CONCORD, N.C. — The first time Carson Macedo sat behind the wheel of the Jason Johnson Racing No. 41 car it was a match. They were ideal dancing partners.
The chemistry between driver and team resulted in a win during Macedo’s debut race with the team at the 2018 360 Knoxville Nationals.
Three years later, Macedo is hoping that chemistry is still there when he rejoins JJR in 2021 for his third full-time season with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
“I feel like there’s definitely the potential,” Macedo said. “The last couple of years I feel like I’ve learned a lot at [Kyle Larson Racing] and bettered myself as a driver. I think Phil (Dietz, crew chief and co-owner of JJR) has gotten to work with David (Gravel) for the past couple of years and I think David is extremely good. One of the best on the Outlaw tour. He brings awesome experience to the table, as well. I think him and Phil have made the 41 operation even better over the last couple of years.
“I feel like we’re both in a better spot than we were a few years ago when we worked together and I’m excited to get the opportunity to show what we can do together.”
The 2019 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, from Lemoore, CA, spent his first two years on the tour driving for Kyle Larson Racing – which shut down at the end of the 2020 season.
In that time, Macedo won five races – he has six Outlaw wins in total – and finished inside the top five in points both years.
While his 2020 stats don’t trump his rookie year numbers – one win this season versus four last year – the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Series to run about 20 fewer events than in 2019 and never make it to the West Coast where Macedo thrives.
Either a curse or blessing in disguise, the 2020 season took the Outlaws mainly through the Midwest and Pennsylvania areas, both where Macedo has struggled in years past.
In 10 Outlaw starts at Pennsylvania tracks in 2019, Macedo earned one top-10.
In nine Pennsylvania starts this season, Macedo earned one top-five and six top-10s. He also won the season-opening track event at Williams Grove Speedway – a victory he considers to be one of his biggest feats.
“I feel like if you look at the season as a whole, even though we didn’t win as many races, we were a lot more consistent and improved with our race car and with myself as a driver on tracks we struggled at before,” Macedo said. “That makes me excited to go into next year with more experience and more confidence.”
He’s also excited to reunite with Dietz. The two had good chemistry when they teamed up in 2018 and remained friends ever since.
“Personality-wise, I think he’s a great guy,” Dietz said about Macedo. “Very easy to get along with. I feel like his driving style is a lot like Jason’s (Johnson) style. It made it a lot easier to watch the car and tell what changes it needed in order to get a better balance and make it faster.”
Macedo mainly worked with Joe Gaerte as his crew chief for the last four years, first driving Gaerte’s own No. 3G car in 2017. The duo ran a handful of World of Outlaws events in 2017 and 2018.
Then, when Macedo was tapped to drive for KLR in 2019, Larson kept the Macedo-Gaerte pairing together.
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