Two New Drivers Join PRO 2 Class in Bark River: Carlson, Schaefer Set for Debut
After a successful day of practice, the TORC Series is ready for Rounds 7 & 8 in Bark River, MI. This weekend will feature the largest PRO 2 field of the season so far, thanks to a pair of storied racers making their PRO 2 debut. The two experienced drivers come from very different backgrounds, and the trucks contrast sharply as well. But both are ready to join the fray in TORC’s fastest growing class.
Andrew Carlson is now doing double duty. The former snowcross star and driver of the #151 PRO Light is adding a PRO 2 by the same number. The move further cements his team’s commitment to TORC Series competition – Andrew is the son of Chris Carlson, co-founder of ERX Motorpark, the site of TORC’s championship rounds.
Carlson Motorsports purchased the truck from Keegan Kincaid. It’s safe to say the truck is fast – Kincaid piloted it to multiple wins in 2016, including two Crandon Cup Race victories. Carlson is hoping to pick up right where Keegan left off, and he’s off to a good start. He posted the second fastest lap time in Friday’s practice, despite having no previous practice in the new truck.
“It feels awesome,” Carlson said after his second practice session. “It was more similar to the PRO Light than I thought it was going to be. The driving style is pretty much the same with the rear-wheel-drive. The biggest [difference] is probably the suspension. It feels a little more floaty, like riding around on a cloud. It hooks up a lot better. I definitely felt like the PRO Light was slow after I got out.”
Also joining the PRO 2 ranks is Jay Schaefer, who is moving up following a long and storied career in the sportsman Super Stock Truck division. His name will be familiar to close watchers of the TORC live stream – Schaefer serves as the chaplain of the TORC series and often delivers the invocation at TORC opening ceremonies.
“I’m a third-generation grocery store owner from Crandon, WI,” Schaefer adds to his introduction. “My dad was one of the people who helped start short course off-road racing in 1970 in Crandon.”
Schaefer admits his team has some work to do on the truck, which was converted from a four-wheel-drive chassis. But he’s looking forward to joining friends and past competitors in PRO 2. “I’m good friends with Galen Gee, so we’ll have our own little grudge match going on within the big race. Also, Dan Badoux’s been a longtime friend and somebody I’ve looked up to, so the first day I can catch up to Dan Badoux will be awesome.”
The PRO 2 field is swelling with trucks and talent, and Bark River crowd will be treated to some top-notch racing action. To see how Carlson and Schaefer will match up against the class standbys, tune in to the live stream at TORCSeries.com.
Andrew Pfluger is a longtime race fan and writer for the TORC Series. To offer feedback or make suggestions for future content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.