Jack Routson Turns Up the Heat in Southern Florida
JessicaJ Media – Genoa, IL (February 27, 2019) – Arriving at Hendry County Motorsports Park for his first start of 2019, Jack Routson was ready to get the season started off on the right foot. Taking to the Florida track for Thursday's practice, Routson began to get a handle on the 1/3rd-mile dirt speedway.
Once the first of two action packed nights in Clewiston arrived on February 22nd, Routson was ready to show what an offseason of preparation could yield. Starting outside row two of heat three, the 16-year-old wasted no time moving to the lead in the opening corner. Holding onto the top spot for a handful of laps, he ultimately finished runner-up. Earning the necessary positions for a good feature starting spot, he fired off sixth for the main race of the night. Fighting a car that wasn't quite up to full song, Routson still kept a good pace until being swept into a three car pileup just past halfway. Tagging the tail of the field, he made his way back to eleventh as the remaining laps clicked off in a heartbeat.
Regrouping for night two of the Inaugural Everglades Swamp Cabbage Nationals, Routson's hard work earned big dividends. Setting a new track record in qualifying, the #14 Prairie State Water Systems/Midwest Sealcoats, Inc/Service Concepts midget earned him an extra cash prize. Slotted to start on the pole of heat one, the initial start was waved off with Routson sent to the tail. Wheeling a lightning-quick car, he didn't stay back there long and had already passed a trio of cars by the backstretch on lap one. On the second lap he moved to second and quickly caught first place. Giving the leader an intense run for his money, the kid from Genoa, Illinois gave it one last try at the line and barely missed taking the heat win. Once more starting outside row three in the Southern States Midget Series feature, he was into the top five when the yellow flew on lap one. Surviving a flurry of early yellows and battling hard-charging competitors, Routson bided his time until the final caution. Restarting third with one lap remaining, he drove hard after the runner-up spot and nearly claimed it as the checkered flew.
Awarded with a podium spot following an impressive Saturday showing, the long trip from Northern Illinois paid off for Routson's family-owned team. Afterwards the personable racer exclaimed, "I was really excited to have the opportunity to go do some racing during the winter! It felt great and I was very happy with how the weekend went. I learned a lot about how to overcome obstacles and gain driving skill." Thanks to Prairie State Water Systems, Midwest Sealcoats, Inc, Service Concepts and everyone who helped make this event a reality.
Next up for Jack Routson will be the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association (BMARA) season opener at Beaver Dam Raceway April 20th. Visit his Facebook page @JackRoutsonRacing to learn more about this rising star as he takes the next step in his career and stay tuned throughout the season.
Results at a glance
Everglades Swamp Cabbage Nationals
Heat 3—start 4th ; finish 2nd
Feature—start 6th ; finish 11th
Qualifying – 1st, 13.391 seconds (new track record)
Heat 1—start 1st ; finish 2nd
Feature—start 6th ; finish 3rd