SERIES: ARTGO Carlson Grabs ARTGO Opener Wisconsin Dells, WI - Four-time ARTGO Challenge Series Champion Steve Carlson opened the 1997 campaign in the same way he closed 1996, in victory lane. Charging from...
Carlson Grabs ARTGO Opener Wisconsin Dells, WI - Four-time ARTGO Challenge Series Champion Steve Carlson opened the 1997 campaign in the same way he closed 1996, in victory lane. Charging from his tenth starting spot, Carlson took the lead with a neat inside move on leader Eddie Hoffman and then showed his heels to the field as he crossed the finish line six car lengths ahead of the pack to take the winner's share of the purse for the Cabin Fever 100 held at Wisconsin Dells Motor Speedway in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Carlson is concentrating on the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series this year, but took advantage of an off week to return to the series he has dominated and garner his 23rd career ARTGO win. Hoffman held on for second place followed by veteran Joe Shear, back in a race car after some serious medical problems. Hooter's Cup Late Model driver Scott Wimmer also used an off week and returned to grab the fourth spot while Brain Hoppe rounded out the top five.
Travis Kvapil set the fastest time in qualifying and smashed the ARTGO track record in the process. Kvapil's time of 13.384 second at a speed of 89.570 mph shattered the old mark of 13.468 seconds held by current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor Brian Reffner. Unfortunately for Kvapil the fast time is no guarantee of a good starting position as he rolled the dice and the first 15 cars were inverted. This brought Rookie contender Eddie Hoffman to the pole with Shear on the outside of the front row.
On the drop of the green Hoffman was able to out-muscle Shear into the first corner and take the lead. Shear was not about to make it easy for the Rookie and was right there looking for an opening on every lap. The first of six cautions slowed the pace on lap 9 for a four car spin and crash, but Hoffman held the lead on the restart and was still leading as the race approached the halfway point.
Meanwhile, back behind the leaders, Carlson had been using the outside line to pass car after car and on lap 42 he passed Shear to take the second spot and it was his turn to put the pressure on the Rookie. His first good chance to take the lead resulted in the two cars flashing across the start/finish line almost side-by-side with Carlson just a nose in front. But on this occasion Hoffman was equal to the task and regained the lead.
Carlson settled into second spot, looking for an opportunity to grab the lead, while at the same time conserving his tires. Finally he made his move on the 80th circuit of the high-banked .333 mile oval and pushed his nose under Hoffman to take the lead. From that point on he proved he had the fastest car on the track as he pulled away and took the checkered flag by six car lengths.
The most serious incident of the evening happened on lap 54 when Rookie Racin' Jason Schuler had his car launch off the front of Jim Weber's car and end up on its roof in turn two. The race was red flagged while safety crews rushed to the scene, but both drivers emerged unhurt.
The next event for the ARTGO Challenge Series will be Monday May 26th at Wisconsin International Speedway in Kaukauna WI.
Wisconsin Dells Speedway - RIS - Provisional results for the ARTGO Challenge Series, Cabin Fever 100: Ps.Ql.No. Driver , Car Laps Notes -- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- ------- 1 10 66 Steve Carlson Phillips 66/TropArtic Chev 100 2 1 8 Eddie Hoffman Appleton Rack & Pinion Chev 100 3 2 36 Joe Shear Lefthander/JAMR Engines Dodg 100 4 11 25 Scott Wimmer McDonalds/WAOW TV9 Chev 100 5 3 51 Brian Hoppe Stardust Corporation Chev 100 6 15 35 Travis Kvapil Fagan Chevrolet (R) Chev 100 7 14 7 Al Schill Jr McDonalds Chev 100 8 9 28 Jim Weber American Rental/Rosali's Chev 100 9 23 17 Jon Lemke Valvoline Dodg 100 10 4 14 Dudley Fleck Miller Lite Chev 100 11 7 62 Scot Field Field Motorsports Ford 100 12 22 31 Bobby Blount K-Motion/Sweet/Big Rigs Chev 100 13 26 19 Todd Zick Ho Chuck Casino Chev 98 14 8 92 Kevin Peterson Copps Food Stores <R> Chev 92 15 19 61 Tracy Schuler National Bathing Products Chev 92 16 12 43 Pierre Goulet Andrews Checrolet Pont 89 17 20 75 Mike Beyer F.T.I. Motorsports <R> Pont 79 18 6 9 Pat Gordon Musco Lighting Corporation <R> Chev 78 19 24 70 Neil Knoblock Furniture & Appliance Mart Dodg 59 20 13 37 Jason Schuler Havill-Spoerl Ford <R> Ford 54 21 21 54 Les Ferris Midwest Truck Series <R> Olds 54 22 5 27 Pat Tushoski Tushoski Racing Pont 53 23 17 71 Larry Middleton Jr Lisa Thomas Salon Chev 30 24 18 83 Kirby Kurth WGLX/Quality Plus Printing Pont 30 25 16 01 Ron Breese Jr Havill-Spoerl Dodge Dodg 9 26 25 21 Bobby Weiss Weaver Auto Parts Chev 0 <R> = Rookie Contender Margin of Victory : 6 car lengths Lap Leaders : Hoffman 1-48, Carlson 49,Hoffman 50-79, Carlson 80-100 Cautions : 6 Track Length : 0.3330 Miles John Kaiser RIS/AL