MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA (May 12, 2023) – While for many people Friday marks the end of the “traditional” or “normal” work week, the drivers and teams involved in racing were ready to work some long hours on the weekend shift. The World of Outlaws invasion of the Central Pennsylvania racing scene continued on Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway for the opening night of the two-day Morgan Cup at the paper clipped shaped half-mile oval. After running in 18th place in the Gettysburg Clash at Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday night, Carson Macedo and the JJR #41 crew were eager and raring to go at a track they have historically performed well at in the past. The fans simply refer to this speed and entertainment venue as “The Grove.” These historic grounds always delivers some great racing action for the fans in the stands. The excitement could be felt in the air as the frontstretch and backstretch pit areas at the track were bustling with 38 teams on Friday evening – it was the PA Posse versus World of Outlaws (WoO) at Williams Grove Speedway!
With the pit area packed with 38 race teams again, the field of competitors would need to be separated into two groups for time trials in Low-E Insulation Qualifying. Time trials are an important part of the race format as the best times laid down during each driver’s showcase set the stage for where they will start their battle from in the heat races. After the random numbered pill rolled out of the bingo wheel it was determined that the Boltz Family/Winters Performance Products/Wilwood Racing #41 Maxim Racing machine of Carson Macedo would be the first car out in two car qualifying in Group A. The chauffeur from Lemoore, California climbed into the cockpit of his 410 cubic inch powered racecar and pulled his K1 Race Gear gloves as he prepared for his speed attack. He rolled into the staging area and waited patiently for his turn to fire his engine. When he got the signal from track officials Carson flipped down the shield of his Bell Racing helmet and rolled onto the track with his qualifying partner Kyle Reinhardt. He built up his speed down the back straightaway and rocketed off turn four with the green flag waving. Williams Grove is fast and technical and any little bobble can scrub off precious thousandths of a second. Carson ran smoothly through the first set of turns and down the backstretch before rolling through the last set of turns as he headed back to the start finish line. When he triggered the timing laser at the end of his first lap his time was 16.809 seconds. He kept his momentum moving forward aboard the Albaugh #41 the next time around searching and digging for more speed. He maintained his speed on the second and final time trial lap that was consistent at 16.963 seconds. The first lap put Carson second quick overall in Group A when time trials concluded. David Gravel locked down the fastest lap of the night overall at 16.760 seconds out of Group A.
When the lineups were released for each of the four 8-lap heat races they were all filled with talented sprint car drivers. Carson would get rocking and rolling in the second heat race aboard the Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions/FK Rod Ends/Saldana Racing Products #41 Maxim from the pole position in the starting lineup. He buckled into his Crow Enterprizes safety belts before the crew pushed him back from the trailer. He would share the front row with Sunnyvale, Texas’ own Sam Hafertepe Jr. as the two talented drivers led the field in their side-by-side formation to the chalk stripe in turn four. When they hit it the white dust flew up as the field propelled forward and headed down the long front straightaway. It was Macedo to the lead followed by Hafertepe with third starting Brent Marks right on their tails when they exited turn two. Carson would lead the opening lap with Marks speeding by Hafertepe into the runner-up position. Carson was cruising in the Albaugh #41 at the front of the pack as he began to build his lead over Marks. The driver of the JJR #41 never looked back as he led heat race #2 from the drop of the green flag to the waving of the checkered flag taking the win over Marks and Hafertepe with Brock Zearfoss and Billy Dietrich rounding out the top five.
Getting a shot to race for his starting position in the feature, Carson headed to the frontstretch to pull a pill for his starting position in the 6-lap Toyota Dash. When it was his turn, the affable Lemoore, California hotshoe pulled the four pill and then used the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge his team. He explained, “Philip, Clyde and Nate have been working hard. We are making progress and I look forward to seeing what we have here in the dash.” Current point leader, Brad Sweet, would start from the pole with red hot Rico Abreu to his outside. Brent Marks would be to Macedo’s inside in row two with Donny Schatz and Anthony Macri in row three followed by Justin Peck and David Gravel in row four. When they go to the middle of turns three and four the green lights around the track came on with Sweet driving his NAPA Auto Parts #49 into the lead ahead of Abreu. Brent Marks and Carson Macedo were putting on an early show cleanly battling for the third position. The top four in the running order stayed the same over the course of the three miles of high speed racing, but there was some fierce competition throughout the race. Brad Sweet took the win with Rico Abreu and Brent Marks following him across the finish line. Carson Macedo brought the Albaugh – Your Alternative/ISC Racers Tape/Tiger Towing #41 Maxim home fourth with David Gravel, Donny Schatz, Justin Peck, and Anthony Macri completing the finishing order.
The horn sounded as the teams that qualified for the feature completed their last minute work for the Friday edition of the 25-lap NOS Energy Drink Morgan Cup opening feature. There would be three Californians and one Pennsylvanian in the first two rows in PA Posse land. It was an all-Golden State front row with Brad Sweet and Rico Abreu with fellow California speedster Carson Macedo starting fourth with Brent Marks proudly representing Pennsylvania in the third starting position. After the traditional four-wide salute, the racers got lined back up in the side-by-side starting formation. It was time to go racing at Williams Grove Speedway!
Brad Sweet was responsible for getting them started and he smoothly did so racing ahead of Rico Abreu on the opening lap with Brent Marks and Carson Macedo hustling behind the top two. Carson was up on the wheel of the Border International/Schoenfeld Headers/Premium Coach Group #41 Maxim searching for the best line that would afford him the opportunity to move forward.
The speed and momentum everyone had built in the opening laps was slowed on lap 5 when Sam Hafertepe Jr. made contact with the outside guiderail in turn three coming to a stop. Under the yellow the top five of Sweet, Abreu, Marks, Macedo and Macri rolled slowly awaiting the restart. When they got the RPMs back up in their power plants it was again Sweet leading with Abreu, Marks and Macedo all in the chaser roles. David Gravel moved into the mix and slipped under Macedo four fourth. But, both Gravel and Macedo had the 10-time champion race underneath them into fourth relegating Carson back to the sixth spot.
The drivers would put some space between themselves over the next 15 laps until the next yellow flag was thrown on lap 20 when Brock Zearfoss couldn’t exit the track in turn three and slowed on the frontstretch. It was still Brad Sweet, the four-time defending WoO Champion, leading Rico Abreu but now Marks, Schatz and Gravel were in the mix too. Carson would restart from the sixth position. Back to green and the front five fanned out quickly. Meanwhile, Carson was battling with the Gettysburg Clash winner, Anthony Macri, driving by into the sixth position.
Carson was now running seventh when the last yellow flag of the night came out on lap 16 for Robbie Price who looped the Sides Motorsports #7s off the exit of turn two. There were 9 laps to go when they went back to green and Sweet set sail again. Carson was now contending with Lance Dewease and the hard-charging Justin Peck in the Buck Motorsports #13. It was a four car battle for position as Macedo was racing with Gravel as they traded the higher spot on the scoreboard ultimately with Gravel coming out on top. Carson scrubbed off some speed to avoid any contact allowing both Dewease and Peck to race underneath him pushing him back to ninth in the running order.
When the black and white blocked flag flew it was Brad Sweet collecting the opening night Morgan Cup victory over Brent Marks and Donny Schatz with Rico Abreu and Anthony Macri completing the top five. Three Outlaws and two PA Posse. Carson brought the Tarlton and Son #41 home with a 9th place finish on the night. The finish was an improvement over the past two previous race results for the team which hopefully is an indicator they are heading back in the right direction. They will be prepared and back at it on Saturday night at Williams Grove Speedway in the Morgan Cup finale ready to keep digging!
A 9th Place Finish for Macedo and the JJR #41 Team at the Morgan Cup Opener at Williams Grove! Photo Credit: CS Productions – Cameron Saich
Albaugh, LLC; Border International; Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT); Saich Family; Tarlton and Son Inc.; Boltz Family; Complete Parts & Equipment Solutions; Durst Inc.; Liquid Trucking; Bandy & Associates Accountancy Corporation; Buckwalter Trucking, LLC; Jansen Transportation; Larry Davis Farms; Meyers Constructors Inc.; Mr. Jim’s Racing; RaceDiecast.com; Sam I Am; Team Jack Foundation; Mark Burch Motorsports; T-FAB Custom Metal Fabrication; Tiger Towing; All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads; AutoMeter; Bell Helmets; BMRS (Brown & Miller Racing Solutions); BR Motorsports; C&R Racing; Crow Enterprizes; Engler Machine & Tool, Inc.; Factory Kahne (FK Shocks); Fibreworks Composites; FK Rod Ends; Greber Racing Components; High Performance Lubricants, LLC; Hoosier Racing Tire; Indy Performance Composites (IPC); ISC Racers Tape; K1 Race Gear; Kistler Racing Engines; KSE Racing Products; Maxim Racing; Motor State Distributing; Premium Coach Group; Pro Powder Coating (PPC); Saldana Racing Products; Schoenfeld Headers; Smith Titanium; Vortex Racing Products; Walker Performance Filtration; Weld Racing; Wilwood Racing; Winters Performance Products; and, Xtreme Body and Paint.
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.