At the end of the 2016-2017 season, Carlson Moto announced that it would be leaving Snocross competition. For more than 20 years, the Carlson Moto family has spent their winters competing at Snocross tracks across North America. Now Chris Carlson, son and Pro-Open rider Andrew, and the Carlson Moto organization are focused on their future efforts in The Off-Road Championship (TORC) truck racing series.
Andrew Carlson wrapped up his Snocross career at the final event of the season at Lake Geneva, IL
If you’re not familiar with Snocross, it’s pretty much what it sounds like – Motocross on snowmobiles, in the snow, except the sleds weigh twice as much as Motocross bikes, just to add a little more of a challenge.
Family and racing have always been a close partnership for Chris and his wife, Deb. Both their daughter Taylor and son Andrew grew up racing with their father at regional Snocross tracks. The siblings started competing when Andrew and Taylor were four- and six-years-old, respectively. Both progressed in their skills and abilities to race at the national level.
“My dad has always been passionate about motorsports and presented the opportunity for us to compete as a family in a sport we all grew to love, said team Marketing Manager Taylor Carlson Schroer. “We began racing the National Snocross circuit 10 years ago where Andrew climbed up the ranks, eventually competing at the Winter X-Games and in the premier Pro Open class. Racing snowmobiles has allowed us to spend lots of time together as a family and I know we’re all really grateful for that,” Taylor continued.
As a team, Carlson Moto has some pretty impressive accomplishments to look back on: Multiple ISOC National Junior, Sport, and Pro Lite wins; four Pro Lite wins and 13 podiums in 2014; runner-up in Pro Lite National Points Championship in 2013 and 2014; and an invitation to compete in the Winter X-Games.
Promising young rider Ryan Springer will move to another Polaris Snocross team for next season
Riding a Polaris IQR 600 sled in the national Pro Open Class in the eight-event 2016-2017 Amsoil Snocross Championship, Andrew scored multiple top 10 finishes in Pro Open, including two seventh place finishes. He ended the season 12th in points.
Teammate Ryan Springer finished one position ahead of Andrew for the season, in 11th place. Ryan capped off his season with a pair of top-five finishes at Lake Geneva, Illinois, positioning himself amongst the fastest in the sport. Ryan will look to continue his promising professional Snocross career with another Polaris team next winter.
The Snocross events were contested across the snow belt, from New York State to Colorado, and South Dakota to Michigan, as well as in the Carlson’s home state of Minnesota.
For his dedication and contribution to the sport Chris Carlson was honored by the International Series of Champions (ISOC) during their year end banquet. Chris was presented with the CJ Ramstad Ambassador award, named after the legendary snowmobiling writer and photographer who died in a traffic accident 10 years ago. The award recognizes Chris for his unrelenting passion and involvement in the sport and his efforts to support and grow the sport through his team and ERX Motor Park, co-owned by Chris.
The team is already preparing for their third season of racing in The Off-Road Championship (TORC) truck racing series, and of course, bringing K&N air and oil filters along with them. Last summer, Andrew earned his first PRO Light win while competing at the inaugural TORC event at ERX Motor Park in his hometown of Elk River, Minnesota. Now with a greater focus and commitment, Andrew and the Carlson Moto team are working to earn more TORC podiums this summer.
The Carlson Moto team is seeking more podiums this season after Andrew's breakthough win last year
When Andrew was asked why he’s trading the pristine white of a Snocross track to the grass and mud of a TORC venue, he responded, “I have always been interested in off-road racing and have watched many motocross racers transition to truck racing. I got an opportunity to race a few years ago and have been hooked ever since."
While Carlson Moto is a team sponsored by K&N, they’ve also become evangelists for K&N products. "Carlson Moto is an organization made up of racers--both current and former,” said Taylor. “Andrew Carlson, all of our mechanics, and literally everyone on our team has raced, and we've all been using K&N for many years. We've all grown to trust the quality and reliability of the products, and as gear heads we just love the performance gains. We're honored to represent the company and look forward to putting K&N on top of the podium with us in 2017," she added.
The team utilizes the following K&N products on their vehicles:
61-4010 air cleaner
E-3732 air filter
HP-5001 oil filters
22-1440PK filter wraps
99-0704 sealing grease
99-0551 air filter oil
Photo credit: Gary Walton