Phoenix: Shaun Carlson Saturday summary

Rookie Carlson misses Phoenix field, looks forward to testing CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series rookie Shaun Carlson is finding out how tough the learning curve is in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class. For...

Rookie Carlson misses Phoenix field, looks forward to testing

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series rookie Shaun Carlson is finding out how tough the learning curve is in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class. For the second straight race, the California native has failed to make the 16-car field. The Sport Compact standout ended up 19th, with his best pass a more than presentable 6.765/205.19, but which was not strong enough to get him in.

Now he looks forward to a testing session in the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga., next weekend before heading to Gainesville, Fla., for his third Pro Stock race.

Carlson made a rookie mistake in his first qualifying shot and did not record a time. His second qualifying effort was his quickest, and his first run on Saturday was spoiled when the car shook badly, posting a 16.461/49.26. A 6.769/204.91 lap on the final pass failed to get him into the field.

Carlson is keeping his head up: "I feel bad for our Team Mopar/SRT guys. They did their jobs this weekend. I'm trying to learn as fast as I can," he said.

"When I run out here and make a mistake, I don't have a practice run to fix it. Testing will provide the opportunity to make pass after pass until I get it. A lot of these guys out here have hundreds of passes, if not thousands, so I understand that it's going to take me some time.

"Testing in Valdosta will be good. I'll be able to make a lot of passes and get more used to the car. I will do everything possible to gain that experience as fast as I can, however I can."

The former Pro-FWD driver is learning with every pass. "Every time down the track I see different things. Rusty (Glidden) showed me some things with the clutch. I had been having some issues with getting my foot off the clutch fast enough and keeping it off. He and Bob (Glidden, crew chief) showed me a way to use my heel instead of my toes that will help out," said Carlson.

His next opportunity to make the Pro Stock field comes in three weeks, at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 16-19.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shaun Carlson