Steve Carlson, driver of the #66 Chevy Monte Carlo, needs no introduction when it comes to Midwest short track racing. In 2009, Carlson collected his tenth career series championship and his first American Speed Association® Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment and grandstay.net Championship.
After a disappointing and uncharacteristic 18th place finish in the ASA Midwest Tour season opener at Madison International Speedway, Carlson returned to the ASAMT for the third race of the season at Elko Speedway in Minnesota. The driver of the #66 captured his first of three ECHO/Oregon Quick Cut Qualifier awards and his first of four feature wins of the season. The team followed it up with another victory at Dells Raceway Park in the Race for the Gold "Bronze Race".
After qualifying second at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, IA, Carlson found himself in victory lane for the Keith Fleck Miller 100. This was Carlson's sixth and third consecutive Keith Fleck Miller 100 win. After starting in the 11th position, Carlson took over the top spot from Mark Kraus on lap 30 and led the way all the way to the checkered flag. Carlson had not gone into the 2009 season with the intent to run for an ASAMT championship. However, after three consecutive victories, one could not blame him for trying.
The series returned to Dells Raceway Park for the Race for the Gold "Silver Race" where a late race incident involving ASA Midwest Kwik Trip Touring Star, Chris Wimmer and Carlson ended Carlson's chances for four in a row. However, in typical Carlson fashion, he rebounded with his seventh career Dixieland 150 victory at Wisconsin International Raceway. He finished ahead of then points leader, Nathan Haseleu but was not able to close the gap enough and remained 83 points behind the point leader.
The champion took home his final podium second place finish of the season in the Shakopee 100. With only three races left in the season, the ASAMT headed to Norway, MI for the Labor Day 100. Carlson captured his second ECHO/Oregon Quick Cut Qualifier award and finished sixth in the feature event.
The driver of the #66 B&B Racing Engines sponsored car, finished sixth in the Race for the Gold "Gold Race" at Elko Speedway, but was able to shrink the point lead to a mere ten points after Haseleu encountered mechanical woes and came home in 26th.
The points battle came down to the final race of the season, the 40th annual Oktoberfest at Lacrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Carlson picked up his third ECHO/Oregon Quick Cut Qualifier award at his home track and came home second after a hard fought battle to the end with eventual winner, Travis Sauter. With Haseleu's 17th place qualifying run and fifth place feature finish, Carlson wrapped up his tenth career championship only 19 points ahead of Haseleu.
Carlson earned his championship with nine top-ten and seven top-five finishes including three ECHO/Oregon Quick Cut Qualifier awards and four wins in 11 starts. Carlson will once again return to the ASAMT in 2010 as an ASA Kwik Trip Midwest Touring Star.