In their just over two years together, Carson Macedo and Jason Johnson Racing have shown themselves to be among the most consistent front runners on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars Series tour. A pair of 3rd place results in the final series standings in 2021 and 2022 confirm that. And more, the No. 41 car wheeled into victory lane on 11 occasions in each of those two seasons.
There is reason to believe that the team is only getting stronger. Macedo currently leads the series standings with one win along with 10 top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes in the first 15 races of the season.
The 26-year-old driver from Lemoore, California believes the close bond he has formed with team owner and crew chief Philip Dietz along with team members Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz has been key to JJR’s success.
“I think it’s super important,” Macedo said during a recent World of Outlaws media availability. “I think that’s why you see so many teams that are powerhouse teams that win multiple championships and multiple races, they stick together. This is year three for myself and JJR, this is year three for Philip, Clyde and me all being a part of JJR as a team. I think it goes without saying that it makes for a great finished product when you stick together. Everybody knows what each other expects. Clyde and Nate know what Phillip expects of them and they do their jobs soundly without being told.”
And it isn’t just the crew who have come to understand the expectations placed before them.
“I know what Philip expects as a car owner and a crew chief and I think he has a really good idea of what I need as a driver to be successful as far as the way my car needs to handle,” Macedo explained. “He does a really good job of putting me in that window most nights. He lets me be comfortable and do my job to the best of my ability. I think you saw it over the years several times.”
JJR’s path, Macedo believes, matches that of other top tier operations. Famous historical driver-crew chief pairings such as Steve and Karl Kinser, Donny Schatz and Ricky Warner, and current Kasey Kahne Racing front runners Brad Sweet and Eric Prutzman were or have been together for extended periods of time.
“I think when Steve was back with Karl in the day, they won tons of championships then Donny kind of took over the reins of that with Ricky Warner and they won tons of championships,” Macedo pointed out. “Now you see that with Brad and Eric and the KKR team, they’ve done the same thing, everybody has stuck together and they’ve been really good winning four championships. They’ve arguably been one of the best teams that we’ve seen. I feel like for myself and JJR, this is year three, we’ve stuck together and it’s paying off. I believe if we can keep on maintaining that comradery and pushing forward it makes it easier when you know you’re comfortable and you know what everybody expects. It’s a game of inches that we’re racing for out there and every inch counts.”
Like those great organizations, the work put in by each member raises the level of the others.
“You feed off of good effort,” Macedo declared. “A lot of people say that if you want to be rich, hang out with rich people. If you want to be successful at anything in life, you hang out with the right people. Philip Dietz, who owns JJR now, is extremely hard working, probably some of the best work ethic I’ve ever seen between him and Clyde Knipp and Nate Repetz, They work their tails off. JJR is always clean and organized, and professional and amazingly maintained. When they’re putting that kind of effort in, it makes you want to step up to the plate and do your part. I see the product they put forward for me and I want to put that same effort and product forward for them.”
Macedo currently leads the World of Outlaws in the number of fast times set during qualifying sessions. He believes that bond formed by his team as well as their experience allows them to be appropriately prepared to be fast when they unload off the truck.
“A lot of that comes back to JJR as well,” Macedo said. “Philip’s been on the Outlaw tour for a long time, he raced obviously with Jason Johnson and David Gravel and now myself. He’s got a really good notebook and a great idea of what each track needs and what the characteristics are and what our car needs to be for certain tracks. It makes a really big difference. We’ve got a pretty good idea of what our car needs to make speed. Philip’s base package is really close and he does an awesome job of adjusting from there and getting us where we need to be.”
In the end, remaining unified has been and will continue to be the key to success for Carson Macedo and Jason Johnson Racing.
“I think that’s why you see a lot of the really good teams on the Outlaw tour be teams that have been out there a long time with the same crew chief and the same core group of people and that makes a really big difference to have that notebook.”
Macedo, Jason Johnson Racing and the rest of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will head to the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossberg, Ohio this weekend for the #LetsRaceTwo event.
Please consider also reading:
Respond to this post on Twitter by following @RichardAllenIDR and @MichaelRMoats or by liking the InsideDirtRacing.com Facebook page.
Also, NASCAR and pavement racing fans can check out InsideCircleTrack.com