Elk River, Minn. July 18, 2016 – How sweet it is, and for Andrew Carlson’s first win in The Off-Road Championship (TORC) series at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota, it couldn’t get much sweeter. Racing on his home track in front of his hometown fans, friends, and family, Carlson broke through to the top of the box with a commanding Atturo Pro-Light Class win Saturday afternoon.
The build up to Carlson’s win was a culmination of perseverance, preparation, hard work and perhaps most importantly a love for racing by the entire Carlson Moto organization. After a successful rookie season where Andrew netted a handful of top-five finishes and his first podium, the 2016 season started out with unexpected setbacks. Yet the team pushed forward and momentum swung in their favor in Crandon, Wis., where Carlson earned a third-place podium finish.
Buoyed by those results and the energy coming from thousands of fans cheering their hometown racer on, Carlson ran the best TORC final of his blossoming off-road racing career, passing Pro-Light top gun Travis Dinsmore #43 early and then holding him off and pulling away from the rest of the field despite several caution flags early in the race.“I don’t even know what to say,” an emotional Carlson said after he exited the truck in victory lane. “Everyone on our team has worked so hard…I know how much work went into making this race happen. Travis (Dinsmore) kept me honest…in my dreams this is the kind of race I wished for…hats off to my guys they were awesome.”
Part of that dream was a track and an event that was nearly two years in the making. Featuring a one-mile track sculpted into the natural rolling terrain of the 300-acre park, Andrew’s father Chris Carlson and his business partner Todd Plaisted, along with the help of hundreds of employees and volunteers, created a track unlike any other on the TORC circuit. Featuring huge fall-away jumps, sand wash moguls, and banked turns reminiscent of the famed Talladega Speedway, the track presented a new challenge for all drivers with its constantly changing make-up and multiple racing lines.
On Sunday Carlson attempted to repeat his podium results. Starting in the 8th position Andrew climbed through the pack as high as 4th, but a series of full-course cautions and contact in the closing laps spoiled his back-to-back podium bid.
With victory filling in their sails, the team will now turn their attention to rounds 9 and 10 in Bark River, Michigan July 30 and 31.