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Oberg Finds Fourth Place @ TORC Chicagoland
Nitro Circus 3D Movie Takes a Wild Ride

Eagle River, WI (July 25, 2012) - The Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL has some of the toughest PRO-2WD competitors in the country and Mike Oberg continues to show why you should never count out the veteran off-road racer from the Wisconsin Northwoods. The Friday night PRO-2 event saw more than its share of bumping and grinding, but Oberg made a late race charge and narrowly missed the final spot on the podium.

The track layout that was built within the confines of Chicagoland Speedway's half-mile banked dirt oval. After two years of the same design, the TORC track builders came up with a more technical layout that included more turns and more jumps, which gave the racer's additional opportunities to pass and more reasons for fans to stay on the edge of their seat.

Thursday - Round Seven

After a limited practice and qualifying session, the #80 AMSOIL General Tire Chevy qualified ninth out of thirteen trucks. The team knew more worked need to be done to improve the handling of the 3800 pound racer. Before race lineup Matt, Brian, and the rest of the crew went to work on their King Shock set-up. A few changes were completed just before Mike and the race truck headed for race day (evening) staging.
The actual race had the AMSOIL Chevy moving up the standings as far as eighth place when contact from Matt Crafton rolled the race truck, just before the mandatory caution. Fortunately the race truck landed back on its General Tires and continued with the race.

After the mandatory caution, Oberg made up the four positions lost in the rollover and was in sixth place with two laps to go, when a battle broke out with Bryce Menzies. The result had the two racers making contact with Oberg spinning and losing a position. After all the rollover, the contact, and the spin, Mike Oberg finished Round 7 in seventh place.

"That was a rough fifteen laps," commented Mike Oberg. "We really got pushed around by a couple of very aggressive drivers tonight, and it cost us a couple spots at the finish. Our suspension set-up needs a few tweaks, but we are not far off. The level of competition is incredible and just being a tick off with the setup can have you go from a podium contender to a racer fighting to stay on the lead lap. Right now we are very close to landing on the podium."

Friday - Round Eight
Before Mike Oberg could try out the changes in the chassis set-up, the team went over to watch Jolene Van Vugt take her first practice laps in the Oberg Motorsports back-up truck. Van Vugt, a member of MTV's immensely popular television show Nitro Circus, was going to compete later that night looking to gain some seat time, as well as promoting her new movie, Nitro Circus 3-D. Unfortunately the #36 Nitro Circus 3-D movie PRO-2WD never made it to the starting grid.

About one and half laps into the practice session, Van Vugt got the truck sideways coming over the start/finish jump causing the truck to barrel roll at least five times. The driver emerged from the truck unhurt, but the truck was destroyed. Someone overheard Travis Pastrana saying that the barrel roll will somehow be added to the film that is scheduled for release in August.

Jolene Van Vugt's Practice incident - http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/24126733/highlight/279631

The starting had Oberg starting from his finishing position from the day before, seventh. As soon as the green flag was waved everyone seemed to be fighting for the same piece of real estate. Somehow the #80 black Chevy survived all the abuse was running in the tenth position when the midway mandatory caution flags were waved.

When racing resumed, Oberg skillfully avoided all the serious contact and began moving up the running order. With three laps to go, the AMSOIL Chevy moved up to fifth place. Then on the final lap he and Menzies drove around Kincaid to take the checkered flag in fourth place.

"We weren't the fastest truck out there tonight, but we ran a smart race and just missed the podium," exclaimed Mike Oberg. "The chassis set-up still needs some minor work, but it's getting closer. The General Tires really came through tonight. This track is really a driver's layout. It can really beat you up if you aren't careful. My crew really worked hard all weekend and if we had another lap or two, our team might have landed on the box. I also have to thank all the fans that came out both nights as the grandstands were packed. I can't wait to come back next year."

Next Race: August 11-12, 2012 in Bark River, Michigan.

- Mike Reusche - words & pics

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