Carlson Uses Home Track Advantage at Hawkeye Downs by Jana Jurkovich
Veteran Beats a Star Studded Field in Flood Delayed Feature
Steve Carlson sits in his #66. (ASA MW / Doug Hornickle / Fast Lap Photo Photos).
Johnny Sauter's nephew Travis, who's third in ASAMT points qualified second, Jamie Iverson third and Carlson sixth.
The inverted start put Mark Kraus on the pole. He jumped out to the lead and began to drive away from the field.
“We were good all day and good right off the truck. I run a similar set-up to this one back home at Marshfield,” said Kraus, “So that's kind of why I like this place.”
Carlson began from the seventh position and Johnny Sauter from the 12th and they
began to close in on Kraus and reel him back in. By lap 35 Carlson and Sauter caught
the #9k car, but Kraus held on to the lead for another 10 laps.
“I knew they'd be coming, but I had a decent car” said Kraus, “I thought we'd be good
up there. But with Carlson and everyone else coming there wasn't much I could do.”
On lap 45, Carlson made the pass on Kraus with Sauter in tow right behind him. But
then it was Carlson's turn to check out as he began to drive his #66 away from Sauter
and the rest of the field.
“We were good in practice and we started out a little tight in the feature,” said Carlson,
“But then it turned out to be ok.”
A caution with 43 laps to go closed up the field, but Carlson wasted no time stretching
his lead out once again.
“He's first in class,” said Sauter, “We were second in class cause I didn't see anyone out my mirror really, but he's awesome, he was fast. I thought I had something for him early on, but he was just playing with me a little bit.”
Kraus held solidly in the third position until there were 11 laps to go. That's when ASAMT points leader Dan Fredrickson caught the #9k and made the pass in to third. Donny Reuvers and Travis Sauter followed behind Fredrickson as Kraus pulled up the track and let them by.
Due to production problems, this story has been delayed from appearing on Speed51.com. We apologize for the delay and hope that you enjoy reliving the action from the Hawkeye Downs stop of the ASA Midwest Tour.
The ASA Midwest Tour was supposed to race at Hawkeye Downs Raceway (IA) back on June 13th, but that was when much of Cedar Rapids and other parts of Iowa experience major flooding. Keeping the thoughts of the Cedar Rapids people in mind, the ASA Midwest Tour rescheduled its race for July 18th and made efforts throughout the day to raise money for the flood victims.
One look at the cars in the pits when the series did return though, and it was easy to pick out a couple drivers who own a pretty stout Hawkeye Downs resume. Part-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Johnny Sauter has known success at the track in Cedar Rapids, a few years back he won two of his three ASA National races there.
And don't forget veteran short track driver Steve Carlson. He actually races there on a weekly basis and is the track's current season point leader.
“It's just a track that many years ago I came here and we just caught on quick,” said Carlson, “And we were fast the first time I was ever here.”
So it wasn't a huge surprise when Sauter and Carlson paced practice and then Sauter put down the fastest qualifying lap of the day.
“It was really good in practice and I didn't really have to make any adjustments on it,” said Carlson.
Mark Kraus (#9) and Steve Carlson (#66) do battle.
Three laps later, with 8 to go, Kraus pulled his car off the track with an overheating problem.
“We had a third place car, I'm pretty sure I would have finished there,” said Kraus, “But the car overheated. It's frustrating; it's the hardest thing to do to pull in when you're running that well.”
Meanwhile Carlson put it on cruise control and coasted to his 4th top five in his 4th ASAMT race of the year. “We're kind of choosing the tracks we like too,” said Carlson,” but it always feels good to win.”
Johnny Sauter finished second and Dan Fredrickson third. “That's out best run here at Cedar Rapids,” said Fredrickson, “So we'll take it and move on and keep working on it.”
Steve Carlson (C) is joined by Johnny Sauter (R) and Dan Frederickson (L) on the podium at Hawkeye Downs.