Carlson Wins NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Title
by Jason Christley
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 3, 2007) – Steve Carlson was pretty sure that he was in good shape. After all, he had been tracking the standings for the past several weeks. But it wasn’t until he got the call Wednesday afternoon from George Silbermann, NASCAR’s managing director of racing operations, that it became a reality.
Carlson is the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion.
“It’s a relief,” Carlson said. “This is so big, this is unreal. I’m sure it will be a while until it all sinks in on just how big this really is.”
For starters, Carlson joins an elite class of racers who have won the national championship for NASCAR’s short track program – besting a field of thousands of racers competing at various tracks across the country.
He earned his ticket to the New York City, where NASCAR will honor its champions, and to Las Vegas, where he will be in the spotlight for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banquet.
The 50-year-old from Black River Falls, Wisc. native finished with eight wins and 21 top five finishes in 23 starts. He raced primarily at LaCrosse (Wisc.) Speedway. After that season ended in the beginning of September, he ran a handful of events at Elko (Minn.) Speedway in an attempt to pick up a few more valuable points.
In the end, Carlson’s 862 points from his top 18 finishes was enough to hold off the challenges of Woody Pitkat and defending champion Philip Morris.
Pitkat, racing at Connecticut’s Thompson International Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway, finished his season Sunday with a victory at Stafford to give him 856. It was the ninth win of the season for Stafford’s Pitkat, who won one of the division titles last year under NASCAR’s old championship format.
“We were done and he had so many races left,” said Carlson, “and we were just watching him. At that point, it was kind of ‘did we win it or not?’ ”
Running primarily at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., Morris finished third in the nation with 844 points. Morris won last year’s championship with a victory in the last race of the season and another late surge put him in contention for back-to-back titles.
Keith Rocco, the track champion at Thompson, and former national champion Ted Christopher, the track champion at Stafford, finished fourth and fifth respectively. Carlson’s teammate, Kevin Nuttleman, was sixth. And former national champion Joe Kosiski finished seventh running at I-80 Speedway in Nebraska.
In addition to announcing the national champion, NASCAR also unveiled the final rankings for the top 500 drivers in the country. Each driver will receive a certificate commemorating their accomplishment.
The champions of the 24 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces that make up the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program will be announced next week.
Carlson has won NASCAR championships before. Nine times he was crowned champion of the old Midwest Touring Series, the last five coming as a now-defunct Elite Division under the NASCAR banner. The series closed following the 2006 season.
“I won a bunch of Midwest championships and this is bigger than all of them,” Carlson said. “I did a lot of traveling; I won a lot of races (on the Midwest Tour). We got to go to the New York banquet (as champion). We all thought when that series was gone, all that would be gone too. But it’s not.”
Carlson didn’t originally commit to running a full season at LaCrosse. But after a strong start, team owner Tim Jacobs convinced him to go after the national championship.
“The car was just so good, we decided to run full time,” Carlson said. “And we pulled it off.
“My crew worked so hard on this car, and I’ve got a great car owner. It was just a good car every night of the season.”
Now Carlson can spend the offseason celebrating.
Under the simplified point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner will receive two points for every car in the event up to 25 cars. Second place will receive two fewer points, and so-on through the field. For example, if there are 25 cars, the winner receives 50 points, second gets 48 and third 46. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 30 points, second gets 28 and third 26.
Final National Top 25 NASCAR Leaders
PosDriver Name Home Track Starts Wins T-5 T-10 Pts
1 STEVE CARLSON LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY 23 8 20 21 862
2 WOODY PITKAT STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 36 9 27 32 856
3 PHILIP MORRIS MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY 27 11 21 23 844
4 KEITH ROCCO STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 42 8 21 28 828
5 TED CHRISTOPHER STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 22 2 16 20 816
6 KEVIN NUTTLEMAN LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY 24 2 16 19 808
7 JOE KOSISKI I-80 SPEEDWAY 32 3 24 27 792
8 ANDY BURGESS LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY 19 2 13 18 792
9 AL HUMPHREY I-80 SPEEDWAY 26 5 18 23 790
10 KERRY MALONE STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY 36 3 14 25 784
11 DAVID ROBERTS GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 22 6 22 22 780
12 DUANE HOWARD GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY 18 5 13 15 778
13 JEFF STRUNK GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY 19 4 15 16 770
14 GUY JUBINVILLE AUTODROME ST. EUSTACHE 33 15 27 29 766
15 KENNETH HEADEN GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 25 8 17 22 752
16 RANDY PORTER GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 22 5 20 21 752
17 JEAN FRNCS BOUVRETTE AUTODROME ST. EUSTACHE 33 5 27 30 748
18 JASON HOBSCHEIDT I-80 SPEEDWAY 31 4 16 22 720
19 LEON ZEITNER I-80 SPEEDWAY 26 1 12 21 716
20 WILL THOMAS, III LAKE ERIE SPEEDWAY 26 4 24 25 712
21 TOMMY LEMONS, JR MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY 24 0 12 19 702
22 STEVE HOLZHAUSEN LACROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY 20 1 10 17 696
23 JASON MITCHAM MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY 19 1 11 17 694
24 MARK HOLEMAN MADERA SPEEDWAY 20 6 15 18 690
25 DONNY REUVERS ELKO SPEEDWAY 34 15 28 32 686
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