Elk River, Minnesota (March 20th, 2013) – You could sense the floodgates were ready to burst well before the Carlson Motorsports Team hit the monster-sized Lake Geneva track for the ISOC Season Finale this past weekend. The momentum and positive results had been accumulating race after race, and then the “burst” happened; as the team captured four podiums and a pair of top-ten year-end finishes.
The most dominating performances came from Pro-Lite athlete Andrew Carlson, whose second half of the season has been one of steady improvement, perseverance, and confidence. At Geneva, Carlson brought everything, along with a well-prepared and freaky fast Polaris snowmobile to the line.
The Geneva track has long been regarded as one of the toughest and biggest tracks in the sport, marked by nasty holes, a spooky vertical descent, and an up-hill starting line drag race that often separates the skillful “tuners” from those who end up simply being “tuned”. For Carlson, the results speak for themselves. In six starts up the hill, Andrew was first to the top five times.
Carlson qualified for the front row both days, with a 2-2 qualifying effort on Friday and a 3-1 showing on Saturday. Even more impressive were the main event results, where Carlson bested the group with a holeshot, battled with eventual Pro-Lite champion Jake Scott, and finished third. Saturday, it was more of the same for Carlson, who again grabbed the lead from the start and led for much of the race until his combatant, Andrew Lieders, went for the lead on a “checkers or wrecker” move on the sketchy downhill section and made it stick, barely. Carlson stood proud on the second place box on the podium, his second of the season and in the process moved up to fifth overall in the year-end standings.
Not to be outdone by his teammate, the speedy Swede, Johan Lidman has also been showing much improved speed during the second half of the season, and he continued to lay down fast laps on the massive Geneva track. While he failed to make the podium, narrowly missing the box with a fourth place finish on Friday, a pair of qualifying wins and front row starts underscored his much improved performance. One race in particular showcased Johan’s improvement, as he battled with champ Tucker Hibbert; saw Hibbert pass him; and then regrouped, charged, and passed the multi-time champ back for the win. Lidman finished the season 10th in points, breaking into the elite group on the final weekend.
“I’ve been involved in snowmobile racing for a long time, but these past few race weekends have been the most fun I’ve ever had at the track,” said a jubilant team owner Chris Carlson. “I’m so proud of the team and thankful to our sponsors and supporters who make it all possible.”
More wins for the team came from upstart rider Ryan Springer in the Sport class. While Ryan failed to make the final on Saturday due to a crash, he won both of his heat races on Sunday and finished second in the final.
The weekend was capped by the RAM World Cup, which pitted Team USA against a world team. Andrew Carlson qualified as one of five riders to represent Team USA, who defeated Team World in a three-moto format.
Team Carlson Motorsports scored eight ISOC podiums on the season plus an Eagle River World Championship podium, an impressive showing with much improvement over last season. The team has gelled, the sleds are some of the best tuned on the track, and more podiums are almost assuredly to come.
The team will now trek across the pond where they will compete in the Clash of Nations, March 28-29 in Fulun Sweden.