ROOKIE SHAUN CARLSON AIMS TO CONTINUE HIS PROGRESS IN HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (Mar. 29, 2006) - The start of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series has proven to be an uphill battle for Don Schumacher Racing Pro Stock rookie Shaun Carlson. He...
ROOKIE SHAUN CARLSON AIMS TO CONTINUE HIS PROGRESS IN HOUSTON
BAYTOWN, Texas (Mar. 29, 2006) - The start of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series has proven to be an uphill battle for Don Schumacher Racing Pro Stock rookie Shaun Carlson. He is playing catch-up after landing the seat in the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus and looks to qualify in the 16-car field for the first time this season at this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway.
The Southern California native has been making the most out of the team's test sessions, as well as in the qualifying runs on race weekends. "I'm just trying to absorb as much as I can with each run I make," says Carlson. "I know I'm getting better; it's just taking some time, but I really think I'll get there."
Carlson got an encouraging phone call from crew chief Bob Glidden a week after the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. "Bob is so adamant that he is going to teach me the way a coach would in basketball, or any of those stick and ball sports," says Carlson. "He told me he'd make me a winner, and that we are gonna do a lot of testing, whatever it takes. He doesn't care if he has to strap me into the passenger side of the car while he makes a run, he says; we're gonna prove everyone wrong."
As a rookie, Carlson has not competed at all of the dragstrips on the 23-event NHRA schedule, but he's had the luxury of racing at Houston Raceway. "I've raced at Houston a couple times with my Pro FWD car, so that makes me feel better going into the weekend. I know it sounds stupid, but it relaxes you a lot when you know where everything is at a track.
"I'm always thinking about the Pro Stock class now, I'll be sitting at the stoplight and trying to time the lights, or lifting my foot quickly off the clutch; it's definitely in my system. I have the bug, and I guess any little thing I can do will help. I'm looking for any little advantage so I can make my way into the field and race on Sundays with my teammate Richie (Stevens Jr.)."