Elk River, Minnesota (January 9, 2012) – The season is early and a three-week break in the national tour could prove to be the ideal elixir for Carlson Motorsports after experiencing a disappointing weekend in Shakopee, Minnesota during the Traxxas ISOC Nationals. A combination of freak mechanical gremlins which plagued Pro-Lite rider Andrew Carlson, and flu-like symptoms hampering Pro-Open pilot Johan Lidman; the weekend became one of dashed hopes as both riders dealt with the adversities on a challenging Canterbury Park track.
As if he were shot from a gun, Carlson kicked off Friday evening’s Pro-Lite qualifying round with a strong holeshot that jettisoned him to the front of the pack where he held a comfortable lead for much of the race. However a Canterbury crater bit the young Arctiva rider, sending him off the sled and out contention. The next time out, Carlson was bottled up early, forcing him to finish mid-pack and ultimately qualify for the main event through the last chance race. Despite a back row start, Carlson avoided the seemingly never-ending tangles and crashes that highlighted the Friday Pro-Lite final and finished a 8th at the close.
Carlson hoped for a better evening on Saturday night, but a mechanical gremlin that kept team technicians scrambling all evening long, also kept Andrew from running at full potential, thereby dashing his hopes for redemption in the final.
“We threw everything at Andrew’s sled,” said team owner Chris Carlson. “The performance glitch didn’t appear until the opening round of qualifying Saturday night which gave us little time to find a cure. The crew busted their tails, but we just didn’t have the time to make it right and Andrew’s performance suffered from it.”
While Andrew’s sled was not at peak performance, his teammate Johan Lidman was feeling the same. Aches, fever, and flu like symptoms plagued Johan all weekend and as a result he was unable to run at full potential.
“To run at the front in Pro-Open you have to be at the top of your game both physically and mentally,” said Chris Carlson. “Johan gave it a go, but you simply can’t compete at this level when your body won’t allow it.”
While the team was disappointed on the track, off the track it was an incredible weekend. The crowds were simply the biggest ever at the famed horseracing facility since snowmobile racing first appeared there in 1995. Saturday’s crowd was estimated in excess of 12,000, and hundreds of fans visited the Carlson Motorsports trailer, grabbing rider autographs, taking pictures aboard the Polaris race sleds, and enjoying properly chilled samples of Muscle Milk.
The team is scheduled to test all week, compete at the ISOC Regional event at ERX Motor Park in Elk River this weekend; complete another week of practice; and cap it off with a trip to the World Championships in Eagle River, Wisconsin. The next ISOC national event is scheduled for February 3-4 in Farmington, New York.