Mike Oberg Runs Strong All Weekend at Perris II
Eagle River, WI (September 29, 2009) - All season Mike Oberg has been fighting for his respect during the 2009 TORC season and it seemed like whenever he would make progress through the PRO-2WD field, something would happen to wipe a good run. At the second visit to Perris, all that changed. The Oberg Motorsports AMSOIL BFGoodrich Tires Chevy had its best weekend of the season.
The weather, daytime temperatures in the 100s and evenings in the 60's, really presented a challenge for all the race teams during Rounds 13 and 14. The large changes in temperatures created two different track conditions, the hot afternoon practice and qualifying sessions saw a hard and dry track, while at night the moisture stayed in the track creating a tacky main groove while maintaining a great soft cushion in the corners.
Friday night had the #80 Chevy starting in the ninth spot. By lap three, Mike found himself in last place. The twenty lap event would be more about surviving the first half of the race, in order the make your serious moves in the final six or seven laps.
Mike Oberg followed the strategy almost perfectly, as the BFGoodrich tire shod truck began to move up through the field. With three laps to go, the #80AMSOIL PRO-2WD found himself trying to get around the lapped truck of Evan Evans. The two swapped positions on the track a few times, including a last lap tag by Evans on the final lap. This prevented his chance at a top five finish, but all in all finishing sixth was a great start to the weekend.
The next morning, Mike and his crew chief, Cory Lambert, decided on some aggressive changes to the truck, looking to gain that extra push for a podium finish. The crew went to work installing a shorter gear, and larger springs in the front end. The BFGoodrich engineers came over, and discussed a grooving change, that Mike agreed with.
The Saturday evening race saw perfect temperatures and a nice breeze keeping drivers and spectators very comfortable. When the green flag fell, the changes the team made in the truck were noticeable right away. This time the Oberg Chevy moved into podium contention before the mandatory yellow. Early on, racing contact caused his hood to come loose and block his vision; fortunately, it completely fell off in two laps, allowing Mike to keep up his rapid pace.
Once again he found himself in a battle with Evan Evans. The two Chevys passed each for position quite a few times, with Mike eventually taking the position (Evans received a black flag for rough driving). The #80 AMSOIL Chevy also was involved in a red flag incident involving #10 Greg Adler. Adler was running with a rear tire going down and Mike was rapidly catching him. As the two flew over the table top jump, Adler landed sideways and Mike had no where to go and made contact. This caused Adler's truck to roll and eventually blocked the track. USAC officials, to be on the safe side, stopped the race. After the paramedics checked Greg out, he was able to walk under his own power to the ambulance. When the field went back to racing, the Oberg Motorsports Chevy went on to finish in sixth place.
"I feel like a weight has been lifted," commented Mike Oberg. "For the first time this year, we finish both rounds running strong all the way to the finish. We know we can run better than this, but this a great weekend to build on heading to Vegas. The changes we made between rounds really worked well. At this level nobody stands pat between rounds. Everyone is constantly looking to gain an advantage. The new Brasswell carburetor we put on this ProPower engine really made it come to life. The shock adjustments really got us through the field faster than Friday, and having the BFGoodrich engineers come over and discuss different grooving, all together made our program come to life. You will see us fight for a podium spot in Vegas."
Currently Mike Oberg is seventh overall in the 2009 TORC PRO-2WD Championship standings.
You can watch all the Round 14 action, including the PRO-2WD race, Sunday, October 4, at 11:30am eastern on ESPN2.
The final weekend of the 2009 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL is October 23-24 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.