That was the goal.
Although JCW Racing didn’t cross the finish line at the end of Port Royal Speedway’s Blue Collar Classic Saturday night in first, the team attained another strong Top 5, a fourth place finish.
Leading up to the season finale, the team spent a month making final preparations while using their most recent third place appearance at Bedford Speedway to dial in. Team owner and driver Jake Waters felt ready.
Of the 52 305 PA Sprint Series RaceSaver winged sprints that pre-registered for the event, 49 came to Port Royal Speedway looking to race to Victory Lane. After unloading the car and hitting the track, JCW Racing timed 13th overall to start the night. With the unique qualifying format, Waters lined up to start 2nd in Heat 2. The top three finishers of Heat 2 would transfer. Two were then transferred after the redraw.
Heat 2 began with JCW Racing starting on the outside of pole position. After an attempted aggressive start by the pole sitter, Waters won the drag race going in to turn 1, winning the heat easily after eight laps.
The team then pulled a 4 during the redraw, positioning the team to start in 4th for the 25 lap main event. Confidently only making minor changes to the No. 10, Waters reported the car was prepared very well by the team, putting JCW Racing in contention for potentially being the first repeat winner of the Blue Collar Classic.
As the green flag fell on the feature, Waters made a bold maneuver to move between the front row starters, going from 4th to 1st heading in to turn one. As the driver set sail in the lead for the first four laps, the second and third place drivers moved in on Waters. Eventually surrendering the lead, Waters fell back to second as a caution slowed the field.
On the restart, the driver made an attempt to take back lost spots, however hit unexpected moisture inside turn three and lost ground. Waters settled for third, but the fourth place runner caught him after making slight adjustments in driving. This forced JCW Racing to maintain and settle for fourth as the checkers fell.
“It's hard to be disappointed after finishing 4th in a 49 car field. We really wanted to win this event badly, and felt more than capable of being able to win. I am so proud of our team, sponsors, partners, and everyone involved with JCW Racing this season. This was one of our best and most consistent seasons to date. We didn't finish worse than 5th the last 4 nights out, which shows what we are able to consistently run week in and out. It also shows what can be achieved with the right people and preparation. We are really looking forward to 2016, contending for track and regional championships." – Jake Waters
Overall, JCW Racing had one win, two Top 5’s and two Top 10’s at Port Royal Speedway alone in 2015, racing to one win, five Top 5’s and two Top 10’s in 13 starts on the season. Of those 13 starts, the team had an average 7th place finish, up from 2014’s average finish of 12.75 in 12 events.
JCW Racing would like to thank all of 2015’s sponsors, partners, family and fans for their continued support of the team, and we greatly look forward to the 2016 racing season in central Pennsylvania!