ROOKIE CARLSON MISSES FIELD IN PRO STOCK DEBUT IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2006) - NHRA Pro Compact star Shaun Carlson, in his debut as the driver of the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus R/T for Don Schumacher Racing, failed to make the Pro...
ROOKIE CARLSON MISSES FIELD IN PRO STOCK DEBUT IN POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2006) - NHRA Pro Compact star Shaun Carlson, in his debut as the driver of the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus R/T for Don Schumacher Racing, failed to make the Pro Stock field for the season-opening CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway.
Despite three out of four strong runs of 6.796/205.01, 6.772/205.60 and 6.756/204.51, he ended up No. 21 in the field (only the top 16 qualify), missing the field by less than four hundredths of a second in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class.
Carlson, of Alta Loma, Calif., however, doesn't see his effort as a failure, but rather as part of the learning curve.
"I feel bad for Dodge, Mopar, SRT, Don (Schumacher), (crew chief) Bob Glidden, and all these guys on the Team Mopar/SRT crew who have worked so hard getting me up to speed. But, it's been two years since I've been in one of these cars, and things are a lot tougher now. I tried my best, and I take my hat off to Bob and Rusty (Glidden). They have worked great with me all weekend. I can't wait to get back in at Phoenix."
He and crew chief Bob Glidden noticed a drop in power on the last run and his last chance to get into the field. A burnt battery was discovered and Carlson believes it could be the reason they weren't picking up the same power as the other team car of Richie Stevens Jr. "Bob noticed that it was flat-lining on the computer, and we were worried that it was the engine. So, for it to be something like the battery is a little bit of a relief. It's one of those things; it doesn't show up on the tester in the pits, but it can't handle the load of the engine when it gets on the track.
The teamwork in the DSR operation inspires Carlson the most: "Throughout this weekend, we have all really come together. That's very important to me. No matter what goes on with this team I want to be there; I told Bob I want to test as much as possible. If the cars are going to be testing I definitely want to be there."
Carlson now has two weeks to prepare before the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals in Chandler, Ariz., February 24-26.