Jason Patison and his new E3 Sparkplugs/Dixie Chopper team traveled to Irwindale this past weekend to debut their #17 Super Late Model in a pair of 40 lap races at Toyota Speedway. After spending most of the Friday night session working all of the “bugs” out of the recently finished car, the team knew they had their work cut out for them to get up to speed on Saturday. After making the most of the 35 minute practice session, Patison qualified at a time of 18.48 around the half mile oval, missing the pole by .06 but still good enough for second quick.
After the invert Patison lined up 3rd row outside for the start of the first of two main events. When the green flag dropped Patison navigated the high-line until he had an opening on the bottom of the track. Once on the bottom, Patison began making up ground on the lead pack. Halfway through the race Patison was up to fourth but the number 17 developed a push in the center of the corners and was having a hard time getting by the leaders. With a straightaway lead on 5th and knowing that there was a second race to come, Patison decided to save his tires and cruise to 4th place finish.
During the intermission crew chief Steve Teets went to work on the car to help it rotate, knowing that as it cooled down the tight condition would only worsen. Patison lined up in the 5th spot for race 2 and went to work when the green flag dropped. With a much improved racecar Patison worked through traffic and cleared second place on lap 22, and was running down the lead when a caution came out on lap 30. Over the final 10 laps Patison had a great battle with race leader Nick Joanides, getting underneath him several times in the corners but Joanides’ number 71 machine was strong in the outside groove and drove back by Patison coming on to the straight-aways. When the check flag flew Joanides edged Patison by 2 tenths of a second to take the victory.
“I think this was a great debut for our new team, to get as little of practice as we did and to be able to run up front was just awesome. This E3 Sparkplugs, Dixie Chopper, Lucas Oil machine worked great around the bottom and I had a lot of fun racing with Nick. I also want to thank Idiaz Label for all of their support, I forgot to thank them during the post race interview and they have been a big part of getting this team together.” Said Patison
Patison’s next event will be the NASCAR Camping World West Series race at Infineon Speedway on June 21st. Patison would like to thank all of his sponsors for their continued support: Lucas Oil Products, SuperClean, Dixie Chopper, E3 Spark Plugs, Jim Beam, K&N Filters, Idiaz Label, Jasper Engines, and Fatheadz Sun Glasses.