ROOKIE CARLSON QUALIFIES FOR HIS FIRST RACE OF SEASON, NETS NO. 12 IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS (April 8, 2006) - Since being named the second Pro Stock driver at Don Schumacher Racing for the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, Sport Compact ...
ROOKIE CARLSON QUALIFIES FOR HIS FIRST RACE OF SEASON, NETS NO. 12 IN VEGAS
LAS VEGAS (April 8, 2006) - Since being named the second Pro Stock driver at Don Schumacher Racing for the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, Sport Compact standout and Pro Stock rookie Shaun Carlson qualified for his first event today, netting the No. 12 position for the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Five races into the season and on a continuous drive to establish himself at the Pro Stock level, Carlson posted a solid 6.816-second elapsed time at 201.79 mph in the second qualifying session (he set a 6.864/201.04 in the first), then hung on in the field through two tire-shaking laps (20.854/35.55 and 18.235/43.15).
The learning curve has involved extra seat time, adjustments to his driving style, and modifications to the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus R/T.
"Just to be in the field, and to be that deep in the field is amazing. The feeling of it, I don't know if you can quite explain it to people. I have felt bad for Bob (Glidden, crew chief) and the guys when we haven't qualified to race on Sundays. It's a great feeling that we are a team, and that I am paying them back," he said.
"I feel like I kind of earned it. It definitely didn't come easily, and, at the same time, it shows to everyone out here that the Pro Stock class is insane from a competitive standpoint. I have to perform as well as everyone out here, and some of them have years and years of experience and thousands of passes in these cars. It's a lot of pressure, but it's also exciting to climb that hill.
"We get to go out there tomorrow and race, and that is awesome. Of course I want to win, but I'm also just excited to be in the field."
Carlson matches up against Jim Yates in the first round of Sunday's final eliminations.