Elk River, Minnesota (February 28, 2012) – The race that refused to go quietly into this fickle winter persevered after a three-week postponement, and fittingly so too did Johan Lidman and Andrew Carlson, as they battled through insane storm gusts and battle scars during the Eastern Nationals in Farmington, New York. After a lack of snow forced the always-popular upstate event to reschedule, race teams returned to the Finger Lakes Gaming facility greeted by a mountain of snow and another first class track courtesy of the International Series of Champions (ISOC) track gurus.
Returning to the outdoors after the tight confines of the under-the-roof Silverdome track two weeks previous, New York marked the final race before the home stretch for the Carlson Motorsports team. Coming into the weekend, four stops remained on the ISOC tour, three of which located in and around their base camp of Elk River, Minnesota including two rounds on their home track at ERX Motor Park. Getting through the New York weekend with positive momentum and more importantly with no injuries and no major mechanicals was a primary goal.
Carlson Notches Strongest Pro-Lite Performance of the Season; Lidman Battles as the Speedy Swede Returns
The speed of Lidman, which had eluded him for parts of the season, was on full display at New York, finding blistering lines along the back rhythm section, and perhaps even more impressive, wicked fast corners, Lidman rode to a top five finish on Friday night, despite gale force winds. Saturday’s effort started out with equal optimism, but an errant competitor landed on Johan during the first lap of the final, cutting short his chances for another strong showing. Fortunately, Johan escaped with only minor bumps and bruises and will be ready for the next round.
Andrew Carlson was on his game as well, despite a wind whipped off on Friday, where a huge gust blew Carlson literally off the course while in mid-flight over the tabletop finish line jump. The ISOC crew subsequently shaved the approach down for Saturday, and Carlson returned with vigor, attacking the track with a meticulously prepped FOX shock equipped Polaris sled that looked to be dialed spot on for conditions. Carlson held down the third place position in the 14-lap Pro-Lite final for much of the race while battling with some of the fastest riders in the class before finishing just outside the podium in fourth.
“I’m really impressed with both riders this weekend,” said team owner Chris Carlson. “Andrew had his best finish of the season in Pro-Lite and both guys are heading back home healthy with a truck load of equipment that is as dialed in as we’ve seen it all season.”
Carlson Motorsports will return to action March 2-4 for the Fargo National at Buffalo River Race Park.
Photos by Gary Walton