PORT ROYAL, PENNSYLVANIA (October 5, 2023) – Coming off a disappointing outcome at the 61st Annual National Open at Williams Grove last weekend, when he experienced mechanical issues on the last lap while running in the top ten to finish in 19th place, Carson Macedo and the JJR crew quickly turned their attention and focus to another big race in Central Pennsylvania – a Crown Jewel – the 56th Annual Tuscarora 50 at Part Royal Speedway on Thursday night. Using their last available “free pass” of the 2023 season as a platinum World of Outlaws (WoO) team, the driver and team gladly took advantage of this opportunity to race in front of their Pennsylvania sponsors and the passionate fans of the Keystone State when the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) race was postpone back in early September after it rained out and rescheduled this great event for this date in October.
Much like the Williams Grove National Open, the past winners of this race are names that not only helped shape the sport, but rather defined it. Mitch Smith won the first running of this race in 1968 and won the prestigious event multiple times. Other notable winners, but certainly not an all-inclusive list, are highlighted by names like: Smokey Snellbaker, Lynn Paxton, Kenny Weld, Steve Smith, Jim Nace, Keith Kauffman, Bobby Allen, Dave Blaney, Doug Wolfgang, Stevie Smith, Todd Shaffer, Don Kreitz Jr., Lance Dewease, Fred Rahmer, Greg Hodnett, Brent Marks, Logan Wagner and Donny Schatz. There were 54 competitive sprint car teams signed into the pit area on Thursday night ready to take a shot at adding their name to this impressive list of winners.
After hot laps were completed, the first order of business to get the night started was Hercules Tire Qualifying. Each driver would get two laps around The Speed Palace along with another car looking to turn their quickest lap against the competition. Carson would go out late in Group B as he would be the 22nd driver on the track and be joined by one of the rising stars of the sport, Ryan Timms in his #5T. This half mile dirt oval nestled in the Juniata County Fairgrounds is known for its speed and character. Macedo climbed into the cockpit of the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 Maxim and buckled in ready to give his Maxim Racing chassis a ride. He pulled on his green flame designed Shifty Illusions custom painted Bell Helmet and secured the chin strap as he inched closer to the front of the staging lane. When no one was between him and the official he flipped the shield down and was ready to roll as the push truck tapped on his rear nerf bar. As he rolled out into turn one, his Kistler Engines power came alive and was ready to roar as he built up momentum down the backstretch and through turns three and four as he headed to take the green flag. When he arrived he rocketed by the flagstand and maneuvered through the first set of turns. He was moving and grooving sprint car style and exited turn four faster than before to complete his first timed lap in an impressive 15.516 seconds. He kept his right K1 Race Gear boot planted on the accelerator pushing for more the next time around. Focused on creating speed and balancing it with hitting the grip the Lemoore, California native was having a blast. He roared down the front straightaway in front of the crowd and took the checkers the next time around in 15.592 seconds to end lap two. The faster of his two laps was third quick in his group overall. Rico Abreu in The Rothwell Hyde Napa Valley Vineyard #24 secured the fastest lap of the night after going out 15th for Hercules Tire Qualifying in Group B with a quick time of 15.434 seconds.
Using each of the competitor’s fastest laps for their respective groups, the lineups for the six 8-lap heat races were posted by the ASCoC officials. Carson would be in the sixth and final heat race and get started from the fourth starting spot with Troy Wagaman Jr. to his inside in row two. They would pace behind Justin Whittall and Chase Randall with Aaron Reutzel and Jeff Halligan behind in row three and Hunter Schuerenberg and Tanner Holmes in row four. Dominic Melair tagged the rear of the field in row five as they paced side-by-side awaiting the green flag in Hunt Brother Pizza Heat 6.
The field was patiently rolling side-by-side looking to gain the advantage off turn four when the green lights illuminated. When the front row arrived at the chalk stripe the horses under the hoods were unleashed and the drivers were off to the races at Port Royal Speedway. Chase Randall won the drag race down the frontstretch to beat Justin Whittall to turn one. They went low and Carson drove the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions #41 to the high side and exited turn two in the second running position. Randall led the first lap with Macedo and Whittall chasing behind. Carson was right there with Randall and was looking low to make a bid for the lead. He could not quite make it work and before he knew it Justin Whittall was up on the wheel and closing the gap between himself and the forty-one. A few laps later the Prime Composites #67 was on the bumper of the Buckwalter Trucking/Winter Performance Products/Larry Davis Farms #41 Maxim. Over the next few laps the two racer would battle for the second position as Chase Randall checked out in his Bush’s Chicken #9. Whittall meanwhile raced underneath Macedo entering turn three and held his line with two laps to go but Macedo powered around the outside to maintain the position. Randall raced to the win by 1.196 seconds over Carson who came home second as Whittall secured the third and final transfer position from heat six. Troy Wagaman Jr. was scored with a fourth place finish with Aaron Reutzel rounding out the top five.
With only the six heat race winners making their way into the Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts Dash redraw Carson would be slated to start the feature from the outside of row five. With one of the best single day fields in the country assembled for the 50-lap Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions 56th Annual Tuscarora 50 feature, the fans in the stands were on their feet and ready for some high speed sprint car action. Each person had their own favorite driver they would watch and cheer for throughout the feature. Some were pulling for the Pennsylvania Posse contingent, while others were hoping one of the outside invaders would steal the $62,000 winner’s share of the purse that was posted. Nonetheless, it was time to go racing at Port Royal Speedway in the crisp fall air in Pennsylvania.
There was big money was up for grabs and these drivers were about ready to get to work. Pennsylvania local Brent Shearer would be the polesitter with Chase Randall to his outside. Brent Marks and Brian Brown were in row two with Devon Borden and Kerry Madsen in row three. It was an all-California row four made up of Buddy Kofoid and red hot Rico Abreu with Sye Lynch and Carson Macedo making up row five. Carson was situated in his Fibreworks Composite carbon fiber seat ready to do battle at Port Royal.
The flagman was ready to unfurl the green and when the green flag dropped it was Chase Randall quickly driving into the lead ahead of two “Brents” – Shearer and Marks respectively. Carson was up on the wheel in the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 early as he used his speed and determination to drive forward into the seventh position at the end of lap one.
Chase Randall was still setting the pace with five laps in the books with Shearer, Marks, Brown and Madsen running in the top five with Macedo now up to sixth. On lap 6, the first yellow flag of the night came out for Parker Price-Miller who slowed after making contact with the outside guiderail in turn four. The running order at the front of the pack was Randall, Shearer, Marks, Brown and Madsen still with Carson sitting in sixth.
It would be a single file restart as Randall brought the field back to the green flag. He maintained the top spot as Carson drove the Albaugh – Your Alternative #41 by Kerry Madsen to enter the top five. Those two would battle wheel-to-wheel over the next few laps as Rico Abreu snuck into the picture making his way by Madsen and immediately started to put pressure on Macedo for the fifth position. Abreu would Catch the driver of the forty-one and move by on lap 10 pushing Macedo back to sixth.
A little bit ahead of them Brent Marks moved the M&M Painting & Construction #19 by Shearer and was tracking down race leader Randall. On lap 19, he moved into the lead with Randall and Shearer pacing behind. The yellow flag came back out slowing the cars around the track. This time the race interruption was for TJ Stutts who slowed to a stop after making contact with the turn four wall a few laps earlier.
Brent Marks would race back up to speed with the lead and record another lap before another caution turned the yellow lights on when Kasey Kahne was stopped in turn two. They would go back green again, but that was brief as this time the red flag flew for Devon Borden in the Treyco Manufacturing, Inc. #23 who flipped after getting into the outside fence in turn two. He was ok.
After getting the race restarted, Marks was still up front with Randall and Shearer behind. Carson was running in sixth but behind him the Roth Motorsports #83JR of Buddy Kofoid was fast and closing in quickly. Kofoid would catch up and drive under Macedo to take over the sixth spot on lap 25. The race order did not change over the next five laps as the planned competition yellow flew on lap 25 for the teams to make minor adjustments and refuel for the remainder of the race.
After the work was completed by the crews on the frontstretch, the horn sounded and the surface cleared leaving only the drivers and their speed machines with 25 laps remaining between all of them and the big paycheck for the winner. Brent Marks would lead Randall, Brown, Shearer, Abreu and Kofoid back up to speed with Carson maneuvering from the seventh position. Marks raced out to the lead again with Carson pressuring Kofoid for the sixth spot back when they went back racing.
Things were about to get interesting though on lap 35 as the leaders were racing at speed through slower traffic. Race leader Brent Marks spun in turn four after taking evasive actions trying to avoid contact with TJ Stutts who was about to go a lap down. The yellow flag was out and Chase Randall inherited the lead. He would bring them back up to speed with Brian Brown behind him as Rico Abreu was now up to third ahead of Buddy Kofoid and Brent Shearer. Carson Macedo was sitting just outside the top five holding down the sixth spot with 16 laps to go with 14th starting Kyle Larson right behind in seventh.
They went green again, but the yellow lights came back on for Rico Abreu who rolled to a stop. The field realigned and went back to green flag racing again with Carson now holding down the fifth position trying to track down Shearer for the fourth spot while simultaneously fending off Larson. Buddy Kofoid drove into the runner-up position a lap later with Carson still holding down fifth but under an all-out assault by Larson.
Kyle Larson moved by the next time around and with just 10 laps remaining it was Randall leading Kofoid, Brown, Larson and Shearer with Carson sitting right outside the top five in sixth. Buddy Kofoid was fast and closing quick on the leader. Things were again about to get interesting with a race for the lead shaping up. But that all change don lap 43 when second running Kofoid rolled to a stop in turn three with issues.
With 7 laps remaining it would be Randall, Brown, Larson, Shearer and Macedo running in the top five. The cars got back up to speed and Brian Brown used the opportunity to race into the lead ahead of Randall. Kyle Larson follow suit and passed Randall too with the two outside invaders setting up a duel for the money with 5 laps to go. Brian Brown would not be denied as he took the victory over Kyle Larson and Chase Randall with Brent Shearer and Carson Macedo rounding out the top five at the 56 Annual Tuscarora 50. Another top five run, his 47th of the season – a 65.28% top five success rate – for Macedo and the forty-one!
A 5th Place Finish in the 56th Annual Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal’s Speed Palace for the JJR Forty-One Team! Photo Credit: JB Graphics
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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.