It is often said that the family that plays together, stays together. This is certainly an adage the Oberg family has taken to heart with mum and dad overseeing their sons competing in the sport of drag racing.
Caleb (14) and Ethan (10) have each been racing in the Junior Dragster bracket since the age of eight and will be part of the action at Warwick Dragway on 9 February 2013 when it hosts the opening round of the 2013 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series.
While the family attributes the sport to strengthening their relationship, sibling rivalry does at times come into play.
“I hate racing my little brother – I don’t like beating him, but at the same time I don’t want to get beaten by him because then he and all my friends tease me about it,” said Caleb, who in 2010 became the youngest ever Australian Drag Racing Champion when he took out the Junior Dragster national title.
“Racing against him is nerve-wracking and a bit weird – I like to win, but I don’t like winning at his expense and I know he gets nervous racing against me.
“For example, at our last race meeting he was doing really great with his reaction times and everything but when he had to race me he red-lit (jumped the start) so I won, and I think if he hadn’t of been so nervous he wouldn’t have done that and he would of beat me because I wasn’t doing as good that day.
“While it can be strange when we race each other, most of the time we just want to do well as a family and I try and help him out as much as I can – we are both really looking forward to the Eighth Mile series this year as we are doing the full series at all four tracks which is going to be exciting!”
Ethan Oberg has fond memories of Warwick Dragway as the venue of his first victory when he won no less than three trophies at the 2012 Junior Dragfest event (C/JD Top Qualifier, C/JD Bracket Winner and All-in Bracket Winner).
“I love Warwick Dragway – I have won all my trophies there and the Eighth Mile series is a lot of fun, I love getting to race three times as it isn’t very fun sitting on the side watching everyone else if you are knocked out at the beginning!” said Ethan.
“I am looking forward to getting to Warwick and also all the other tracks in the series this year, it will be the first time I have been to tracks other than Warwick and Willowbank Raceway.
“I do get nervous racing Caleb, he has been racing a lot longer than me, but I am trying to get better and hopefully I can beat him some more this year!”
Father Rod Oberg is clearly proud of the efforts of his sons.
“They love going and racing together at the track, overall there isn’t a great deal of real rivalry between them, just a bit of banter which is all in good fun,” said Rod.
“Caleb tends to try and help his little brother out when he can and he never feels good about beating him, but having said that, he certainly didn’t like it the one time he lost against Ethan, that’s for sure!
“With two boys racing in the same bracket it can be a handful sometimes running both cars, especially when things go wrong, but most of the time things run fairly smoothly. My wife Kathy starts and runs Ethan’s car at the track while I look after Caleb’s, so we have a bit of a Team Caleb and Team Ethan thing going which adds a little bit of extra fun.
“I think racing together makes us a much stronger family unit which enjoys each other company. We have always raced as a family even when it was just Caleb at the wheel, Ethan was always there on the start line watching and holding his mum’s hand.
“Until recently my dad Rob Oberg would also be out there with us but he is now retired and sailing around the Mediterranean – but that doesn’t stop him viewing the online timing or sending me tonnes of text messages whenever we are racing to make sure he has all the updates!
“He may be on the other side of the world but he is certainly still a big part of Oberg Family Racing – I do miss having the three generations racing together though.
“We are really pleased to be racing the entire Eighth Mile Series this year and I know the boys are very excited about getting to all four tracks – I have to give a special mention to Queensland Nameplate Group who have sponsored the boys since Caleb started racing and they also sponsor the Modified Bike bracket in the series.
“Without their support we would struggle to afford what we do, like any motorsport it can become expensive so their help is truly valued by our entire family.”
The Obergs and the rest of the Diamond T Products Junior Dragster bracket will be joined on track for Warwick’s opening round of the 2013 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series by the FG Loy & Sons Earthmoving Old School, RD Williams Excavator Parts Modified, Ice Slushee Super Sedan, John William Auto Sales Super Street and Queensland Nameplate Group Modified Bike brackets.
Gates open at 8.00am on 9 February 2013 with qualifying from 2.30pm to 6.00pm and racing from 7.00pm.
Following Warwick Dragway’s opening round, the series will then head to Ironbark Raceway on 27 April for round two. Willowbank Raceway will host round three on 3 August before the final round gets going at Benaraby Raceway on 28 September 2013.
For more information on the 2012 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series, including information on rules, how to enter and the points system, please visit to www.willowbankraceway.com.au
2013 JP Racing Eighth Mile Drag Racing Series
Calendar: Round One – 9 February, 2013: Warwick Dragway, Warwick QLD Round Two – 27 April, 2013: Ironbark Raceway, Roma QLD Round Three – 3 August, 2013: Willowbank Raceway, Willowbank QLD Final Round – 28 September, 2013: Benaraby Raceway, Gladstone QLD
Racing brackets: FG Loy & Sons Earthmoving OLD SCHOOL Bracket RD Williams Excavator Parts MODIFIED BRACKET Ice Slushee SUPER SEDAN BRACKET John William Auto Sales SUPER STREET BRACKET Queensland Nameplate Group MODIFIED BIKE BRACKET Diamond T Products JUNIOR DRAGSTER BRACKET