PETERSEN MEDIA- A strong 2015 season for Jason Solwold and Shaylen Raye Motorsports has carried over into 2016, as Solwold and company have been strong during the first three races of the Winter Heat Showdown, picking up finishes of third, sixth, and 11th.
“Mel and Travis have been working very hard for us at Winter Heat, and it has been a great way to start out 2016 season,” Jason Solwold said.
An extremely slick and abrasive track greeted drivers and teams during the opening night of action on Friday night. The draw-show format saw Solwold line the Pops Entertainment/Vic’s 66/Scottie’s Plumbing No. 18 machine up sixth in his first heat race.
Racing his way to a fourth place finish, Solwold would win his qualifier, which would ultimately line him up in the third row of the 30-lap A Main feature event. Track conditions would see rubber start to go down on the speedway very early in the feature event, and passing would be non-existent.
Settling into the sixth position, Solwold would hit his marks on the bottom as he took the opening night checkered flag in the sixth position.
A sticky Cocopah Speedway on Saturday night would create some hammer-down action early in the night, and after finishing fifth in his heat and again winning his qualifier, the Burlington, WA driver gridded the field from the fifth row.
When the feature event rolled on the speedway, the track had gone slick, and a massive cushion had built up around the speedway. Searching all around the surface trying to move forward, Solwold would finish just outside the Top-10, as he would tally an 11th place finish.
Rain rolled into the Yuma, AZ area on Tuesday forcing officials to postpone the regularly scheduled race to Wednesday night, and though weather would show up off and on during the night, the show went and, and Solwold turned in his strongest performance of the week.
Racing his way from sixth to third in his heat race, a second place finish in the qualifier would line the Shaylen Raye Motorsports entry up in the second row for the feature event.
As the race got underway, the lead duo of Shane Stewart and Kyle Larson would get away as Solwold held down the third spot as the leaders quickly found traffic. Keeping Darryn Pitman and DJ Netto at bay behind him, Solwold would work through traffic with precision as he landed on his first podium of the week.
On paper Solwold sits second in Winter Heat Showdown points, but with Kyle Larson not in action this weekend, he will be the point leader when racing action resumed on Friday night.
“Even with how well we have been running I think there is still a little work to be done to get our car even better,” Solwold added. “I have total confidence in Mel and Travis to get us there, and there hard work shows. We are all looking forward to getting back to the track this weekend.”
Solwold and the Shaylen Raye Motorsports team would like to thank Scottie’s Plumbing, Pops Entertainment, Vic’s 66, Doyle Guffie’s Rayle Auto Sales, Speedmart, After Hours Painting, Triple X Race Co., Al Parker Race Engines, Wings Unlimited, Slade Shocks, Rob Graham Trucking, Wings Unlimited, Meyer Sings, and Pro Signs for their continued support.
ON TAP: Solwold and the Shaylen Raye Motorsports team will return to action on Friday night at the Winter Heat Showdown.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Stars- 3, Wins- 0, Top 5’s- 1, Top 10’s- 2.
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