Elk River, Minnesota (March 11, 2014) – The flowing and well-designed track at the Buffalo River Park near Fargo, North Dakota was a welcomed sight to the Carlson Motorsports crew. After back-to-back national weekends on tracks that lacked rhythm and passing opportunities, both Andrew Carlson and Ryan Springer were ready to “get after it” on a true national-caliber track with their front of the pack speed that has both riders in contention for a year-end championship.
Controversy Clouds Chase
With just four races left and a slim margin of points separating Andrew Carlson and Corin Todd for the Pro-Lite Championship, Andrew knew he had to deliver the goods each time he hit the track. A relative easy opening heat win had Carlson on his way to doing just that, but aggressive contact in the second qualifier set the tone for the weekend. The “off” forced Andrew to make the main event through a Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) win. From there Andrew blasted from the back row and salvaged a much deserved fifth place finish in the final.
With the bad taste of Friday behind him, Carlson showed the poise of a champion, as he has throughout the season, by facing Saturday as a new day. His performance proved it, as he won both qualifiers with ease, and entered the main event as the number one rider, earning himself gate selection on the front row.
Slotted to the far inside, Carlson once again pulled a massive holeshot, and led the field through the first two turns and into the rhythm section. Just behind Carlson, Todd slotted in and it appeared the top two riders in the Pro-Lite class were about to battle for the year-end championship. Then in a blink of an eye, the race was over. As Andrew led Todd into turn three, Corin got into Andrew, forcing him over the berm and off his sled. Todd sped off unchallenged for the win, while Carlson once again battled through the pack to salvage a 6th place finish. The controversial win was ruled a “racing incident” by ISOC officials, while fans were denied a chance to see the best battle it out for the closest points race in the Pro-Lite class in years.
Speed of Sport is Springer
It’s easy to forget National Sport rider Ryan Springer is a true rookie on the national tour as he often demonstrates he is the fastest rider in the Sport class week in and week out. However the learning curve can sometimes be very steep and that curve showed itself again this weekend, as Springer romped into Friday’s final as the number one qualifier only to have his podium hopes come up short after losing patience and making a pass for the lead early in the final. Springer remounted and crossed the line in ninth.
With another hard lessoned learned, Springer approached day two with more patience and was on the front row after a strong 1-2 qualifying effort. Despite an average start, Ryan worked his way through the pack with a methodical approach and by the final lap found himself on the snowflap of the leader but simply ran out of time to make a move for the win. Nonetheless it was a another podium finish and it positions Springer well to let it all “hang-out” on the hills of Geneva this coming weekend as he sits in second place in the Sport year-end standings.
With two races left, the year-end titles in both Sport and Pro-Lite will be decided on the steep hills of Lake Geneva. Both Carlson and Springer are very comfortable with the Geneva track and its long downhill bombing runs.
“Our goal entering the season was to contend for the points championship in both classes,” said team owner and manager Chris Carlson. “We feel very fortunate to be in that position heading into the final weekend. Both Andrew and Springer have proven to be the fastest riders in their class, and Geneva should be a great track for both of them to display that speed.”
The Grand Finale in Lake Geneva will is slated for March 14-16, with two full days of national racing on tap. Adding to the excitement will be a first ever, live broadcast of both the Pro-Lite and Pro-Open action live from Lake Geneva on Sunday. To catch all the action from Fargo, tune into the CBS Sports Network, March 23 and March 30 at 10:30am (eastern). Stay abreast of all the happenings at Carlson Motorsports through their website www.carlsonmotorsportsllc.com or follow them on Facebook.