With Father's Influence, Carlson Learning the Ropes in Midwest Modifieds
Jon Carlson of Brandon is in his first full year in the Wissota Midwest Modified class. He doesn’t have to look far for technical advice.
Carlson’s father, Tom, is a long-time technical inspector at Viking Speedway, dating back into the 1980s. Tom Carlson was inducted into the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame in 2013.
“He always said if you buy one, I’ll help you, but I’m not driving it. That was always his biggest thing,” Jon Carlson said. “He and I rebuilt that motor ourselves in the winter.”
Carlson drives the #8 car at Viking Speedway in Alexandria and has raced at I-94 Sure Step Speedway and Madison Speedway this year as well. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the 39-year-old, who is a GM Certified Technician at Alexandria Motors.
“We’ve had some ups and had some downs,” Carlson said. “We won our first race ever for the Gierke Memorial. And then I started on the pole (in the feature) and ended up burying it into the wall. That’s how the year’s been going.”
Jon Carlson raced go-karts three decades ago, thanks to his father.
“He got me into go-kart racing when I was nine and we did that til I was 16,” Carlson said. “I’ve always wanted to continue going.”
He shared a ride with Brandon Dolman of Alexandria in the midwest modified last year. He ran nine shows last season.
“They helped me get into it,” Carlson said of the Dolman family.
Piloting a 2013 SSR previously driven by Ashley Mehrwerth, it’s been a learning experience for Carlson.
What has he learned?
“Not to start doing a lot of changes before the feature,” Carlson said. “Saturday was tight in Madison, I made a change, and the track slicked off and it was like driving on an ice skating rink.”
He has one top five and five top 10s this season. He’s sixth in the points at Viking Speedway, which concludes its season with a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday.
Carlson nearly found victory lane on July 24 at Viking. He led all the way until the final two laps when Randy Laage of Brooten passed him. Carlson finished a career-best second.
“I led all but the last two laps,” Carlson said. “We’ve been right there.”
Wissota Midwest Modified #8
Residence: Brandon, Minn.
Sponsors: Alexandria Motors, Dolman Auto Body, OverNight Wraps