind in the mix. They stayed that way to complete the first laps with racing action everywhere.
Carson was up on the wheel from the get-go driving into the show position with Brad Sweet and Christopher Thram hustling behind him. The track surface was moist and lightning fast with Randall out front, McFadden chasing and Macedo trying to keep the pace. At the halfway point of the race the top five in the running order was still Randall, McFadden, Macedo, Sweet and Thram.
On lap 8, the caution flag was displayed slowing the action as Christopher Thram slowed with apparent engine issues in his #24T. The remaining field would restart in single file with 2 laps to go, The gaps that were created over the first 8 laps was erased giving everyone an opportunity to improve their position. The lights went out and Chase Randall stomped on the gas and fled off into the lead again over McFadden and Macedo when the green flag waved.
Chase Randall was not contested throughout the last two laps as he got to the checkered flag first in the first heat race ahead of James McFadden with Carson Macedo driving forward to secure a third place finish. Brad Sweet and Tanner Holmes rounded out the top five. Carson’s heat race performance added another 94 points to the 96 points he earned in time trials bringing his night one event point total to 190 points, which was second highest overall when all the heat races were completed.
Carson’s cumulative event point total of 190 points locked him into the 6-lap Toyota Dash along with high point man Donny Schatz (193 Points), Cory Eliason (189 Points), Tanner Holmes (188 Points), Giovanni Scelzi (188 Points), James McFadden (185 Points), Justin Sanders (184 Points) and Buddy Kofoid (183 Points). Those eight drivers would redraw for the starting positions in the dash. Each driver would reach their hand into the oversized NOS Energy Drink can and pull a number from one through eight to determine their starting spot for the dash. Carson pulled the eight pill, which meant he would start on the outside of row four with Justin Sanders to his inside. James McFadden had luck on his side as he drew the one pill to start from the pole position with Tanner Holmes to his outside. Row two was made up of Giovanni Scelzi and Donny Schatz with Buddy Kofoid and Cory Eliason in row three. McFadden and Holmes banged the accelerator off turn four when the green lights came on with Holmes leading lap one ahead of Schatz and McFadden. Carson picked up one position early and was running in the seventh position. At the front, Donny Schatz was pressuring Tanner Holmes for the lead, with Holmes holding him off. But a few laps later Schatz made his way around Holmes on the outside exiting turn two to take the lead. Carson picked up another spot too as he maneuvered by Buddy Kofoid and was now running in sixth place. The laps were winding down and when the checkered flag flew it was Donny Schatz taking the dash victory ahead of Holmes, McFadden, and Scelzi with Sanders rounding out the top five. Carson brought the Border International #41 home in sixth with Kofoid and Eliason completing the finishing order.
When the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown (LCS) was over the 24-car field was established for the 25-lap opening night feature at the Jackson Nationals. The race crews were busy finishing up their last minute work to get the speed chariots ready for the drivers. The air horn sounded aloud overhead as Carson Macedo climbed into the cockpit of his Maxim Racing hotrod ready to battle his fellow competitors in a race to the checkers here at the Jackson Motorplex. The fans had come out to support the event and the drivers were committed to give them the most entertaining show possible.
Carson would get the Albaugh – Your Alternative/WELD Racing/Factory Kahne Shocks #41 started from row three in the sixth starting spot. He would share the row with Justin Sanders in the Macri Motorsports #39M. They would be rolling behind the front two rows made up of Donny Schatz, Tanner Holmes, James McFadden and Giovanni Scelzi as they awaited the signal to go four-wide for the Whiskey Myers salute to the fans.
It was time to go racing in Jackson, Minnesota! The field of sprint car stars bunched up two-by-two and nose-to-tail. When they exited turn four it was all about speed and power. The field roared down the front stretch and made a hard right turn into turn one. Some were ripping the rim throwing mud onto the white painted fences, while others were making the bottom side of the track work. It was Donny Schatz driving into the lead over Tanner Holmes, James McFadden, and Giovanni Scelzi when the first lap was in the books. Carson was wheeling the Albaugh #41 from the last spot in the top five spot and looking to drive forward.
There were some changes in the running order on the horizon at the front of the pack as McFadden raced by Holmes into the runner-up position and immediately started to close the gap between himself and race leader Schatz. Carson moved by Giovanni Scelzi into the fourth position as he was now looking at tracking down Tanner Holmes. By lap 7, McFadden had caught Schatz’s Carquest/Ford Performance #15 and made the pass for the lead.
With 10 laps in the books the top five was McFadden, Schatz, Holmes, Macedo and Scelzi. Schatz wasn’t going anywhere as he was still stalking McFadden hungry for another fight for the lead. Meanwhile, Carson had closed in on Tanner Holmes’ rear nerf bar as the two talented racers were battling for the final podium position. Holmes had it and wasn’t ready to surrender it to Macedo. He maintained the position as he continued to hold off the JJR #41.
Donny Schatz was now reeling in McFadden and caught up to him with Holmes, Macedo and Scelzi closing in on the top two drivers in lap traffic. The action was fast and furious and getting tight lap after lap. That action was all put on pause on lap 17, when David Gravel slowed to a stop with a blown right rear tire. He headed to the Federated Car Care Work Area as his crew went to work, but was unable to rejoin the field.
They went back to green flag racing with McFadden holding down the top spot in the Roth Motorsports #83 ahead of Schatz, Holmes, Macedo and Kofoid. Two laps later, Carson was finally able to race by Homes into the third position as Schatz was again all over McFadden for the lead.
On lap 21, the yellow flag came back out as Spencer Bayston was now contending with a shredded right rear tire as he headed to the work area. The TrueTimber #5 team was able to make the tire change as the Indiana driver rejoined the back of the field. When they went back to high speed racing James McFadden used his Toyota engine power to rebuild his lead over Schatz’s Ford power with 4 laps to go. Tanner Homes made the pass on Macedo to take the third spot back and quickly put some distance between himself and Macedo.
James McFadden would not be denied as he raced to the opening night win at the Jackson Nationals ahead of Donny Schatz and Tanner Holmes who completed the podium in his second night in the Shark Racing #1T. Carson Macedo came home fourth in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 with Buddy Kofoid racing to a top five in the Roth Motorsports #83JR. Carson added another 241 points to his night one cumulative activity bringing his event point total to 431 points. That place him fourth overall only nine points behind Donny Schatz (193 Points) after the opening night with James McFadden (435 Points) in second; Tanner Holmes (432 Points) in third, and Giovanni Scelzi (423 Points) rounding out the top five. Another good run for Macedo and the forty-one!
The 45th Annual AGCO Jackson Nationals at Jackson Motorplex Begins with a Fourth Place Finish for Carson Macedo and the #41 Team! 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.