CRANDON, WI --Professional off-road racing action at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway during the 2004 BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races this past Labor Day weekend included competition for annual World Championship titles in various off-road truck, buggy and sedan classes. Titles were earned in 12 different classes ranging from high performance off-road trucks to Classix American Sedans.
At stake were special Crandon International Off-Road Raceway black and gold World Championship rings especially prepared to mark the Raceway's 35th Anniversary season. Crandon Raceway annually presents rings to World Champions. World Championship Off-Road Races is a registered trademark of the track. Presentation of rings signifying a World Championship win at Crandon are in their 19th consecutive season at Crandon.
Champion off-road racer Johnny Greaves, DePere, WI, nabbed the most prestigious ring of the weekend by winning the 2004 BorgWarner Shootout -- the first driver from Wisconsin to win the most coveted prize in professional off-road racing circles since 1996. Greaves's Forest County Potawatomi/BFG team competes on the Championship Off-Road Racing circuit in the Pro 4 4x4 truck class. He has previously won several Crandon World Championships in the Pro-Lite compact pickup truck class. Greaves claimed the annual BorgWarner Shootout World Championship in his powerful 4x4 Toyota Tundra with a time of 16:30 over Crandon's 1.75 mile track. The 2004 marquee event -- the 10th annual heavy metal shootout for the $100,000 BorgWarner cup -- was the first for Greaves.
"Winning the BorgWarner Shootout for the Forest County Potawatomi, BF Goodrich and Toyota has been the highlight of my career," said Greaves, who pocketed more than $35,000 in cash and prizes with the win. With his BorgWarner Shootout win, Greaves reigns as the mythical "King of Off-Road Racing" until the 2005 running of the biggest and most lucrative off-road race in the country. That race will be held next Labor Day weekend at Crandon's 2005 BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races.
Greaves joins an elite group of notable professional racers who have claimed World Championship titles at Crandon Raceway including IRL/NASCAR driver Robbie Gordon (1989), NASCAR driver Brendan "Color Me" Gaughan (1997) and NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson (1999).
In World Championship Sportsman racing action, Keith Steele, Madison, WI, finally unseated Mark Kleiman, Wilson, MI, in the Sportsman Stock pickup truck class. Kleiman had won three consecutive World Championships at Crandon. Repeating from last year was Pro 4 4x4 truck driver Carl Renezeder, Laguna Beach, CA. Renezeder is on a roll by winning his third consecutive World Championship title. Sportsman 2 pickup truck driver Dan Baudoux, Hemlock, MI, also repeated. Returning to Crandon World Championship form was Art Schmitt, Pittsburgh, PA, in the Pro-Lite pickup class. Schmitt, a multiple World Championship winner in the 1990s at Crandon, had not won a World Championship since the turn of the century. Chris Kaiko, Neenah, WI, competing in the Johnsonville Formula 4x4 class, delivered on his promise from last season to unseat Jerry Bundy as the "Brat King" for his class.
"We are proud to honor Johnny Greaves, Keith Steele, Dan Baudoux and all drivers who won 2004 World Championship titles at Crandon this year," said Cliff Flannery, track president. In addition to the ring, each driver that won a title also received a complimentary gift certificate from Auto Meter.
Listed below are 2004 "dirty dozen" World Champions by off-road class:
Johnny Greaves, DePere, WI, Toyota Tundra 4x4, 2004 BorgWarner Shootout "King of Off-Road Racing" Crandon World Champion
Carl Renezeder, Laguna Beach, CA, 2004 Pro 4 4x4 pickup truck Crandon World Champion, Chevrolet ("Three"-Peat)
Scott Taylor, Belvidere, IL, 2004 Pro 2 2-wheel drive pickup truck Crandon World Champion, Ford
Chris Kaiko, Neenah, WI, 2004 Johnsonville Formula 4x4 truck Crandon World Champion, Ford
Art Schmitt, Pittsburgh, PA, 2004 Pro Lite compact pickup truck Crandon World Champion, Nissan
Dan Baudoux, Hemlock, MI, 2004 Sportsman 2 pickup truck Crandon World Champion, Ford (Repeat)
Keith Steele, Madison, WI, 2004 Sportsman Stock pickup truck Crandon World Champion, Ford
Rob Weiland, Hortonville, WI, 2004 Schaefer's Food Mart American Sedan Classix Crandon World Champion, Chevy Blazer
Jeff Virnig, Oregon, MI, 2004 Light Buggy Crandon World Champion
Michael Seefeldt, Sussex, WI, 2004 Single Buggy Crandon World Champion
Ryan Mulder, Channing, MI, 2004 Super Buggy Crandon World Champion
Mike Mills, Escanaba, MI, 2004 Enduro Trucks Crandon World Champion, Ford
The 12 off-road World Champions will reign until the 2005 BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway next Labor Day weekend. New champions will be crowned in Saturday, September 3 "World Championship" racing action.