Phil Carlson captures kart racing's top prize. (Norman, OK) -- Phil Carlson clinched the Shifter Kart USA Promoto Tour Championship at the World Finals held at in Norman Oklahoma Sunday. Carlson entered the finals with the Western Zone ...
Phil Carlson captures kart racing's top prize.
(Norman, OK) -- Phil Carlson clinched the Shifter Kart USA Promoto Tour Championship at the World Finals held at in Norman Oklahoma Sunday. Carlson entered the finals with the Western Zone Championship and the Promoto points lead but gaining the Promoto Tour Championship proved a challenge.
Halfway through Saturday's preliminary heat race, Carlson look poised to win both the race and the championship when front brake failure quickly shuffled him from third to eighteenth in the finishing order. With the opportunity for the win gone, Carlson needed to concentrate securing the Promoto championship. This would take at least a ninth place finish overall and he needed to finish in contact with, or in front of, the eastern zone champion, Allen Rudolph. A run through such a strong field would be difficult and risky. The championship was far from certain.
When the green flag dropped, the field shuffled into turn one. With karts still running close together, the inevitable accident occurred exiting turn three. Carlson nearly came to a stop to avoid the incident and this separated him from the rest of the field. At the end of the first lap he was fourteenth but nearly a straightaway behind thirteenth place.
Over the next twenty-nine laps he ran down the pack and cautiously worked his way through. He passed Rudolph with about ten laps to go and went on to finish seventh, winning the Championship.
"I would have liked to have contended for the race win but I had to re-think my strategy after the heat race. The first lap accident was scary. I hit Alex Speed and caved in my nose. I was not certain I could keep the kart running because I was nearly stopped."
The SKUSA Promoto Tour is North America's top touring series for karting. Carlson will wear the national #1 plate as the Series defending champion.