BLUE CORD MEDIA: FULTONVILLE NY- On Friday the Jesse J Racing team loaded their Spectro Oils 42 Lightning Sprint into the hauler and headed out to race for the first time of 2017. The family was eager to start the season after rain delayed the original start date.  The sun was out and rain would not be an issue at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park as the 2017 season started in earnest for Jesse.

As the family and their car were headed north together one staple of their racing program was left in the shop... Jesse’s familiar black wing.

Due to the rainout Jesse J Racing decided to try something new before their Empire Lightning Sprint Series season opened, going wingless with the Lucas Oil Outlaw Midget Series who were opening their season Friday at Glen Ridge.

Lacking the down force from the wings Jesse has grown accustomed to, he was understandably uncertain of what to expect heading into the midget show.  Once the 42 hit the track it was apparent to the team that the car was as good as they hoped and Jesse was going to be fine driving it. 

The main worry for anybody entering sprint car racing is the often dramatic looking flips and crashes that accompany their high speed, twitchy edge of the seat brand of racing.  The cars are never perfectly safe, but are designed for such occasions, and when properly outfitted with the correct safety equipment more often than not do their job keeping the driver safe. 

The uncertainty of what to expect, not if they flip but when they flip was a question the Pruchnik’s had asked themselves many times and it was a question they would have answered quickly into their opening night in an outlaw midget.

By lap 3 of the opening practice session the 42 looked good from the stands as Jesse quickly grew more comfortable wrangling the midget through the turns… maybe too comfortable.  Jesse pushed the car a little too hard washing up into turn 1 resulting in the 42 flipping over coming to rest on its roof.  Thankfully, once the track crew righted the car onto its tires, Jesse was able to drive his car back to the pit, where he greeted his family with an exclamation of “that was awesome!”

Jesse was fine and the car, while needing some fast paced inspection and a few parts replaced by his hard working crew consisting of his parents Frank and Uncle Denis was ready to go for the heat race which he would finish 3rd place.

“The car was good all night” Pruchnik said.  “Thank God that when I broke something it was either from the flip or from racing, but it broke the right things to be able to fix at the track.  I am happy to get my first flip out of the way!”

Jesse started the feature 4th on the field after the top 6 redrew, and was off to a great start. Jesse turned fast laps battling with cars for position on the ¼ mile track.  A spin on lap 10, and the resulting mechanical failure, would end Jesse’s first midget race, but it was an experience he is very happy to have had.

“The wingless racing was awesome.  The way the car handles is different, and it gives any driver a lot to drive.  I am very excited to get back in the winged sprint car at Thunder Mountain Speedway, but we will back for some more wingless action though!

Jesse race next at Thunder Mountain Speedway with The Empire Lightning Sprints Saturday May 20th.

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