Monster Off-Road Weekend Rocks Crandon Raceway Famous Track's 35th Anniversary Weekend Marks Largest Event in the History of Off-Road Racing Crandon, WI (September 5, 2004)-Defending Pro-4 and Pro-2 champions Carl Renezeder and Scott Taylor ...
Monster Off-Road Weekend Rocks Crandon Raceway
Famous Track's 35th Anniversary Weekend Marks Largest Event in the History of Off-Road Racing
Crandon, WI (September 5, 2004)-Defending Pro-4 and Pro-2 champions Carl Renezeder and Scott Taylor needed big weekends to align themselves for a run at the 2004 CORR Lucas Oil Pro Series championships. At the BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races in Crandon, Wisconsin, this past weekend, they both got what they needed. During Saturday off-road racing at Crandon (Round 11), drivers competed in several classes for World Championship titles and rings.
In the Pro-Lite division, Kyle LeDuc gained on his lead in the Pro-Lite division, but it was Art Schmitt (Round 11) and Jeff Kincaid (Round 12) who claimed wins over the weekend. For Schmitt and his Nissan Frontier, it was his first win in two years.
Already one of the best off-road competitors in Championship Off Road Racing history, Johnny Greaves, DePere, WI, became the 8th driver in the 10 year history of the World Championship BorgWarner Shoot-out to claim the prized $100,000 BorgWarner trophy. It was Greave's first win of off-road racing's most prestigious award. He drove a brilliant race in his colorful Forest County Potawatomi Toyota Tundra, winning the Shootout from the pole position. After overtaking five other trucks, Greaves accumlated a 15-second lead on the field of 19 Shootout competitors. Earlier in the weekend, Greaves won the pole position during the Nissan Motorsports/NISMO Time Trials for the BorgWarner Shootout. The event capped off the 35th anniversary season at Crandon International Off Road Raceway. The Skyjacker sponsored Ford's of Curt LeDuc (4x4) and Scott Taylor (2-wheel drive) placed second and third respectively.
Greaves claimed $34,935 in cash and prizes by winning the 10-lap 2004 BorgWarner Shootout. His winning time was 16:30 over Crandon's traditional 1.75-mile track. A sell-out crowd watched Greaves accept congratulations, trophies, prizes and cash in Crandon's Victory Circle from Tim Manganello, president and CEO of BorgWarner Corporation; Cindy Niekamp, president, BorgWarner Torque Transfer Systems; Don Brown, Toyota Racing Development; and Gus Frank, chairman, Forest County Potawatomi Community.
The 2004 CORR Lucas Oil Sportsman Series concluded at the BorgWarner World Championships, with Dan Baudoux (Sportsman 2) successfully defending his division championship. Keith Steele (Stock), Steve Krieman (Super Buggy), Mark Steinhardt (Single Buggy), and Ben O'Connell (Light Buggy) won the other Sportsman division championships. Carl Renezeder and his Lucas Oil Chevrolet took a giant step in his attempt to defend his Pro-4 title. Entering Round 11, Renezeder trailed Johnny Greaves by nine points, but following a victory in Round 11 and a second-place finish in Round 12, Renezeder took over the division lead 179 to 178 over Jason Baldwin. Renezeder won the Crandon World Championship title in the powerful Pro 4 race truck class.
Jason Baldwin won for the second time this season in Round 12, when he held off Renezeder. In 12 rounds of competition, Jason Baldwin has 2 wins and 11 top-four finishes. Greaves fell back to third place after a 5th place finish in Round 11. In Round 12, Greaves pulled off the track on the first lap.
Rob MacCachren, the two time Pro-4 champion (2000-2001), and the all-time leader in division wins with 22, returned to the Crandon International Off Road Raceway to compete in the BorgWarner World Championships. MacCachren, driving a Greaves' backup Forest County Potawatomi Toyota Tundra race truck, finished 9th in Round 11, and scratched in Round 12. The scratch left him unable to compete in the BorgWarner Shootout -- an event he has won three times.
When Evan Evans cut Scott Taylor's Pro-2 lead to ten points entering Round 11, it was a matter of time before Taylor's Skyjacker Ford broke through for a victory. Seeking to win his sixth straight Pro-2 championship, Taylor blazed through the first turn in Round 11. With Taylor increasing his lead to 18 seconds, Evans was unable to catch Taylor. However, Evans was able to move into second-place half-way through the round, and held his position. Taylor's win was the 4th this season and the 38th of his CORR career. The win gave Taylor another Crandon World Championship title.
In Round 12, Taylor took the lead into turn one, and once again he built a strong lead, but in the end, it was Dan Vanden Heuvel who won Round 12 in the Pro-2 division. With Taylor falling back, Vanden Heuvel took the lead with three laps to go to claim his second victory in 2004. Josh Baldwin had his best finish of the season, placing second. Pro-2 rookie Brian Hinman also had his best career finish, placing third. Taylor's lead with two rounds remaining in the season is 184 to 166 over Evan Evans. Carl Renezeder is third with 153 points.
For the first time since Round 3 in 2002, Art Schmitt led his Nissan Frontier Pro-Lite to victory lane. With a premium on the difficult Crandon Raceway land rush start, Schmitt took the lead, followed by Jeff Kincaid and Rick Huseman. Kincaid held second-place the entire race, and would finish in that position. In Round 11, Huseman (15th place) was unable to gain any ground on Kyle LeDuc (19th place), as both experienced mechanical problems. Schmitt won his first Crandon World Championship title since the turn of the century
In Round 12, Jeff Kincaid passed Rick Huseman's Fabtech Ford with three laps to go, and went on to claim his fourth victory of 2004. LeDuc, coming off a disappointing finish in Round 11, finished second to maintain a 163 to 146 lead over the BOSS Snowplow Nissan of Chad Hord with two rounds remaining.
Huseman had to pull off the track after leading the entire first half of Round 12, and would go on to place 15th. With Hord finishing 3rd in Round 11 and 4th in Round 12, he has 9 top-five finishes in 12 starts.
In the overall Pro-Lite standings Huseman dropped to third place with 138 points, with Steven Federico in fourth with 134 points. Kincaid, the four-time defending Pro-Lite champion, rounds out the top-five with 128 points.
Although he already won the Sportsman 2 division after Round 10, Dan Baudoux did not let up in the final two rounds, winning in Round 11, claiming the Crandon World Championship for his class, and finishing second in Round 12. Baudoux finished the year with 7 wins and 12 top-five finishes in 12 starts. Ross Hoek's Superlift Ford held off Baudoux in the final round, winning for the fourth time this year. In the final standings, Baudoux finished with 213 points, followed by Hoek with 157 and Mike Oberg with 151 points.
Keith Steele entered the weekend trailing three-time defending Stock champion Mark Kleiman by ten points, but a sweep of Rounds 11 and 12 enabled Steele to claim his first Stock division championship, as well as the 2004 Crandon World Championship title for his class. Entering the final round, Kleiman had a six point lead, but a 14th place finish gave Steele a 189 to 177 victory in the season championship. Rhonda Konitzer, who won her first career Championship Off Road Racing race in 2004, finished the season in third place with 159 points.
Corry Heynen led the Super Buggy standings throughout much of the 2004 season, but a victory by Steve Krieman in the final round led to Krieman's first Super Buggy championship. Krieman finished the season with 3 wins and 9 top-five finishes, but the final win led to his 155 to 149 win in the division. Ryan Mulder finished the season with a win in Round 11 and a third-place finish in Round 12. Mulder finished the year with 138 points and also won a Crandon World Championship ring and title.
Battling the entire year for supremacy in the Single Buggy division, Mark Steinhardt and Michael Seefeldt have combined to win the last three division championships, with Steinhardt's last coming in 2001. A victory in Round 11 and a second-place finish in Round 12 was not enough for Seefeldt to continue his reign as the Single Buggy champion. Steinhardt finished second in Round 11 and fourth in Round 12 to win the Single Buggy championship, 187 to 179 over Seefeldt. Steve Socha, the winner in Round 12, finished third in the year-end standings with 135 points. Seefeldt won the Crandon World Championship.
Following his Dedicated Systems teammate, Josh Hintz, Ben O'Connell claimed the 2004 Light Buggy championship, 162 to 150 over Craig Metz. Jeff Virnig continued his winning streak, sweeping Rounds 11 and 12 in Crandon and winning a Crandon World Championship title in the process. O'Connell finished second to Virnig in both rounds. O'Connell finished the season with 2 wins and 9 top-five finishes.
In Schaefer's Food Mart Classix entry level off-road action, Rob Weiland, Hortonville, WI, won the 2004 Crandon World Championship. In the Johnsonville Formula 4x4 race truck class, Chris Kaiko, Appleton, WI, won the coveted World Championship title. In the American Axle & Manufacturing Trac-Rite Jump competition between all classes on Saturday, Scott Douglas won $1,000 with the longest leap of the days' racing action. Douglas soared 121' 4" over the monster precipice located mid-track at Crandon Raceway to claim the prize in his Ford 4x4 race truck.
With two rounds remaining in the CORR Lucas Oil Pro Series, Ford leads the Manufacturer Championships in the Pro-4 and Pro-Lite divisions. In Pro-4, Ford leads Chevrolet 202 to 184, with Toyota in third with 164 points. In Pro-Lite, Ford leads with 208 points, followed by Toyota's 188 and Nissan's 174. In Pro-2, Chevrolet leads Ford 218 to 201.
Crandon Raceway concluded its 35th Anniversary season with a record total attendance for the year. More than 61,000 fans attended a trio of three-day events at the track. The mammoth crowd at the recently concluded 35th Anniversary 2004 BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races was the largest of its type ever in the history of the sport. "The race weekend was the most heavily promoted, most heavily advertised in our history," said Cliff Flannery, track president, "and the attendance and the camping crowd reflected that investment," he concluded. "Never has the sport of off-road racing witnessed a live spectator crowd matching that at the 2004 BorgWarner World Championships", he said.
Heading into the off-season, Crandon will begin preparations for the Forest County Potawatomi Thunder Valley Biker Rally III next June. That event will be followed by the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run Races June 25-26, 2005. That event features the annual Potawatomi Governor's Cup Race -- a race similar to the BorgWarner Shootout. The 36th annual BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races, including the Potawatomi X-Treme Thunderfest, will be conducted over Labor Day weekend next year, September 2,3 & 4, 2005.