DESPITE MISSING GATORNATIONALS FIELD, ROOKIE CARLSON REMAINS UPBEAT GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2006) - Pro Stock rookie Shaun Carlson, driver of the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus for Don Schumacher Racing, was optimistic heading into the NHRA...
DESPITE MISSING GATORNATIONALS FIELD, ROOKIE CARLSON REMAINS UPBEAT
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2006) - Pro Stock rookie Shaun Carlson, driver of the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus for Don Schumacher Racing, was optimistic heading into the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend. He had recently completed a promising test session at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga., and he and the team expected to qualify for their first NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event.
Carlson's four qualifying runs, however, were not enough to make the quickest Pro Stock field in NHRA history, but his final and best qualifying run of 6.740 seconds at 205.38 mph was his best-yet official elapsed time since joining DSR in February. His other runs consisted of a 6.798/204.80, 6.780/205.01, and a 6.790/204.49.
The Southern-California native is focusing on the positives from the weekend: "I finally started to do my job a little better," he said. "Obviously I'd like to get qualified to give back to the team. If you look at the (final) run, it was much straighter and I hit my shift points better.
"Bob (Glidden, crew chief) came on the radio at the end of my run and said, 'Shaun that was a good run, probably your best run so far.' That gave me goose-bumps as I was pulling off (the track). I was upset that I didn't make it, but at the same time I hope I'm showing people that I will get better.
"The Valdosta test was good for me because I started to break my passes down and look at them individually, and work on fixing them one at a time. I felt like we had some momentum coming out of that test, but this is a tough class and I know it's not easy to get in."
He knows experience is his ally. "It's inevitable that I will get par for the course as far as driving ability, but it's just passes that will get me there."
Carlson now looks forward to the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, March 31-April 2.