NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals
Rookie carlson nets No. 12, qualifies for his first race of season
Five races into the season and on a continuous drive to establish himself at the Pro Stock level, Carlson posted a solid 6.816-second elapsed time at 201.79 mph in the second qualifying session (he set a 6.864/201.04 in the first), then hung on in the field through two tire-shaking laps (20.854/35.55 and 18.235/43.15).
The learning curve has involved extra seat time, adjustments to his driving style, and modifications to the Team Mopar/SRT Dodge Stratus R/T.
"Just to be in the field, and to be that deep in the field is amazing. The feeling of it, I don't know if you can quite explain it to people. I have felt bad for Bob (Glidden, crew chief) and the guys when we haven't qualified to race on Sundays. It's a great feeling that we are a team, and that I am paying them back," he said.
"I feel like I kind of earned it. It definitely didn't come easily, and, at the same time, it shows to everyone out here that the Pro Stock class is insane from a competitive standpoint. I have to perform as well as everyone out here, and some of them have years and years of experience and thousands of passes in these cars. It's a lot of pressure, but it's also exciting to climb that hill.
"We get to go out there tomorrow and race, and that is awesome. Of course I want to win, but I'm also just excited to be in the field."
Carlson matches up against Jim Yates in the first round of Sunday's final eliminations.
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