Elk River, Minnesota (January 26, 2016) – It’s been more than 100-years since historic Deadwood, S.D. was home to gunslingers, gamblers and gold miners, yet as you walk the streets you can still feel their presence. This past weekend, the smell of gun smoke was replaced by the distinctive scent of race fuel as the world’s best snocross racers faced off in front of a sold-out crowd at the Days of ‘76 Rodeo Grounds.
Carlson Moto’s Pro Open gunslingers, Andrew Carlson and Ryan Springer, came into the weekend with high expectations, given their great success at this venue over the past two years with big Pro Lite wins. Although the weekend’s results didn’t align with the expectations of the riders or the crew, the team emerged from battle with more experience and lessons learned as they continued to hone their chops amongst the fastest racers in the world.
Perhaps the biggest lesson learned for both riders was at the starting line where holeshots can make or break podium success. The tiny “bullring” track in Deadwood put even more emphasis on cutting a good light. Getting out front early nearly assured a solid finish and conversely finding yourself at the back of the pack in turn one had riders folding their hand and waiting for the next deal.
Both riders had a mixed bag of starts – some good, some bad. Overall, the Carlson Moto mechanics had the Polaris sleds dialed-in, but tough luck, poor choices in turn one and some rookie mistakes prevented both riders from running up front with clear visions and choice of fast lines.
Despite these challenges, both Carlson and Springer pushed on and made the main event both days with back row starts. This unenviable starting position on the small and dirty Deadwood track had both racers scrambling to find clean running and, when mixed with some tough luck, resulted in finishes short of expectations.
As the team approaches the mid-point of the 2016 season, team owner Chris Carlson perhaps summed it up best saying, “The poker table is filled with the best players in the world. Their equipment is top-notch and the riders are in this class because they’ve earned it…they’re the best riders on the planet. The good news is the boys (Ryan and Andrew) are showing incremental improvement, it just doesn’t always show up in the results.”
“I’m not happy with the results,” said Andrew Carlson, “but I learned some things this weekend. No question we’ll be ready for New York with bigger expectations.”
The Carlson Moto Crew left Deadwood Sunday morning and headed further west to Aspen, Colo., where Springer and Carlson will compete in ESPN’s Winter-X Games Snocross competition. You can watch them compete live on ESPN.com Thursday (January 28th) afternoon. Check our Facebook page for more details and broadcast times.
The next stop on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross series will be February 5 and 6 at Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca, N.Y., and you can watch all the action as it unfolds online at Livestream. You can also follow Carlson Motorsports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as on CarlsonMoto.com.