With confidence in himself and in his car, Jason Henson heads to each race knowing that he has the ability to win rounds and win races.
It’s an approach which has served him well, as he has achieved several top-five finishes in NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle points through the years.
With his sights set on doing that or even better in 2018, he wheeled his Mustang, which runs high 11s and low 12s with a 4.6 Four-Valve engine and Performance Automatic-built C4 transmission, to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle at the 10th Annual NMCA/NMRA All-Star Nationals in April at Atlanta Dragway. He backed that with another win at the 18th Annual NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals in May at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania.
“Wins can be few and far between, so it felt great to be able to back up my win for the Georgia race with a win for the Pennsylvania race,” said Henson, whose teammates are close friends and fellow NMRA racers Becki and Joe Cram. “It showed me that hard work pays off.”
Henson went on to a runner-up finish against teammate Becki Cram at the 15th Annual NMRA Ford Supernationals in June at National Trail Raceway in Ohio, and another runner-up finish at the 13th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuel Systems Technology in July at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
The Floridian was leading NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle points and had a shot at the class championship when he was injured a few weeks before the final event of the year, the 20th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals in September at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky.
“I was clearing a roof and fell off,” said Henson, who owns Champion Home Improvement in Central Florida. “It was a ten-foot fall, and I broke my tibia and fibula, and snapped tendons that are on top of my foot. I had to have surgery to basically get my ankle pinned and bolted together, and I had to have twelve weeks of physical therapy.”
While he wasn’t going to be able to suit up and race at the event, he didn’t want to be entirely sidelined, so he took his car, went through the tech process and watched the race.
“There was a slim chance that another driver could get past me in points, but luckily for me, that didn’t happen,” said Henson.
As a result, he earned the 2018 NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle championship.
“Modular Muscle is a tough class and the amount of talent in it is unbelievable,” said Henson, who also competes in NMCA MagnaFuel Open Comp. “In addition to being filled with many former world champions, it’s filled with many drivers who could compete against the best of the best.”
A few months after securing the championship, Henson and his fellow champions were celebrated at the NMRA presented by Keystone Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components in December at the Indiana Convention Center.
“It was nice to be recognized, and I remember looking into the audience while I was on stage giving my speech and being pleasantly surprised that it looked like everyone was listening to little ol’ me,” said Henson, with a laugh.
Now, Henson and his Mustang are ready for a new season of racing withthe 25th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout, Feb. 28-March 3 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
“I installed a new set of E3 Spark Plugs, got a new set of Mickey Thompson front tires and I definitely have some hopes going into the new race season,” said Henson. “I would like to win races, and I would like to back up my championship, but I know that I’ll really have to work for it and that it will be really hard.”