Oberg Continues To Move Forward with New AMSOIL Kumho PRO-2 Truck
Eagle River, WI (September 16, 2008) - After a solid run back at Crandon, Oberg Motorsports quickly headed back to the West Coast for Round 11 and 12, of the rock'em sock'em world of Championship Off-Road Racing. The previous stop in Pomona saw Mike bring his brand new truck out on the track, due to a hard crash in qualifying. At the time, the "2008" chassis had never been tested, let alone put competition, until it called into duty.
"We learned quite a lot from our time at Pomona and Crandon," commented Mike Oberg. "Having to go back and forth across the country has really put a damper on actual test time. Even so, we continue to learn more each time out."
When Mike went out for qualifying, the truck lacked the forward bite it had earlier in the day. It showed in his qualifying run, as the #80 AMSOIL Kumho Tire Chevy Silverado was nineteenth fastest.
Afterwards, Cory and Mike found the problem, the splines on one side of the sway bar were stripped a causing an imbalance with the truck..
Saturday - Round 11
The start from well back in the pack meant one thing, lots of pushing and shoving amongst the competitors. The first half of the race, Mike seemed to be in the middle of one driver trying to push another driver out of the way.
Just after the mandatory caution, suddenly out of nowhere, the #80 Chevy gets drilled in the rear, breaking the sway bar and one of the shocks, ending the day, five laps early.
Overnight, the team made the repairs and continued to make chassis adjustments. The shock technicians from Fox Racing Shox came up with a different approach, while the guys from Kumho Tire came up with a new groove.
Sunday - Round 12
The morning practice and qualifying session really had Mike feeling confident. His qualifying time was twelfth fastest, which doesn't sound great, but the top fourteen trucks were within 1.5 seconds of the pole sitter.
"This truck has some get up and go," remarked Mike Oberg. "If we can avoid the hard contact, I believe we can finish on the podium."
The rolling start saw Mike and his #80 AMSOIL Kumho Tire Chevy Silverado get a great start, as the Kumho Tires were really giving him the bite he was looking for. At the end of the first lap, Mike was up in eighth position. During the opening lap, someone leaned into the AMSOIL Kumho Chevy and a nerf bar broke and it was hanging off on the side of the truck. The track official waited to throw the black flag on Mike's truck, figuring it might fall off. The bar never did, so after a couple of laps, the flag came out and Mike came in, to remove the bar. Fortunately, it only took about twenty seconds. Once back on the track, the #80 Chevy was well back in the field. Undaunted, Mike picked up a few spots and was in eleventh place at the mandatory yellow.
When the field when back to racing, things got crazy, once again. As the AMSOIL Kumho Tire Chevy was heading down Thrill Hill and towards Turn Two, the #99 truck made a "I'm better than everybody else move" or so he thought, and dove to the inside of the turn and slid up hard into four trucks. Then that truck pinballed his way through the mess and took off the front end of Mike's Chevy. The contact bent a tie rod and caused Mike to spin.
Now with only six laps to go, the #80 AMSOIL Kumho Tire Chevy Silverado was way back in seventeenth place. Again Mike got "back up on the wheel" and began moving up the field. Somehow, Mike avoided another mess created by the #99 (he rolled) and crossed the finish line in seventh place.
A tired, but smiling Mike Oberg commented afterwards; "I don't think anyone passed more trucks out there than me. First, the slam that took out the nerf bar and gave me the black flag, then the slam that spun me that moved me to the back of the field, and still we recovered to finish seventh. If we didn't have a black flag stop, we would be on the podium. I was real comfortable with the truck today. The Kumhos had great bite, the Fox Racing Shox guys really came through when they reworked our setup and much of our run was due to these guys. I mean, I'm really lucky to have Kumho Tires and Fox Shox behind our team. The abuse our ProPower engine takes on these types of tracks is incredible. We just fill up the crank case with AMSOIL and there are no worries. It a shame everyone thinks they have to smash their way to the front. My crew did a great job of getting the truck closer this weekend and we know we are in the right direction on the setup to make this truck really work. .. The next race in Primm is a faster track and I know we will have a good handle on the setup there. I can't wait to get there."
Currently, Mike Oberg is in twelfth place in the 2008 CORR PRO-2 Championship standings.
Next race for Oberg Motorsports is October 25-26, in Primm, Nevada.