A common attribute shared by winners is the knack to induce amnesia at will. Dwelling on things that go crazy-awful during races would drive anyone wacky, so a fully functioning capacity to compartmentalize is a must. It's a key part of a champion's skill-set to immediately forget those things that didn't work out and remain steadfastly focused on all that did. One of the definitive tests of that ability, facing both drivers and their entire team, is the ASCS Sizzlin' Summer Speedweek. The event has been absent from the line-up since 2008 so its return to the 2012 race calendar was highly anticipated and thoroughly prepared for. In what most consider to be a bona fide test of a team's ability to overcome adversity, drivers of the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series compete seven times in just nine days, in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
Jason "The Cajun Sensation" Johnson and the Stenhouse Jr. K&N Racing team currently have the ASCS championship points lead.
"Speedweek is a fun part of our Stenhouse Jr. K&N Racing team schedule," commented Jason Johnson. "It can become real intense as the week goes on depending on the results produced. Obviously the crew guys have very long days of work to perform. From racing all evening, to the car wash and the travel through the night to the next event, it leaves very little time for sleeping and getting prepared for the next day's event. To compete in seven events in nine days it's important to keep the team alert on striving for victories day-in and day-out. As the driver it is instrumental to make sure that after each night's performance, to get a good night's sleep, and start the new day with a fresh state of mind. It's easy to get over confident when things are going well, but it's also frustrating when the week is one tough task after another. Thankfully, our JJR team keeps moving forward and focused on good performances!"
Born in Eunice, Louisiana, Jason "The Cajun Sensation" Johnson was looking to put on a great show for his hometown fans when the JJR team visited Jackson Parish to race at Jones Motor Speedway on Monday, June 18th. Johnson disappointed no one except the competition as he brought the No.41 Maxim across the stripe in first place for his 58th career ASCS National Tour victory. "The Stenhouse Jr. K&N Racing team is doing an excellent job," said Johnson in victory lane. "The last lap got a little hairy there as I didn't know where to go. But, I am glad it worked out and we got the victory with our Roush Yates Ford Engine!"
For 2012 Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have teamed up to run Roush Yates powered Ford sprint 360 engines in the ASCS series and the relationship is working pretty much as planned. Johnson currently sits atop the leader board with the ASCS points lead for the championship. In 2011 Johnson won a series leading six races and successfully defended their owner's point title.
On Tuesday, June 19th, officially the fourth day of the 2012 edition of ASCS Speedweek, Johnson and the team raced Diamond Park Speedway in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Johnson started 15th and finished 6th. And what the team focused on after that race was that this was his 38th top-ten finish in 2012, which breaks down to a sizzling 77.6 percent top-ten success rate this season.
The day after Arkansas it was off to Lawton Speedway in Oklahoma. Johnson started this one in 11th place and finished third. Once again the attention remained on the positive, as Johnson's third place finish was his 29th top-five finish in the 50 events he has entered in 2012, which is an impressive 58 percent top-five performance rate.
The driver and team got a day off from racing on Thursday as they next headed to Salina Highbanks Speedway, also in Oklahoma, for night six on Friday evening. In that contest Johnson started 1st and finished the same way. This was a series' leading fifth win for Johnson in 2012, and his 59th career ASCS National Tour victory.
The ASCS National Tour competitors pulled their haulers into the pit area at Lucas Oil Speedway for the final night of Speedweek 2012 on Saturday, June 23rd. Johnson finished 14th after starting in 17th. "Not the finish we wanted tonight, but we will go on to Little Rock next week and look for better results," said Johnson after the race. "We had a really good Speedweek capturing two wins and a lot of top five finishes. It was a fun week of racing!"
"Little Rock has been really good to us this season," continued Johnson. Each time we have made the trek down to Arkansas they have provided us with a great racing surface. This allows our Stenhouse Jr. K&N Racing team to showcase first class racing producing multiple victories at Little Rock this season. We are definitely looking forward to the Short Track Nationals down in Little Rock this October. It is one of our marquee events for the season."
"To this point of our season, we would consider 2012 a success," reflects Johnson. "Working with our new crew chief, Philip Dietz, and our unique engine package with the Roush Yates Ford 360 power plant, we set our standards high to be among one of the best. With lots of hard work and dedication from all involved, we keep striving to capture the 2012 ASCS National Points Championship. Next on our schedule is Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. It holds a special place in my heart ever since I captured my very first World of Outlaws victory there back on October 11, 2003."
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