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    Andrew Carlson Canterbury

    Pro Lite points leader Andrew Carlson of Carlson Motorsports continued his championship pace this past weekend in Shakopee, Minn., with a perfect Saturday performance for the overall win. The clean sweep was followed by another strong run on Sunday further bolstering his championship lead in the International AMSOIL Championship Snocross standings and extending his Pro Lite podium streak to seven dating back to last season.

    Racing at one of the biggest and most well attended snocross venues on tour, the Carlson Motorsports team descended upon the famed Canterbury Park horse racing facility, which first hosted snowmobile racing in 1997, with a bevy or well-prepped and blistering fast Polaris snowmobiles. With both racers backed by hometown fans, the team looked to change their Sport class luck, where Ryan Springer has been hampered by gremlins through the first four rounds.

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      Andrew Carlson Lake Geneva Snocross

      Andrew Carlson found the podium twice at Lake Geneva. (Photo by Gary Walton)

      Carlson Motorsports-sponsored racers ended the season on a strong note, capturing four podiums and a pair of top-10 year-end finishes as the AMSOIL Championship Sncross series wrapped up this past weekend in Lake Geneva, Wis.

      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.

      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.

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        Andrew Carlson Canterbury ParkAfter a breakout podium performance on the challenging ski-hill course in Michigan by Andrew Carlson, the Carlson Motorsports team faced adversity on the postage stamp sized track in Shakopee, Minn. as both Pro riders failed to make the main event due to tough luck and what the team calls a questionable officiating call.

        Ryan Springer with Carlson Motorsports

        Levi Ensrud (far left) and Dave Otto (far right) of the Carlson Motorsports crew helped Ryan Springer (center) make the final and post a third place podium finish in the Sport class final.

        Despite the team’s tough weekend, it was still ready to help out National Sport rider Ryan Springer. Springer was first introduced to the Carlson Motorsports team while racing at the team’s ERX Motor Park snocross facility last winter and he was in jeopardy of missing the next round due to mechanical issues.

        “Ryan is a great kid,” says team owner Chris Carlson. “He’s a gifted rider and more importantly he’s impressive both on and off the track. He was in need of help and our guys jumped in and got his sled ready for the next round.”

        The effort paid off for both Carlson Motorsports and Springer, who found himself with a third place podium finish in Saturday’s Sport final. True to his colors, Ryan was gracious during his podium interview, giving many thanks to the Carlson team and their mechanics, which allowed him to make the final and ultimately the podium.

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          Andrew Carlson Blackjack NationalCarlson Motorsports has been putting in the hard work for more than a year now and it has finally paid off. Andrew Carlson earned his first ever Pro-Lite National podium this past weekend at the Blackjack National in Bessemer, Mich.

          In fact, both Carlson and Pro-Lite teammate Marcus Johansson delivered front row qualifying efforts, lining up side-by-side as each scored a heat win earlier in the day. At the start of the Pro-Lite final, it was Carlson beating the thick of the pack off the line with his Arctiva Amsoil Polaris, and then leaping past David Joanis on the “Dirty-Dozen” downhill with a near perfect line, and a triple to make the pass at the base of the hill.

          The Bessemer track had already developed a rough and tough reputation from last year for its pair of nasty downhill sections. Steep in nature and littered with deep holes, even the very best riders were being bucked from their sleds while bombing the downhill. Carlson, however, stayed strong throughout the entire final, eventually succumbing to Joanis; and again late in the race where a slight miscue slipped Andrew to third at the line. Teammate Marcus Johansson got hung up in traffic early on and was forced to back-mark much of the race, finishing 11th.

          “My sled was a rocket off the line this weekend,” says Carlson. “I made a few mistakes that cost me those positions, but it feels so good to finally be standing here.”

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            Marcus Johanssen Duluth National (Photo by Pat Bourgeois)Carlson Motorsports racers couldn’t catch a break at the season-opening Duluth National snocross event this past weekend.

            Andrew Carlson Duluth National (Photo by Pat Bourgeois)The first victory of the season was ripped from the hands of Marcus Johansson as he bombed the uphill run during Sunday’s Pro-Lite final at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minn. With both Johan Lidman and Andrew Carlson experiencing misfortune in Pro-Open and Pro-Lite respectively, it was the young Swede who set the tone early during Sunday’s Pro-Lite final, leading the 15-sled field for nearly the entire race.

            “Up until that race we were feeling pretty down,” says team owner and manager Chris Carlson. “Marcus came out of the hauler on Sunday with fire in his eyes and he hit the track like an animal. I think everyone on the team was impressed with his tenacity.”

            Johansson won his first heat race and found himself on the front row for the final. After a blistering holeshot, Johansson slowly began to open up a lead over the rest of the field and stretched it as the 20-lap race wore on. Then fate struck, as a previous lap yellow flag atop the hill tightened up the pack, Johansson bobbled on the up-hill run and ejected himself from his sled. By the time he remounted, he found himself out of podium contention.

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