Knoxville - Brian Carlson spotlight

Carlson Continues to Gain a Loyal Legion of Fans Every time Brian Carlson takes to the track, he gains more loyal fans. Whether it is fans in the stands that see how hard he and his wife/crew chief Sarah work in the pit area, or the thousands...

Carlson Continues to Gain a Loyal Legion of Fans

Every time Brian Carlson takes to the track, he gains more loyal fans. Whether it is fans in the stands that see how hard he and his wife/crew chief Sarah work in the pit area, or the thousands of people that tune into World of Outlaws events via, this list continues to grow.

Many of the fans that tune in on play a key role in Carlson's team, and go by the name Friends of, as they are loyal supporters of the team. They have watched Brian race for a number of years and recognize that he is doing his very best with the resources that he has.

Carlson proudly follows in the footsteps of a number of drives in the past such Rick Ferkel, Bobby Allen, and Steve Beitler who all worked very hard to run with the World of Outlaws, while having significantly less resources than their competition. The fans always pulled for these drivers, just as they pull for Carlson.

He will take to the track for the fans this weekend, at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, as the World of Outlaws invade the half-mile for a full night of racing on Saturday, April 28.

"There is something special about Knoxville," said Carlson, driver of the Maxim. "It's the home of the Nationals, and some guys will take every opportunity that they can to make it out there to run a normal weekly show, to try to help dial the car in for the Nationals. We're fortunate enough to be able to get there a couple times this year."

Carlson, who travels with his family to every race marvels at the history and aura that surround Knoxville Raceway. While he and Sarah are usually busy working on the car, they try to take every chance they can to visit the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum located off of the second turn at the historic oval. It provides a great opportunity for their two young sons, Seth and A.J. to learn about the history of sprint car racing up close and personal. Over the past year, the boys have visited a number of the most historic tracks in all of racing.

"There are several tracks on the schedule that you can point to and say these are historic places and traditional stops for the Outlaws over the years," explained Carlson, a native of Linden, Indiana. "Obviously, Knoxville is at the top of that list. We're excited to go there. There is nothing else like Knoxville. There is no other track around that has that type of facility and runs a weekly program like that. We always enjoy going over there."

In the World of Outlaws last visit to Knoxville in 2006, Carlson raced his way into the A-Feature via a strong second-place run in the B-Main, against a number of drivers that compete on a weekly basis at Knoxville and have significantly more laps at the track.

"It's always been a big motor track, which is not my forte," said Carlson, who finished a very solid 15th in points last season in his first full-season on the road with the World of Outlaws. "We made the show there at the end of last season, and we hope to go out there and make the show again. We just take it one night at a time and keep plugging away."

Carlson is ready for the World of Outlaws schedule to pick up in the next few weeks, as the weather continues to warm up. Though, he also faces a challenge in the fact that he operates a very successful kart engine building business and has to balance that in addition to racing full-time.

"We have had a lax schedule here in the early part of the season," stated Carlson. "On one hand that is good, because I get to go back home each week and keep my business rolling and make a little bit of money. On the other hand, it's nice to run two and three nights in a row, because you can get into a rhythm. Running more helps you get into a good maintenance routine on the car. When we head home, it seems like everything kind of gets thrashed together at the last minute. If you stay on the road a few days, it is probably better for the team. You get into that rhythm of doing your daily maintenance.

In his first visit to Dixie (GA) Speedway in a number of years on March 31, Carlson began the night by turning in the ninth-fastest lap in time trials. A second-place finish in the first heat earned him a spot in the dash, where he came home eighth. He lined on the outside of the fourth row for the A-Feature and was running very solidly just outside the Top-10 when contact relegated him to the rear of the field.

"Dixie is a place where you don't need a lot of horsepower, you just need the car to roll around the corners nice," he said. "It was nice to get the car to roll around pretty good down there."

With the series switching to a new 16-car invert this season, it has placed an even bigger importance on time trials to start the night. Like many of the drivers, Carlson is still getting used to the new tweaks in the format this season that were implemented to add more excitement for the fans.

"Qualifying has always been important," he said. "That's just part of the game. I liked the 24-car invert, and there have been a couple nights this year under that format that we would have started on the front row of the heat race, and we weren't able to do that. It's the same for everybody so you just have to take it as it comes."

On Saturday, April 28 at Knoxville Raceway, adult general admission tickets will be $25, with reserved tickets $27. General admission tickets for children will be $13.50, with general admission tickets for children $12.50.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Brian Carlson