Elk River, Minnesota (March 18, 2014) – With both the national Sport Championship and Pro-Lite Championship on the line, Carlson Motorsports could not have scripted a better final chapter to a season filled with victories. The Nielsen Enterprises Grand Finale in Lake Geneva lived up to its namesake as both Andrew Carlson and Ryan Springer entered the final two-days of racing with championships within their grasp. By the close of the weekend, Springer drove with an all-in attitude that netted him the year-end crown; and while Carlson fell just short of the end goal, he capped off the weekend atop the podium once again, putting an exclamation on an incredible season for him and the entire Carlson Motorsports team.
Springer Wins it All
Setting the tone for the weekend was Ryan Springer, who rode flawlessly in day one competition, sweeping the heat races and driving away from the pack for a commanding win. Ryan looked fast, crazy fast, clearly showing the packed house on-hand and more importantly the competition, that he is indeed the fastest rider in the national sport ranks. The win put Springer in a virtual tie for the year-end crown with Travis Kern.
Day two qualifying saw Springer just edge Kern, putting him one point up for the championship. From the line in the main event, Springer launched another monster holeshot, something that has become commonplace for all of the Carlson Motorsports Polaris sleds. Springer led early, but then a bobble followed by double tag by those hounding him from behind, slowed Ryan as he nearly dismounted. Suddenly he found himself deep in the pack, with Kern near the front; in a instant it appeared Springer’s championship hopes had vanished.
Then it happened, Springer set a course for the front with a level of determination and line choice that was unquestionably his best of the season. Ryan worked his way through the pack but still found himself behind Kern with just one lap to go. However a three way battle in the corner, and aggressive all or nothing two sled pass by Springer, slotted him ahead of Kern at the line. It was just enough, and Ryan claimed the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series National Sport Championship.
“It was a eye opening pass,” said team manager and owner Chris Carlson. “In any other circumstance I don’t think anyone would have attempted to make that pass. There was contact…ISOC ruled it incidental…I feel for the Kern family, they are good people. We’ve been on the other end of on track incidents like that ourselves. I think everyone, ourselves included, would like to see every race run as clean as possible, but this is snocross and sometimes contact is part of racing.”
Andrew Shows Heart of a Champion
For a rider who had led the Pro-Lite championship for much of the season, and faced adversity the weeks leading up to the Grand Finale, Andrew Carlson was unwavering in his approach to each and every race. Despite falling to second in the points battle, his confidence never buckled under the pressure.
Even after a hard to swallow setback in the first of two finals on the weekend, which saw Andrew finish well back after a tough off, Carlson faced the final day of racing with the same wide-eyed optimism he’s demonstrated all season long.
“If I would have been able to hang-on in that first race I would have entered Sunday’s final with just two points separating Todd (Corin, eventual year-end champion) and myself. I knew all I could do was win and see what happens,” said Carlson.
Win is just what Andrew did, clicking off another dominating flag-to-flag victory, while Corin finished in third; just enough to claim the year-end championship by a mere 7 points. It was one of the closest points battles in the pro ranks ever, and while Andrew came up just short, he felt blessed to be in the mix.
“I’ve worked my entire career to get here, and each step of the way has been filled with victories, set-backs, and lessons learned,” said Carlson. “It wasn’t the ending I had hoped for, but it was an amazing season. Our team and sponsors are incredible, and this will go down as one of those lessons learned that will fuel our drive for even more success next year.”
The Grand Finale in Lake Geneva will be rebroadcast April 6th at 10:00am and 10:30am (eastern). Stay abreast of all the happenings at Carlson Motorsports through their website www.carlsonmotorsportsllc.com or following them on Facebook.