Elk River, Minnesota (September 15, 2015) – Andrew Carlson’s Pro-Light rookie season in The Off-Road Championship (TORC) concluded with high expectations, high-speed spills and high praise. Coming off his first podium of the season in Bark River, Michigan (along with four additional top-5 finishes), Andrew approached the final two races of the season at the blistering fast Crandon, Wisconsin track with hopes of doing it again.
With a week of practice under his belt, Carlson blazed the track with incredible speed during early morning practice. But things happen quickly at Crandon, and suddenly Andrew found himself over the edge of a high-speed berm, resulting in a horrific tumble off the track. Andrew was unscathed, but the Atturo Tire, Best Western, AMSOIL truck was in tough shape. The Carlson Motorsports crew worked feverishly to get the truck ready for the final, where Andrew was forced to start from the back of the pack. Despite the less than ideal position, Carlson managed to work his way up to 10th at the close of the race.
Sunday was a new day, with ideal conditions and a strong qualifying effort from the young rookie. A front of the pack starting position and some quick passing had Carlson running in third by mid-race. With lap times nearly identical to the leader, Andrew went looking for an opening to move into second when the speed of Crandon snared Carlson again, pushing him over the berm and abruptly ending his chances for another podium finish.
While Andrew missed the podium, his driving skills and strong finishes throughout the season did not go unnoticed. “No question, he’s the rookie of the year,” a United States Auto Club (USAC) official said after the final day of racing. “(Andrew’s) It was a remarkable performance for a first-year driver in the toughest Pro class.”
“The results (at Crandon) were not what we had hoped for,” said Team Owner and Manager Chris Carlson. “Yet I couldn’t be more proud of Andrew and our crew for the remarkable job they did this season. It’s been an incredible learning experience…to think how we jumped in head first without any real experience and to get the results we did is pretty remarkable. No question we will be better prepared next season and we look forward to contending for a season points championship when we return.”
Carlson finished 8th in the 21-driver, championship year-end points battle. The final two races from Crandon will be broadcast on Fox Sports – Round 14: November 5th at 9:00pm Central and Round 15: November 12th at 9:00pm Central. Visit the TORC website for exact dates and times for broadcasts, past videos, point standings, and the latest team news.
The Carlson Motorsports team will now turn their full attention to winter and the AMSOIL Championship Snocross national tour. Andrew along with teammate and defending Pro-Lite champion Ryan Springer will make the jump to the premier Pro Open class. The Duluth National season kick-off race takes place November 27-29, and you can follow the team throughout the winter season on their website www.carlsonmoto.com or follow them on Facebook @CarlsonMoto or Twitter #CarlsonMoto. You can also follow TORC Pro-Light racer Andrew Carlson via Twitter @151Carlson.
Visit the TORC Website: HERE
Photos By JOE WIEGELE