Steve Carlson will admit that going into the 2009 racing season, one thing not on his agenda was to capture the American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment's Championship. But the racing veteran from West Salem, WI won his tenth touring championship in his career, first with ASA, at the track that is only six blocks from home.
"It's cool, real cool," Carlson said after his second place run at the Oktoberfest 100 season finale event where he sewed up the championship as he battled Travis Sauter for the win with ten laps to go and almost saw his championship hopes go away when the two touched. "About ten laps to go, I didn't think I was going to win it because I was pointing at the sky and I figured I was going to crash down and there would be nothing left. But, it was still there but there had to be something bent because the car didn't quite corner that good after that."
He would hold on to his second place finish and go on to win the championship by 19 points over Nathan Haseleu. It was nothing he had planned for at the start of the season, "I was only go to run part-time because at the first race at Madison, we got a flat and dropped out of the race," Carlson said. "I thought well, I will just run part-time so I skipped the next race (at Iowa Speedway), well then I won a couple then three and four and found myself second in points. So I thought to myself, well I better go for it."
In eleven starts, Carlson picked up three ECHO/Oregon Cutting Systems "Quick Cut" fast qualifier awards, four wins, seven top-five and nine top-ten finishes. He averaged 133.45 points per event.
This is also his tenth touring series championship in his career. He is a four-time ARTGO Series champion (1990, 91, 94, 96) and a five-time NASCAR Elite Division - Midwest Series champion (1998, 2000, 01, 02, 03). The 2007 NASCAR Weekly Series National Champion and has six track championships at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway (1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 2007, 2008).
After a disappointing 18th place finish in the Joe Shear Classic season opener at Madison International Speedway, his march to his first American Speed Association sanctioned series championship started back on May 23rd as he won the Elko 125 at Elko Speedway. He followed that win with his second a week later at Dells Raceway Park when he won the Race for the Gold - Bronze Race. He would finish fourth at the Elmer Musgrave Memorial 100 at Illiana Speedway then would follow that up by winning his record setting sixth Keith Fleck Miller 100 at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, IA.
On the ASAMT's second visit to Dells Raceway Park, Carlson was involved in a late caution and finished 17th. He jumped right back from that to win his the Dixieland 150 at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, WI for the seventh time, another record. He would come home second behind Donny Reuvers at the Shakopee 100 at Raceway Park in Shakopee, MN. After setting fast time, he would finish sixth at the Norway 100 at Norway Speedway in Norway, MI.
On the second visit to Elko Speedway, he would finish second to Dan Fredrickson and would gain 52 points on Nathan Haseleu as he fell out early from the event, allowing Carlson to be within 10 points coming into Oktoberfest where his second place finish there sealed the championship.
"Steve Carlson is our modern day Dick Trickle," Steve Einhaus, ASAMT Vice-president said. "He has won some of the biggest race events in the Midwest and we are proud to have him as our 2009 ASAMT champion. He raced against some of the best Super Late Model drivers in the Midwest and he definitely earned it with the season he had."
Carlson will be honored for his efforts at the ASAMT Championship Banquet on Saturday, January 23, 2010. More details will be announced later.
To learn more about the American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by Echo Outdoor Power Equipment log on to www.asamidwesttour.com or call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (262) 514-3880 or e-mail Tim Olson at email@example.com or Steve Einhaus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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