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Carson Macedo celebrates after winning the National Open. (Julia Johnson Photo)

Inside Macedo’s National Open Win: Patience & A ‘Fireball’

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Carson Macedo fastened the National Open champion’s belt around his waist, snapped open a Yuengling Light and, like every winner of Williams Grove Speedway’s biggest event, attended to the influx of fans engulfing the pit area.

Meanwhile, one Jason Johnson Racing crew member had already kept some Macedo supporters engaged.

“This shit is awesome!” the crew member belted as more heads turned his way. “Man, on Friday we talked about this! We talked about patience. We talked about life. This is awesome!”

On Saturday, Macedo’s epic pass for the win with four laps to go completed a longtime mission of the team’s late founder, Jason Johnson, who long loved Pennsylvania. 

Johnson’s wife, Bobbi, is from Thomasville, Pa. Team sponsors Jonestown KOA and Saich Family are also within the state.

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Carson Macedo’s National Open win added to Jason Johnson Racing’s Crown Jewels with Jason Johnson and David Gravel at the 2015 and ’19 Knoxville Nationals. (Cam Saich Photo).

Highlighted by Macedo’s National Open win are many benefactors, but the overly proud crew member, Dwight Bizzle, symbolizes everything JJR fosters: extraordinary joy in the journey and expressing the vital practice of patience.

“He was the juice of our team,” Braden Saich, a JJR crew member, said of Bizzle. “He doesn’t have a bad day.”

The story doesn’t stop there. Turns out, Bizzle wasn’t even an official crew member, but a substitute for crewman Clyde Knipp, who couldn’t attend the National Open.

Crew chief Phil Dietz called upon his go-to substitute, hype man and ultimate voice of reason.

“He’s a fireball,” said Macedo, whose weekend started with a two-hour drive to fetch Bizzle, the Sykesville, Mo., native, from the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Hours before the 59th National Open, the JJR team enjoyed lunch underneath a pavilion at the Jonestown KOA, feasting on wings and Bizzle’s fun-loving nature.

Last year, Bizzle helped JJR during 20 races, but this was the first weekend spent with the team. Running a business and raising a newborn daughter keeps him more than busy. The National Open, however, happened to be a surprise Father’s Day gift from Dietz.

“We definitely missed Clyde … but it’s always fun when [Bizzle] helps out,” Macedo said.

“For a minute there they were calling me the team’s coach of positivity,” Bizzle said. “I definitely don’t hold back my energy. Sometimes people think I’m a little much. I can be overbearing with people that might not be at the same level.”

During lunch Friday, Macedo opened up to Bizzle, Dietz and crew, sharing mistakes he’s trying to eliminate.

One was the nasty wreck with Paul McMahan during Hard Knox qualifying night at the Knoxville Nationals. Wins he had squandered at Jackson (Minn.) Motorplex and Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisc., also resurfaced.

“Man, if I can find a little patience, do a little bit of this, we could be closer to [Brad] Sweet [in the points],” Macedo said, as Bizzle recalled.

“Don’t force it too hard,” Bizzle told Macedo at Friday’s team lunch. “Things will fall into place if they’re supposed to fall into place. If you hit your lines and if you trust in your car — if you trust Phil has given you a great setup — that patience is going to be a virtue.”

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