Andrew Carlson Has Speed for Repeat Win at Hometown Track; But Aggressive Line Ends His Bid in Saturday PRO Light Final; Sunday Races Postponed Until September
Elk River, Minn. June 15, 2017 – There are two paths to the top box in TORC: The Off-Road Championship - calculated precision tempered by patience; or throttle-down run and gun exuberance. When it came to Saturday’s Round 3 PRO Light main event at ERX Motor Park, front runners Andrew Carlson and Kyle Kleiman displayed plenty of both as the two likely foreshadowed a head-to-head battle that will be replayed throughout the season.
Already fueled by temperatures reaching the mid-90s, things only got hotter once the green flag dropped in the 14-lap PRO Light final. With Carlson and Kleiman on the front row, the duo broke free from the pack and proceeded to record the fastest times as they battled for position.
With Kleiman grabbing the early lead, Carlson overtook him with a savvy inside line in the come-back turn after the finish line jump. However, it was apparent Kyle wasn’t going away quite that easily. With only one lap to go before the competition caution, Kleiman regained the lead, setting up a dash for the win in the closing laps.
“We were racing about as tight as you could get,” said Carlson. “My truck was working flawlessly…whether I took the high line or protected the inside, it didn’t seem to matter…it would rotate and my Atturo tires would hook-up.”
One of the key features of the ERX TORC Series track is the blend of sand used in a large portion of the track. Designed to allow the surface to change and become more technical throughout the race, large berms were starting to form in the corners.
As the laps began to wind down, Carlson looked to make his move, driving deep into the corners and searching for the smallest of openings to overtake Kleiman. Then in the same turn where Kleiman captured the lead from Carlson, Andrew looked for redemption but instead found the outer berm of the turn, caught an edge, and flipped his AMSOIL, Polaris truck in spectacular fashion. While he landed wheels down and drove away, Andrew’s bid for a repeat win at his hometown track were finished for the day.
“The braking bumps coming into that corner were huge,” said Andrew after the race. “I got a little aggressive coming in and caught a rut. I’m obviously disappointed, but we learn from our mistakes…we’ll go back to the hauler and regroup for tomorrow.”
Unfortunately, tomorrow wasn’t meant to be as inclement weather and safety concerns for racers and fans forced TORC Series officials to postpone the race until September, when the series returns to ERX for the final rounds of the season, September 22-24.
You can relive Andrew’s charge to the front and spectacular flip via on-demand streaming-video found at the official TORC Series website www.torcseries.com. The team will now quickly regroup and make preparations for Rounds 5 and 6 and the Big House Brawl at the famed Crandon, Wisconsin track, June 24-25.
Follow the Carlson Moto Team throughout the season on their website www.carlsonmoto.com or on Facebook @CarlsonMoto or Twitter #CarlsonMoto