2023 The Mark Amenda Memorial Majors

On the grid 2013

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.