Oberg Looks Strong Early @ Chicagoland/Rt. 66 Raceway
River, WI (September 20, 2011) - After a great second place finish
during Round 10 at Crandon, Mike Oberg and his #80 AMSOIL
BFGoodrich Tires Chevy were looking for continued success at The
Dirt Track at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. With only ten
days to prepare for the midweek event, Oberg Motorsports brought
both of his PRO-2WD trucks ensure nothing could prevent the team
from competing in both rounds of racing. The luxury of a back-up
race truck became a necessity as the team soon found out.
This was the second consecutive year that Route 66 Raceway hosted
a TORC event at the half-mile dirt track. The TORC track crew
built a real technical track that tested a short-course race
truck’s suspension, tires, and power plant. Then TORC officials
determined that the PRO-2WD truck would make seventeen laps before
the checkered flag would be waved, so each round of racing would
also test each driver’s ability to manage their equipment. The
actual layout of the track was near three quarters of a mile in
length consisting of a variety of jumps and tabletops, along with
a mogul field and a lengthy rhythm section.
On Wednesday afternoon, rain fell once again at a TORC event,
disrupting the scheduled practice sessions. Eventually the rain
subsided, but now the late afternoon qualifying session would also
serve as the only practice session for all the race teams. This
meant any changes to the race trucks before the night’s racing
would go untested. Oberg Motorsports relied on their notes from
the similar track at Charlotte to set their truck up for the
evening’s race. This approach to qualifying put the #80 Chevy
sixth on the starting grid. Looking for better traction crew chief
Corey Lambert made a quick sway bar and gear change just before
The Wednesday night race, the Round 4 make-up, saw the #80 AMSOIL
Chevy run a very consistent first half of the race. When the field
went back to racing after the mandatory caution, Mike Oberg began
to make a challenge for a podium finish. For several laps, Mike’s
Lap times were some of the quickest in the race. By lap fifteen,
the AMSOIL Chevy was in fourth place, looking for a way around the
third place truck of Brendan Gaughan. Then with less than two laps
to go, the ring and pinion broke. Somehow Mike was able to ride
out the final lap and half at a reduced pace to finish in fifth
The next morning Corey and the team went to work replacing the
ring and pinion as well as performing the usual between race prep
work. Then as the team was ready to take the truck out for
staging, disaster struck, the starter broke. Without enough time
to change the starter, the team quickly prepared their back-up
truck. Somehow Mike was able to suit up just in time for driver
introductions. Thursday’s Round 11 race was extremely important as
the SPEED Channel was broadcasting the race live, as part of its
extended coverage of NASCAR Chase Week at Chicagoland Speedway.
Instead of starting on the front row, thanks to TORC’s inversion,
Mike Oberg had to start at the back of the field due to running
his back-up truck.
When the seventeen lap race began, Mike took a conservative
approach to the race making sure how the truck reacted to the
track. As his lap times began to improve, the truck began pulling
to one side. Then at the fastest point on the track, the right
front wheel hub exploded, nearly putting the AMSOIL BFG Chevy into
the wall. Somehow Mike kept the truck upright and eventually
limped back to the pits.
Officially Mike Oberg finished eighth.
“You know we really a great run going on Wednesday,” remarked
Mike Oberg. “I really thought we had a shot at Brendan for the
final podium spot, but the rear gear didn’t make it to the end.
Then we really had our hands full just getting to the starting
line for Round 11. When it came time to fire up the truck, you
could hear the binding in the starter. Where that thing is
located makes it a hard job to replace. So hats off to my guys
for getting our back-up race ready in a matter of minutes. We
didn’t quite have the gearing we wanted and the suspension
set-up was a little off, but we made the best of it.
Unfortunately a front hub broke, and it took all I had to keep
the truck off the wall and rolling over. It could have been a
The final race of the 2011 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL
is October 15-16 in San Antonio, Texas.
The first of eighteen episodes of the Velocity (Discovery
Channel’s HD Theatre) docu-drama; TORC: The Off Road Championship
will be broadcast on September 21 at 6pm EST.
Mike Oberg Motorsports would to thank his partners, including:
AMSOIL – BFGoodrich Tires – King Shocks – J & H Transmission
Peterson Fluid Systems – Raceline – MSD Ignition – Mastercraft
Stewart Warner Performance
For more information about Mike Oberg Motorsports please email
Mike Oberg @