In August of this year Jason Johnson’s world changed forever.
The Eunice Louisiana “Ragin Cajun” defeated the seemingly invincible Donny Schatz on the world’s biggest stage and won the 2016 5-Hour Energy Knoxville Nationals.
It was a moment that fans, rivals and Jason’s family will talk about for years to come.
And now, the winner of the biggest race on the planet is coming back to Murray Bridge Speedway, armed to the teeth with five of his fellow Americans for a one-night only $10,000 to win January 7 affair.
Johnson, Californians Brad Sweet, Dominic Scelzi and Corey Eliason, Missouri’s Brian Brown and Oklahoma’s Harli White will all head to ‘the Bridge’ for the January 7 blockbuster presented by Murray Bridge Toyota.
It’s one of the most impressive American line-ups for a single night event in South Australian Sprintcar history and certainly it’s the brightest light yet in the first USC SA season at Murray Machining & Sheds Speedway.
Jason Johnson is certainly regarded as a Murray Bridge specialist and is no stranger to victory lane at the iconic bullring whilst several of his USA counterparts have yet to turn an angry wheel around the place.
That is not expected to hold them back.
With the boost in car counts and explosion in rising talent through South Australia the local heroes will be expected to give their international visitors a hostile reception.
Just as they have done with the interstate invaders so far this season.
“I don’t think we care where you come from, whether it’s another state or another country,” says Luke Dillon, “you better bring you’re A-Game when you come here (SA) or you’re going to be very disappointed.”
Jason Johnson will drive for the always-rapid South-West Australian Diamond Bay Motorsport #26 team in a formidable situation for rivals where both the Stathie team and the driver (although never previously combined) have substantial experience and success at the venue.
“The Big Cat” Brad Sweet drives for his beloved Broken Hill based Ruhs Bros Motorsport and comes to Murray Bridge with a reputation for garnering wins at will no matter where he turns up.
Californian Corey Eliason makes his Australian debut this season for South Aussie racer and Maxwill Engines man Adam Currie. The pair met some ten years ago when Currie was based in the USA and they’ve remained friends ever since. Eliason will run several shows in the Awesome Landscapes KPC.
Brian Brown and Dominic Scelzi saddle up with the vast inventory of West Australians Wormall Motorsport as part of a four state rampage with a road going truck convoy that would rival a V8 Supercar team.
Oklahoma lady racer Harli White has already raced in Sydney and at Warrnambool at the time of writing for the Sydney based Stirton Family team and will have another four nights in the Harbour City under her belt by the MMS event.
January 7 promises to be one of the biggest crowds in the new era of Murray Machining & Sheds Speedway thus far with a crowd pleasing Demolition Derby, Speedcars, Wingless Sprints and V6 Sprints also on the program.