The last weekend of April was Jason returned his home track Blackhawk Farms. He first3e race there at 8 years old in 2013. Since then he’s visited at least once or twice a year. He’s driven 1000’s of miles on the tracks and knows its every bump and ripple. This was Jason’s third time running the SCCA The Mark Amenda Memorial Majors, the first in 2021 where he won in an FE2 race and the second time in a Spec Miata as part of 2022’s reset. This race is the kick off of the Northern Majors now with Jason number 59 Spec Racer Ford 3.
On the grid 2023
The started weekend like all race weekends started with Friday practice. The weather was cool but dry, perfect for getting re-acclimated to the car. Elite Autosports, who specializes in SRF3 cars, prepared a great car. Jason was very quickly up to speed and flying around the track.
Saturday arrived with a cold and wet track but an eager and ready Jason and car. They both seems to have taken a liking to each other. During a crowded and busy qualifying session he whipped the 59 around a wet and slippery track earning his first ever car pole by nearly a second. As the day progressed the track dried and Jason lost his wet driving advantage and would have to find some new tricks to stay out front. At the green Jason jumped away and let the field into turn one. As the laps ticketed down the #61 car caught and began pushing Jason and his cars limits. With just a few laps to go the tires where pushed over the limit and the car started to loosen and bobble. Going into turn one it bobbled enough that Jason’s lost a touch of moments and the #61 made the pass for the lead. Jason was able to keep up but did not find an opportunity. He finished 2nd, unfortunately, his early jump at the start earned him a one position penalty for 3rd place. The good news is Jason set the fastest lap of the race which meant that baring a faster time during Sundays qualifying he would start on the pole again.
Like Saturday, Sunday was again cold and wet, so most folks, including Jason skipped qualifying as there was nothing to gain and a great deal to risk. Jason was still the fastest and started the race on the pole. This time made sure to wait for the green flag. There was a little bumping into trun one and then he zipped away from the field at a steady even pass in the wet. At about the halfway mark he was 20 seconds ahead but was slowed by a yellow flag and safety truck doing a hot pull of a injured car reducing seconds gap to 8 seconds. Once cleared he resumed his pace and stared to accelerate just a little. By the end of the race he was more than 40 seconds ahead of second and had lapped all but 5 cars of the 21 car field. When asked about his weekend, Jason said, “I came to the track and did exactly what I wanted to do six months ago, win. To be fast with not track time for months is a very good sign for the rest of the season.” Congratulation on putting on a great show during your first race of 2023.
Thanks to Elite Autosports for the great car and Grandma and Aunt Karen for coming out to support the team. Next up is SCCA Ohio Valley GLRoC Majors at Mid-Ohio and the track first drove a race car. We are going to keep an eye on the weather and hope for a little rain to give him a little advantage.
We are excited to announce that Jason will be racing a Spec Racer Ford 3(SRF3) with Elite Autosports in the SCCA Northern Majors conference. The Spec Racer Ford 3 is a purpose build race car supported by SCCA Enterprises. It has a tube frame chassis and a full fiberglass body. The power comes from a 135 HP factory sealed 4 cylinder Ford engine and either a 5 speed manual or a 6 speed sequential transmission. The SCCA Northern Majors Conference will take to a familiar tracks in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. In addtion to the SRF3 racing Jason will continue to test in USF2000, other cars, and we expect that he will enter at least one endurance racing.
Testing in Various cars to be announced
March 11, Young Drivers Show – Wisconsin Short Track Hall of Fame
April 28-30 SCCA Majors Blackhawk Farms Raceway, South Beloit, IL
May 12-14 SCCA Majors Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; Lexington, OH
June 22-25 SCCA Majors Road America; June Sprints; Elkhart Lake, WI
July 13-16 SCCA Majors Gingerman Raceway; South Haven, MI
July 21-23 SCCA Majors Road America; Elkhart Lake, WI
Aug 18-20 SCCA Majors Grattan Raceway; Belding, MI
Who wants to get in great shape this summer and be best version of themselves? Bill is hosting a 75 Hard challenge for the motorsports community starting on June 9, 2023. Are you in?In this episode Bill shares the details you need to know to get in on the challenge.Send Bill an email to get in on the challenge and if you are interested in being a guest on an upcoming episode to discuss your progress in the 75 Hard HPDE challenge.oh, Don't forget to listen to Trey Shannon's episode on being physically fit for motorsports success. Trey Shannon on the Late To Grid podcastLooking for track day tires? Bill can save you some money! The new Continental ExtremeContact Force 200 is out and is the tire everyone is talking about. Head over to trackdaytire.com, add four ECF tires to your cart and enter code SnowVIP and that 4th tire ends up being free. How awesome is that? Great tires and saving money. Plus, if you are in the Akron or Cleveland Ohio area, have the Atomic Autosports team mount and balance them for you. Check out our sponsors:LMS-EFI Website, Facebook, InstagramAtomic Autosports Website, Facebook, InstagramETC Coaching Michael Ribas on LinkedIn, ETC Website, ETC InstagramFollow us!Late to Grid – InstagramLate To Grid – FacebookLate To Grid – TwitterEpisodes on YouTubeOur Host, Bill – Instagram and TikTokThanks for listening and taking an interest in growing grassroots racing. The Late To Grid podcast shares the stories and inspiration that help listeners along their motorsports journey. Want to start to do track days, HPDE events, and eventually race? Our guests share their advice to help you.
His advice for someone who wants to get started is to look at karting and track days.
Like many other guests, Jason talks about the importance of networking. As Jason builds his motorsports career, he looks for opportunities to be at the track, to network, and be seen. He shared some great advice – talk with everyone and be friends with everyone.
Has he been Late To Grid? He likes to be the first to grid, but does share a story of when he was Late To Grid in karting
Micheal Ribas from ETC Coaching talks about Relationship Coaching and the importance of it.
Matt Harbert from Atomic Autosports talks about what tools to pack for your next track event.
After 24 hours the team came in 6th. It was quite the comeback having been bumped into before the start and dropped to 24th(last in class). They spent the hours moving up to 3rd, but crashed shortly after mid-night requiring repairs. Congratulations on completing the race and a great comeback.
This weekend, January 21-22, Jason and his team will be racing in the iRacing 2023 iRacing Rolex 24hrs of Daytona. The team will drive an LMDH, which is the most powerful car in the race. They have been practicing and planning the driver shifts, pit stop schedule. Just like the real race they will have to drive through the night darkness, make pits stops, and avoid other traffic.