Elk River, Minnesota (February 25th, 2013) – Preparation… holeshot… determination… podium; that was the chain of events that played out in Salamanca, New York for Carlson Motorsports as the team experienced its best weekend ever on the national tour. A second place finish by Andrew Carlson in Saturday evening’s Pro-Lite main event was the highlight of a weekend filled with big moments and success for the entire team.
Energized by positive momentum coming into the “Empire State” national race at the new host site of the Seneca Allegany Casino, the team was brimming with confidence. Located in the heart of snowmobile country, thousands of fans packed a hillside overlooking the technical track that offered up lots of lines and one very technical “step-up” feature on the back stretch.
The team hit the track with a bang Friday evening, with both Johan Lidman and Andrew Carlson winning their opening heat races in Pro-Open and Pro-Lite respectively. Carlson went on to best the field again in his second qualifier, while Lidman scored a fourth resulting in solid front row starting positions on the main event grid for both riders.
In Friday’s Pro-Open final, Lidman battled the talent-stacked field and locked-down a seventh place finish. It was another impressive top ten for the speedy Swede who has been showing steady improvement throughout the season as he competes against the best in the world. Unfortunately an off in practice on Saturday resulting in a mild head injury kept Johan out of Saturday’s action as a precautionary measure. He is expected to be back in action when the tour hits the prairie town of Fargo, North Dakota in two weeks.
Someone took the lid off a jar of Carlson Motorsports’ lightning when the action turned to the Pro-Lite ranks. In Friday’s final, Andrew grabbed the horns of his CM crew tuned Polaris race buggy and smoked the 15-sled field into the first corner. Andrew led for several laps and then battled for several more against eventual winner and current points leader Jake Scott. As the race wore on Carlson slipped to third but looked to have the position sewn-up until a last lap bobble caused him to lose the podium spot at the line.
That taste of last lap humility reignited the fire in the belly once again for Saturday’s Pro-Lite final where Carlson won his heat race and qualified for the front row. This time Andrew would have to chart a more difficult course to the front of the pack as he was “punted” in the opening turn. Cool and confident, Carlson dusted himself off, wiped his goggles clear, and proceeded to slice his way through the field. Carlson crossed the line in second place, capping his most impressive race of the season by passing nearly the entire field for his best Pro-Lite career podium finish.
“I’m not sure I’ll be able to wipe this smile off my face for awhile,” said Andrew. “Levi (Ensrud, Crew Chief) and the team have my Polaris absolutely dialed, I’ve never felt more confident. I’m ready to go line ‘em up again right now.”
Andrew and the team will have to wait until March 8-9 when the ISOC National tour visits Fargo, North Dakota. With the season winding down, Andrew has his sights set on a top-five year-end finish.