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– COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (Sept. 20) – Entering this season, Logan Forler had three victories in his first two years in a sprint car.
The 18-year-old has nearly doubled that this season by recording five wins in three states. More importantly, he’s picked up a trio of trophies in a 13-day stretch this month.
“It seems like we’re really consistent right now and what we’re doing is working,” he said. “I’ve been driving a lot smarter than I ever have been. I just think about what I’m doing a bit more.”
It’s paid off recently as Forler earned his third consecutive victory and his first career ASCS win last Friday at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore. – site of an ASCS Northwest Region event.
“The car was just really good, but we almost didn’t win it,” Forler said. “A lapped car hit us and I almost flipped over. I don’t know how I kept it going.”
After driving from fourth to win his heat race, Forler had the most points. In the redraw he pulled the No. 4, which again started him on the outside of the second row for the feature. He quickly charged to second place and stalked the leader for the first half of the main event.
However, after taking the lead midway through the race, the Lake Havasu City, Ariz., resident collided with a slower lapped car entering turn one. The duo slid from the bottom to the top of turn two, where Forler was able to disconnect and pull away as the caution flag waved.
“At first I tried to turn off of him and he got hooked on my left side nerf bar,” Forler said. “Then I got back on the gas and somehow pulled through it.”
Because Forler kept his car going, he got his spot back. However, since a lap hadn’t been completed since he had taken the lead, Forler restarted in second place. A lap later, he slid into the lead in turn one.
Forler then pulled away on the dry-slick track, riding the cushion around the track and building a sizeable lead. However, a caution with approximately seven laps remaining bunched the field back up with one lapped car between Forler and second-place Henry Van Dam.
“We were way faster than everybody else until the last caution,” Forler said. “My right rear tire sealed over and Henry almost got me at the end. Henry was sitting in the catbird seat. He saw I was tight up top and he moved down one lane and was faster.”
Van Dam closed the gap in the final laps and threw a last-ditch slider in turns one and two on the last circuit. However, Forler stayed on the cushion and in the lead to hold onto the victory.
He continued the momentum on Saturday at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., where he nearly recorded a fourth straight win.
Forler didn’t have much luck from the start when he collided with another driver in hot laps. That bent a couple of parts and Forler was subsequently forced down toward the infield by the same driver on the start of the heat race, which dropped him from third to fourth.
Despite starting the feature 13th, Forler made a charge to the front quickly. He was up to seventh in the first two laps before a caution. Forler then drove to third by lap six, when the track began to slick off.
“I was coming,” he said. “It looked like we were going to win the deal.”
However, near lap 10, the leader spun in turn four and drove up the track. Forler was committed to the top groove and when he drove off the track to avoid the spinning car, his car caught the marbles and spun backwards into the wall.
“When I came into turn three, he was on the bottom of the race track,” Forler said. “I was getting ready to go around the top of him. But he stayed in the gas and drove all the way up the race track. I don’t think I would have had enough time to turn left and go under him. I just slid it off the top and tried to save it.”
The impact sent Forler to the back and everybody ran the same speed on the bottom the rest of the way. He worked his way up to 12th, where he finished with his 12th top 15 in the past 14 races.
With his performances last weekend, Forler also moved up to ninth in the ASCS Northwest points despite missing four of the 14 events.
He will be at the ASCS Northwest finale this Friday and Saturday at the Yakima Dirt Track in Yakima, Wash.
QUICK RESULTS –
Sept. 16 – Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore. – Heat race: 1 (4); Feature: 1 (4).
Sept. 17 – Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. – Heat race: 4 (3); Feature: 12 (13).
SEASON STATS –
52 races, 46 features, 5 wins, 12 top fives, 22 top 10s, 32 top 15s, 42 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Friday and Saturday at the Yakima Dirt Track in Yakima, Wash., with the ASCS Northwest Region
FAVORITE NUMBER –
2: Result at the ASCS Northwest Region preliminary night at the Yakima Dirt Track in Yakima, Wash., on Sept. 24 of last year.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –
ON THE AIR –
Click on the link below for video of Forler’s victory at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., on July 9:
Here is a video of Forler’s runner-up performance at Grays Harbor Raceway on Aug. 13:
Here is a link to video of Forler’s win on Sept. 4 at Grays Harbor Raceway:
Check out the link below for his first ASCS Northwest Region victory, which was Sept. 16 at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore.:
Here is the video of his interview after his inaugural ASCS win:
Forler has t-shirts, girls crew neck shirts and sweatshirts for sale. The sizes range from small to 3XL and prices are $15-20 for shirts and $30 for sweatshirts. For more information, visit www.rushracingenterprise.com.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Line-X
Line-X is one of the nation’s leaders in spray-on protective coatings for commercial, industrial, agricultural, military and custom applications. For more information, visit www.line-x.com.
“Line-X has been a part of my career since early in my micro sprint years,” Forler said. “Mike Magnussen, the Northwest distributor from the Chehalis, Wash., store, would help get my race car to the tracks and he is still a big supporter of my racing career.”
Forler would like to thank his sponsors, including Steve Forler Trucking, Shark Racing Engines, RN Smith Harvesting, Des Moines Industrial Products, Atomic Designs and PGH Excavating for their continued support.