Eagle River, WI (November 7, 2007) -- The defending champion of the Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup made his way from Texas to Primm, Nevada looking to retain his title. This would be the final weekend of racing for the team that competed in twenty rounds of racing, across six states, while competing in two race series.
The venue at Las Vegas International Off-Road raceway in Primm, Nevada was just less than one mile in length. The track consisted of high banked turns, two table top jumps (one that was fifteen feet high and a few hundred feet long), a long high speed rhythm section, and several jumps. This would be a layout that would keep the fans on their feet all weekend long as the racers competed for the final time in 2007.
Mike Oberg stopped the timers with a lap of 58.144 seconds, twelfth quickest in the nineteen truck field.
Jason Baldwin Cup Last Chance Qualifier
Mike Oberg and his #80 AMSOIL Kumho Tire Chevrolet Silverado, the defending Baldwin Cup Winner, needed to enter the LCQ, due to the team's limited CORR schedule, to make the field for Sunday's $66,000 winner take all event.
After running a conservative first half of the race, Mike "got up on the wheel" as the field took the green, after the mandatory yellow flag. Quickly, the AMSOIL Kumho Chevy moved up from sixth place in fourth. With two laps to go, Mike made his final pass of the race, finishing the qualifier in third place.
"We knew all we needed was a sixth place finish," stated Mike Oberg. "After the first yellow, I knew I had to step it up to safely make the Cup field."
PRO-2 Championship Points Race
Starting in the back half of the field, Mike Oberg new he had an uphill battle ahead. After a few laps, Mike realized there was a problem with the truck's suspension, after moving up to ninth place, with three laps to go, a shock failed ending his day. Officially Oberg Motorsports finished fifteenth.
Afterwards Mike Oberg commented, "We had another shock failure, that kind of thing we can't control. Gilly and the guys will get it fixed and we will be ready to defend our Baldwin Cup Title. That's the reason we are out here in Vegas. Put our name on the trophy again, and of course, the money."
Mike Oberg ran a qualifying lap of 56.413 seconds, an improvement of almost two seconds since Friday's qualifying session.
Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup
This winner takes all event for $66,000, saw twelve PRO-2 and eleven PRO-4 competitors looking to take home the money and put their name on the $125,000 trophy. The starting grid had all the PRO-2 trucks in front of all the PRO-4 trucks. This put the #80 AMSOIL Kumho Chevrolet in the middle of third row.
When the green flag fell on the sixteen lap event, the twenty-three truck field kicked up huge amounts of dust going into the first turn. The long opening ceremonies allowed the track to dry out and now the dust made if difficult for the drivers and spectators to see. CORR officials, on lap three, issued a full course yellow allowing the water trucks to put some moisture into the desert valley track. When the watering trucks got off the track, the field went back to green flag racing.
On the restart #22 Greaves spun on the front straightaway, hitting the concrete wall and tearing up the retaining fence. The race was red flagged while repairs were made to the fence. During the red flag stoppage, teams were not allowed to work on their trucks. Refueling was allowed, but no other work could be performed. Unfortunately one team ignored the rule and was penalized. About a half hour later, racing resumed.
On lap nine, the mandatory caution came out; bring the field close together once again. Several PRO-4 trucks had made their way past many of the PRO-2 trucks. Meantime Mike and his #80 AMSOIL Kumho Tire Chevy stayed clear of any serious contact and was ready for a push towards the front. After battling with #55 Ed Herbst and trying to chase down #23 Daugherty (both PRO-4) in the closing laps, Mike crossed the finish line eighth place overall and the third highest finishing PRO-2 truck.
PRO-2 Final Championship Points Race of the Year
The last race of the day, as well as the year, began during the final hour of daylight. When the green flag dropped, the thin layer of clouds and the setting sun made the PRO-2 race, a race against man and nature. Since daylight was at a premium, track officials couldn't water the track, which created a dust cloud over the track, as soon as the green flag was dropped. Somehow Mike kept his AMSOIL Chevy out of any serious trouble and finished the race in eighth place.
"You couldn't see a thing the last half of the race," commented Mike Oberg. "For awhile you could use the track's warning light system to judge where the corners were, but after awhile most of them were knocked down. Heck for all I know I might have hit one, but I couldn't tell you for sure. It was pretty scary out there. Somehow we came out of this without tearing up the truck. Then during the Baldwin Cup race we had some contact that slowed us up, but again Gilly and the guys gave me a strong truck and we battled all the way to the flag. The engine and drivetrain ran perfect thanks to AMSOIL and Kumho gave us a great tire for these desert type conditions. We didn't have quite the finishes we were hoping for, but it was a solid weekend for the AMSOIL Kumho Tire Chevy. Just look at the number of competitors we ran with and the majority of these guys have a legitimate shot at the podium every time out. Now it's time to get back home so I can watch my kids play hockey over the next six months."