Elk River, Minnesota (January 5, 2010) – Racing your home track is usually always cause for celebration, but this past weekend such jubilation was held in check for Team Sportech as the challenges of the ERX Motor Park track were heightened by lingering heavy snow dust creating a very difficult racing environment. Still there was cause for celebration as Andrew Carlson captured his first win of the season in Semi-Pro Open amid very stiff competition.
With an off-weekend on the national tour, the focus of the snocross racing community turned to the Minnesota Regional ISOC event held at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota. Many of the Midwest’s top teams were in attendance taking advantage of the “close” proximity of the event thereby creating a level of competition likened to a national.
Andrew Carlson was looking strong early in the weekend, capturing a heat win in Semi-Pro Stock #1, but a qualifying heat “off” and another turn-one tangle shuffled him back in the qualifying order, forcing him to take a less than ideal position at the line in both Semi-Pro Stock #1 and #2. With the heavy snow dust and a highly technical track making for difficult passing, holeshots were critical in hoping to gain a podium spot. Unfortunately for Andrew, a poor start in both Semi-Pro Stock finals found him deep in the pack after the first turn, forcing him to execute some on-track magic to net a fifth and sixth place finish respectively.
Andrew’s luck at the starting line improved dramatically in the Semi-Pro Open final, as his Torco/Arctic Cat launched from the line with a clean start. Andrew then opened up a pack of taillights and displayed them prominently on his way to his first top-podium finish of the young season.
“Passing was nearly impossible,” said Carlson later in the day inside the Torco/Sportech Hauler. “The track was super technical which I love, but when you can’t see, it makes it really tough.”
In the Pro ranks, Paul Bauerly continued to gain confidence and find speed as the first year pro adjusts to a new team, new snowmobile and an entirely new level of competition. The efforts garnered Paul a third place and second place finish in the National Pro classes on the weekend.
“Paul continues to improve and learn new lessons every time he hits the track,” said team owner Chris Carlson. “As he keeps improving and we get him more comfortable with the sled we see a national podium spot in his future.”
The team now prepares to head west to Sandy, Utah for round three of the National ISOC Snocross Tour. The national will be a huge test specifically for Andrew Carlson who will be running Semi-Pro Stock and Open at the next four national events as they are not supporting Sport classes. It will be a huge test for the young competitor against some very fast riders.