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Mike Oberg Crandon Race Report

The Off-Road Championship Series (TORC) has kicked off the 2010 season at the “Big House”, Crandon International Off-Road Raceway in the beautiful Northwood’s of Wisconsin. Old Friends and Foes have come together with new to see who will rein Champion of the best Off-Road Racing Series in the country. TORC is now under the sole discretion of the United States Auto Club (USAC) who promises to make TORC the next best form of racing there is. With a comprehensive TV package to be aired on Discovery HD Theater starting in September, USAC is setting the bar quite high. If all the camera’s we saw this past weekend are any indicator of things to come, we are all going to be thrilled.
For those of you that are unable to make it on race weekend, TORC is now streaming video live on the internet. This is something new, so it may take some time to work the bugs out, but I hear it had a great reaction from fans on the net.
The Oberg Team started their weekend on Friday with a photo shoot for the TV coverage. It is said that this will be presented in a “Reality TV Format”. There is a lot of behind the scenes footage being shot. There were cameras mounted in the Oberg Truck all weekend so there should be some really great shots for the fans to enjoy. We were all impressed with the amount of TV people present at all times throughout the weekend.
Qualifying was done during practice on Saturday morning to set everyone’s position for round one later in the day. The top six in each class were to be inverted for the start. Mike was looking really well out there but he complained that something was holding him back. He said the new King Shocks were working great after getting help with the setup from Mike Leighton and his crew from King who traveled to northern Wisconsin to help at this event. Mike said the handling was the best he’s had it. Mike said those BFG Tires were grabbing all he needed so there must be another problem in the drive train. Of course all the AMSOIL Products kept everything else running cool and smooth so the guys had their work cut out for them. Mike ended up with seventh position for the race.
The guys did a great job checking over the AMSOIL Chevy but couldn’t find anything of concern. They thought that maybe the brakes were hanging up so they installed a brand new set of HAWK Brake Pads. Mike was happy with what they did in the time they had and went to the starting line with much confidence that this would be a good run. When the green flag flew, Mike entered turn one in fifth position and was doing battle with the Monster Truck of Jeremy McGrath. Mike worked him over pretty good until the gremlins took over. The truck was losing power. Mike battled it the rest of the race and finished 5th. “I’m a bit put out that something went wrong, but I have faith in the crew to solve the problem and get me back for tomorrow”, Mike said. Post Race Inspection found that one of the plug wires burned off on a header and dropped the engine to seven cylinders. So when you consider that, Mike had a good finish.
Sunday brought a brighter day and bigger expectations from the crew. The truck performed well in practice but Mike still felt there was something holding him back. The problem didn’t show when the green flag dropped as Mike entered turn one in 3rd place. He did his best to hold that but the gremlins reappeared on about the 3rd lap when the drive shaft snapped off at the yolk ending the day for #80. “It’s a disappointing start for the 2010 season but I think we can get things straight and make up for it”, said Mike.
The Team had a short period to get the truck ready for the running of the “Crandon Cup Challenge” which pits the 2 Wheel Drive Trucks against the 4 Wheel Drive Trucks in a 10 lap dash for the cash. The 4 Wheel Drives have an advantage so the 2 Wheel Drive Trucks were given a 10 second lead. Mike had a great start but we could tell from the start that he didn’t have enough power to keep up. He still managed to finish in about the 6th position. “This is so disappointing. What is the problem”, said Mike.
Bill Schlieper, from Pro Power, was at the pits to help solve the issue. Pro Power builds the engines that power the mighty AMSOIL Chevy. Upon inspection they came up with the conclusion that the Torque Converter is too tight. This was verified with Roger Harrison of J&H Transmissions. Roger said “It has to be looser or you’re losing power”.
With the initial weekend of racing now in the books the Team will prep for rounds 3 and 4 in Bark River Michigan. We’re all confident that the AMSOIL Chevy will be in top form to challenge the field for the 2 Wheel Drive Championship. Until then, Keep it Safe.

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