Carlson Wins NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Title
Battle With Pitkat and Morris Went Down to the Wire
Steve Carlson was pretty sure that he was in good shape. After all, he had been tracking the standings for the past several weeks. But it wasn’t until he got the call Wednesday afternoon from George Silbermann, NASCAR’s managing director of racing operations, that it became a reality.

Carlson is the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion.
“It’s a relief,” Carlson said. “This is so big, this is unreal. I’m sure it will be a while until it all sinks in on just how big this really is.”

For starters, Carlson joins an elite class of racers who have won the national championship for NASCAR’s short track program – besting a field of thousands of racers competing at various tracks across the country.

He earned his ticket to the New York City, where NASCAR will honor its champions, and to Las Vegas, where he will be in the spotlight for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banquet.

The 50-year-old from Black River Falls, Wisc. native finished with eight wins and 21 top five finishes in 23 starts. He raced primarily at LaCrosse (Wisc.) Speedway. After that season ended in the beginning of September, he ran a handful of events at Elko (Minn.) Speedway in an attempt to pick up a few more valuable points.
Steve Carlson is the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion.
In the end, Carlson’s 862 points from his top 18 finishes was enough to hold off the challenges of Woody Pitkat and defending champion Philip Morris.

Pitkat, racing at Connecticut’s Thompson International Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway, finished his season Sunday with a victory at Stafford to give him 856. It was the ninth win of the season for Stafford’s Pitkat, who won one of the division titles last year under NASCAR’s old championship format.

“We were done and he had so many races left,” said Carlson, “and we were just watching him. At that point, it was kind of ‘did we win it or not?’ ”

Running primarily at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., Morris finished third in the nation with 844 points. Morris won last year’s championship with a victory in the last race of the season and another late surge put him in contention for back-to-back titles.

Keith Rocco, the track champion at Thompson, and former national champion Ted Christopher, the
track champion at Stafford, finished fourth and fifth respectively. Carlson’s teammate, Kevin
Nuttleman, was sixth. And former national champion Joe Kosiski finished seventh running at I-80
Speedway in Nebraska.

In addition to announcing the national champion, NASCAR also unveiled the final rankings for the
top 500 drivers in the country. Each driver will receive a certificate commemorating their
accomplishment.

The champions of the 24 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces that make up the NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series program will be announced next week.

Carlson has won NASCAR championships before. Nine times he was crowned champion of the
old Midwest Touring Series, the last five coming as a now-defunct Elite Division under the
NASCAR banner. The series closed following the 2006 season.

“I won a bunch of Midwest championships and this is bigger than all of them,” Carlson said. “I did a
lot of traveling; I won a lot of races (on the Midwest Tour). We got to go to the New York banquet
(as champion). We all thought when that series was gone, all that would be gone too. But it’s not.”

Carlson didn’t originally commit to running a full season at LaCrosse. But after a strong start, team
owner Tim Jacobs convinced him to go after the national championship.

“The car was just so good, we decided to run full time,” Carlson said. “And we pulled it off.

“My crew worked so hard on this car, and I’ve got a great car owner. It was just a good car every night of the season.”

Now Carlson can spend the offseason celebrating.

Under the simplified point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner will receive two points for every car in the event up to 25 cars. Second place will receive two fewer points, and so-on through the field. For example, if there are 25 cars, the winner receives 50 points, second gets 48 and third 46. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 30 points, second gets 28 and third 26.


Final National Top 25 NASCAR Leaders

       PosDriver Name  Home Track      Starts  Wins    T-5     T-10    Pts

1       STEVE CARLSON   LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY   23      8       20      21      862

2       WOODY PITKAT    STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 36      9       27      32      856

3       PHILIP MORRIS   MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY     27      11      21      23      844

4       KEITH ROCCO     STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 42      8       21      28      828

5       TED CHRISTOPHER STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 22      2       16      20      816

6       KEVIN NUTTLEMAN LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY   24      2       16      19      808

7       JOE KOSISKI     I-80 SPEEDWAY   32      3       24      27      792

8       ANDY BURGESS    LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY   19      2       13      18      792

9       AL HUMPHREY     I-80 SPEEDWAY   26      5       18      23      790

10      KERRY MALONE    STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 36      3       14      25      784

11      DAVID ROBERTS   GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY     22      6       22      22      780

12      DUANE HOWARD    GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY      18      5       13      15      778

13      JEFF STRUNK     GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY      19      4       15      16      770

14      GUY JUBINVILLE  AUTODROME ST. EUSTACHE  33      15      27      29      766

15      KENNETH HEADEN  GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY     25      8       17      22      752

16      RANDY PORTER    GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY     22      5       20      21      752

17      JEAN FRNCS BOUVRETTE    AUTODROME ST. EUSTACHE  33      5       27      30      748

18      JASON HOBSCHEIDT        I-80 SPEEDWAY   31      4       16      22      720

19      LEON ZEITNER    I-80 SPEEDWAY   26      1       12      21      716

20      WILL THOMAS, III        LAKE ERIE SPEEDWAY      26      4       24      25      712

21      TOMMY LEMONS, JR        MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY     24      0       12      19      702

22      STEVE HOLZHAUSEN        LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY   20      1       10      17      696

23      JASON MITCHAM   MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY     19      1       11      17      694

24      MARK HOLEMAN    MADERA SPEEDWAY 20      6       15      18      690

25      DONNY REUVERS   ELKO SPEEDWAY   34      15      28      32      686







Woody Pitkat finished a close second in the points race.  (Jim DuPont Photo)