Andy Forsberg and his team had already cinched the championship when he rolled into Placerville Speedway. One would suspect that his standing in the points race lent to a sense of relief. However, it was the final 360 (class) event of the season, and the competitive nature that drove him to earning the championship, lent to a desire to chalk up one more victory.
Andy Forsberg recently earned the title of 360 champion in the Wing-Sprint Class
"It's always nice, not having to worry about points," ensured Forsberg. "Final point nights are usually about positions, and where the other racer is compared to you. Qualifying, heats and the main event is aways stressful. You have to be worried about finishing good, making the inversion and starting the main," he continued. "Usually, if aware I'm not going to get a win, I just focus on a good finish. This night, we just got out there and raced with no worries."
Referring to his mindset, going into the race, the driver said, "I don't think I‘m one of those drivers who changes much of anything. I always go out on the track to set quick time, finish in the top four in my heat to transfer directly into the main. Then I race for the win. And like I said," he reiterated, "If I can't get the win, I race to get the best possible finish."
After qualifying second quickest, Forsberg managed to finish fourth in his heat, earning an eighth place start in the main event. He was definitely in a position where he could work his way to the front of the pack by the race's end. But bad luck reared its ugly head in the first lap, when he lost a rear brake caliper causing a yellow flag.
Going into Placerville, Andy Forsberg had already cinched the points needed to win the 2014 championship
The crew worked their magic, had the line plugged, and had Forsberg back on the track in a jiffy. But the delay sent the driver to the back of the field, and he would eventually be forced to pit one more time for final repairs.
Becoming a champion certainly wasn't a derivative of a willingness to throw the towel, and Andy Forsberg was committed to getting back out there and battling for position. When the checkered flag deemed the race over, he had managed to work himself from 18th to eighth place.
Forsberg and his team headed to Calistoga, California, the next day, eager to participate in the Louie Vermeil Classic, at the Calistoga Speedway. This promised to be an interesting and exciting event for the driver and his crew.
They would be competing in night two of the USAC non-winged show. Not only would he be disassembling the wing from his car, but he was prepared to run his 360 in the 410 class race. But there was 360 bonus money at stake, and the driver was more than willing to give it a shot.
"The 360 verses 410 issues didn't bother me," he explained. "Horsepower becomes less important when you take the wing off of your sprint car, and we were the 12th quickest qualifier out of 24 cars. So I knew we had the speed to be competitive, and go after the 360 bonus money.
"Getting the car set up was most important," he recalled. We don't run many non-winged races and that was the first night for the 7c car with the wing off. So there was as always is a bit of a guesstimating factor. the goal is to get as much traction without getting the non-wing cars too tight."
Upon finishing fourth in his heat, Forsberg started the main event 12th in the field. Having not raced at this venue the night prior, the driver was sort of behind the eight-ball, as his competitors who had already experienced the track the day before had gotten the feel of it. In turn, they would benefit from more accurate setups.
Andy Forsberg recently raced his 360 winged sprint car in the 410 race at a USAC Non-winged event at Calistoga speedway
Forsberg fought a valiant battle, but at the 30-lap event's end, he crossed the finish line in 13th place. "We missed the setup big time," he recalled. "The car was way to loose." Referring to a fellow 360 racer, he explained, "Bradley Terrell finished sixth. He had run Calistoga the night before, when I was racing at Placerville. So I think his group had learned a lot about the track conditions, and how it was going to change for the main event. I know we learned a lot of tricks that we would have done differently if we had another night. Terrell got the job done."
When asked if satisfied with the outcome of the race, Forsberg said, "Yes and no. a 13th place finish was obviously not what we went went there to get, but it was the first time all year without a wing; the first time ever for thePT Shocks 7c car. We were decent and rolled the car on the trailer in one piece. and that's always important."
As the 2013 season winds to an end, Andy Forsberg and his crew are already anticipating 2014. The driver's record speaks for itself, and one can rest assured that he has full intentions of successfully defending his championship title.
He is also acutely aware that success will depend a great deal upon keeping his cars in optimal running condition. In turn, he depends up K&N products to ensure the internal components of his engine remain contaminant free.
"We're real big believers that you win races at the shop," he explained. We use K&N oil filters, filter oil and filter cleaning solution. It's a huge part of our engine program. K&N products keep everything clean and flowing strong."
Looking to the future, Andy Forsberg concluded, "I would guess our 2014 plans will be similar to what we did in 2013. We are just waiting for next season's schedule to come out in January."