SHAUN CARLSON HOPES THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM IN GAINESVILLE GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2006) - Rookie Shaun Carlson, driver of the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus in his first year with Don Schumacher Racing, has been paying his dues in the ...
SHAUN CARLSON HOPES THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM IN GAINESVILLE
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2006) - Rookie Shaun Carlson, driver of the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus in his first year with Don Schumacher Racing, has been paying his dues in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour. Although he started out his first full season with DSR by missing the 16-car field at both Pomona and Phoenix, he's never lost his determination to succeed. Following three days of serious testing of car and driver at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga., Carlson feels he's moved a few steps further up the learning curve as the team heads to the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway this weekend.
While teammate Richie Stevens Jr. was putting up big numbers (6.681-second elapsed time at 207.60 mph) in testing, Carlson was focusing on the small things necessary to put together full competitive runs. "I was working on keeping the car open at full throttle, taking my foot off the clutch quicker, getting better on the burn outs, and even got to break in some tires," he said.
"We ran a 6.724-second ET at 205.40 mph, which was my best, and it was pretty good compared to what some other people were running out there. I wasn't that far away from a really good run, so that makes me feel good going into this weekend."
In total, Carlson made 13 runs in the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge. "I feel much more comfortable in the car, and if I could have gotten 100 more runs in, I'd be that much better," he added.
"It's only going to take time, but the Valdosta test gave me the chance to look at my runs on both the computer and on film, and learn from it. I feel like a more complete driver now, and the more runs I get, the more I'll be able to build off that," said the Southern California native.
"If you look at the people who have recently come into the class, like Erica Enders, it shows how hard this class is. I think she had like 100 passes before she came into the class full-time, and it took her some time (to qualify well and go rounds), but look at her now. Even if you have the best team, you can't come out with a new driver and dominate. It's like the saying goes for engines: there's no replacement for displacement. And, in this class, there's no replacement for laps."