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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 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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Andrew Carlson ISOC New YorkThe race that refused to go quietly into this fickle winter persevered after a three-week postponement, and fittingly so too did Johan Lidman and Andrew Carlson, as they battled through insane storm gusts and battle scars during the Eastern Nationals in Farmington, NY.

Returning to the outdoors after the tight confines of the under-the-roof Silverdome track two weeks previous, New York marked the final race before the home stretch for the Carlson Motorsports team. Coming into the weekend, four stops remained on the ISOC tour, three of which located in and around its base camp of Elk River, Minn. including two rounds on its home track at ERX Motor Park. Getting through the New York weekend with positive momentum and more importantly with no injuries and no major mechanicals was a primary goal.

The speed of Lidman, which had eluded him for parts of the season, was on full display at New York, finding blistering lines along the back rhythm section, and perhaps even more impressive, wicked fast corners, Lidman rode to a top-five finish on Friday night, despite gale force winds. Saturday’s effort started out with equal optimism, but an errant competitor landed on Lidman during the first lap of the final, cutting short his chances for another strong showing. Fortunately, he escaped with only minor bumps and bruises and will be ready for the next round.

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Johan Lidman Races to VictoryThere’s no place like home was evident this past weekend as Team Carlson Motorsports blistered the ERX Motor Park track during ISOC Regional action to claim three victories against some of the best riders in the sport. While it may have said regional on the ticket stubs, it looked at times like a national at the line as several top level drivers including Garth Kaufman, Kyle Pallin, Cody Thomsen, and John Stenberg among others, competed at the national caliber ERX track.

After battling through flu like symptoms a week prior at Canterbury Park, Johan Lidman attacked the track with a level of ferocity not seen since last season and it paid huge dividends. During Saturday’s Pro Open action, Lidman went 1-2 in qualifying then battled through the field during the 8-lap final to eventually overtake Kaufman and drive away for the win. What’s more, Lidman charged to the front of the field on his bone stock practice sled, while other competitors rode their national prepped, modified snowmobiles . In Pro Stock action, where Lidman raced head-to-head with teammate Andrew Carlson, a poor start hampered by heavy snow dust and flat light, forced the Swede to settle for second.

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Punishing – in a word it sums up the massive ski-hill snocross track that confronted Carlson Motorsports racers Johan Lidman and Andrew Carlson for rounds three and four of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series (ACSS) in Bessemer, Mich. It was a weekend filled with tough luck, unfortunate offs, and in the end a hint of redemption as Lidman finished sixth in Sunday’s Pro-Open main event.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is often referred to as big snow country for its massive lake effect snowfalls that accumulate there every winter. While the snowfall has yet to inundate the region this season, the snowmaking equipment on the slopes of the Blackjack Ski Resort near Bessemer more than made up for the void. The deep snow was then transformed into a challenging snocross track that featured a pair of downhill bombs that proved to be an obstacle for virtually every rider on the tour.

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