SACRAMENTO — After years of racing in various areas of the country and at times shining with the ASCS, Logan Forler made the decision to focus primarily on the NARC Fujitsu General Sprint Car tour this year.
The series heads north this week for the Pacific Northwest edition of the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports featuring a pair of tracks in Oregon and one in Washington. An interesting career path led Forler to turning many laps around those facilities prior to his jump to focusing primarily on California this year.
While Forler now calls Idaho home, he was born in Puyallup, Washington, and began his racing career in the state among the quarter-midget ranks when he was just five years old. Eventually he progressed into micro sprints and then went on to start his sprint car career in his teenage years and blended some traveling into his early experience.
“I got into sprint cars the year I turned 16,” Forler said. “My first race was actually in Texas, and we worked our way back home from Texas and then I raced around home for my first couple years.”
After some early success, Forler began dabbling in the ASCS, both with their national tour and some of their regional series in the Midwest and Northwest and began to get more laps at more racetracks. It didn’t take long before Forler was running up front, collecting his first ASCS National win in 2012. He’s since tallied 27 victories across national and regional events.
This season, he’s changed his focus.
“This year I wanted to focus more on getting back into the 410 stuff. That’s really what I enjoy doing,” Forler explained. “And the only place to really do that is with NARC, unless you’re based out of Indiana or something and can fly back and forth, but that just wasn’t in the cards this year.”
Prior to this year, Forler wasn’t completely inexperienced in California. The 28-year-old had tallied five NARC starts, his most recent coming in 2014.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Placerville,” Forler said. “I think I’ve only raced there four times total, but every time I’ve been I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve also always been a fan of Chico (Silver Dollar Speedway). I’ve been to Chico quite a few times.”
While he has enjoyed some success at a couple Golden State facilities, Forler has found the transition difficult at times. California racetracks are known for having distinct set of characteristics compared to most of the country, so while Forler is an experienced racer, the tracks on the NARC calendar present a new list of challenges.
“The biggest difference I see in the race tracks is the Midwest tracks are really smooth and slick, not much of a cushion just more of a color change,” Forler noted. “That’s something I’ve been having a hard time getting used to because it’s just a lot different driving style running what they would consider a cushion in the Midwest because it’s not what they would consider a cushion in California.”
Fortunately for Forler, he’ll soon be heading to home turf for a break from the unfamiliar. The series is returning to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in a decade with dates at Central Point, Oregon’s Southern Oregon Speedway, Lebanon, Oregon’s Willamette Speedway, and Elma, Washington’s Grays Harbor Raceway all scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.
Forler has found plenty of success in the Northwest. He has won in 360 competition at four of the five Northwest tracks the series will visit this year.
“Yeah, I have a lot of confidence going into those tracks more so than the California stuff,” Forler said. “I have a lot of laps around those places, especially Skagit and Elma.”
While he’s armed with some confidence, Forler is staying realistic with his expectations heading north.
“I look at more on a night-to-night basis,” Forler said. “I’m still trying to get to where I’m 100% confident in what the car is capable of because I’ve been out of racing for so long. So, I don’t know if the familiarity with those racetracks is going to help me a whole lot or not. We’ll see.”