CORR: Crandon reconfigures Off-road track

Historic moment as Crandon reconfigures famous off-road track. Crandon, WI -- Crandon Raceway, known to many off-road race fans as the "World Capital of Off-Road Racing", the "Big House with the Big Show" and where the ...

Historic moment as Crandon reconfigures famous off-road track.

Crandon, WI -- Crandon Raceway, known to many off-road race fans as the "World Capital of Off-Road Racing", the "Big House with the Big Show" and where the "World Champions are Crowned", has made a historic move and reconfigured the famous track.

Now in its 33rd year and certainly the most well-known raceway of its type in the nation, the move comes as the track prepares for the largest and most notable off-road event of the year -- the annual BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races. At stake are World Championship titles for 12 different classes of off-road racers, plus the annual $100,000 BorgWarner Shootout which crowns the "King of Off-Road Racing". For the first time in more than 15 years, the Crandon event will also end the traditional off-road short course racing season. The '02 BorgWarner World Championships mark the final two rounds of the CORR Lucas Oil Series Tour 2002 and several Series championship titles will also be at stake.

Noted for its famous "Oklahoma Land Rush Start" and exciting turn one, Crandon has retained this start for all race classes -- trucks, buggies and cars. What has changed is a .42-mile loop at the back of the track. The loop has been eliminated and the track distance is now 1.327 miles. The loop formerly followed the contours of a ravine which has been filled in and brush removed to permit better spectator viewing angles.

"We had originally planned to fill the ravine and remove the trees,scrub and brush to make better viewing for the fans as early as 1999 as part of our five-year improvement plan," said Cliff Flannery, track president. "Once we got at the task at hand, we redesigned the course to make it more exciting for both fans and drivers," he said. "We are still moving yards and yards of clay into the new section."

As racers now approach the track's back end through the American Axle & Manufacturing Chicane, they will attack a 180-degree turn and then descend into a "Hell Hole" before climbing a hill and exciting at full speed over a natural jump behind the first turn. "This should make speeds exceptionally fast in the straight-away in front of the main spectator area," said Flannery. "Plus the view from the our Trail Master skyboxes and all areas of the track is vastly improved," he commented. "Fans will be able to see the entire race course and watch all the action and never miss a pass, a bump or a jump," he said.

Flannery said the move was sparked by interest in making an exciting and entertaining show for fans. "A lot of people call us 'off-road racing's super show' and that is what we always try to deliver to our spectators," said Flannery. "We don't have nearly the number of entries we had a decade ago when 30 or 35 vehicles might take to the starting line in every class," he said. "The reconfiguration will keep all the action in front of the fans and keep the racing tighter."

Flannery noted that for historic and record-keeping purposes the track will continue to conduct Heavy Metal Challenge Races such as the annual Forest County Potawatomi Governor's Cup race every June and the upcoming $100,000 BorgWarner Shootout September 1 on the full 1.75 mile track.

The short-course off-road racing season ends this coming Labor Day weekend with the BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races, August 30-September 1. The weekend kicks off on Friday, August 30, with the annual World Championship Labor Day Parade in downtown Crandon. The Parade will be the first on Crandon's re-paved Main Street. Following the noon parade, the track conducts the Trail Master Time Trials for entry into the BorgWarner Shootout at 1 p.m.

In the evening, the track hosts the 2nd annual Friday Night Xtreme Thunderfest, underwritten by the Forest County Potawatomi. Included in the show are four monster trucks -- The Destroyer, Destroyer Jr., Devastator and the Amsoil American Dream monster truck. Also included will be a motorcycle Dare Devil stunt driver billed as the "Human Bomb". Figure stock car racers will also take to the track.

Saturday and Sunday will feature two full days of the country's finest off-road racing. Eight different CORR classes, ranging from high performance 4x4 pickup trucks to light buggies, take to the track. Also featured will be Johnsonville Formula 4x4 pickup trucks, Schaefer's Food Mart Classix American Sedans and Ivan "Iron Man" Stewart's Protruck Racing Organization. It is the first time Protrucks have ever competed at Crandon. The marquee attraction of the weekend is the 8th annual Shootout for the sterling silver and gold BorgWarner cup. Last year's Shootout attracted 28 competitors. The race pits 4x4 trucks against 2-wheel drive trucks in an all out 10-lap battle over the Crandon track.

Crandon International Off-Road Raceway, located on U.S. Highway 8 in Crandon, WI, is compared favorably to the Indy 500 or Daytona 500 for its niche in the world of professional motorsports. Situated on 400 acres, the track features amenities ranging from spacious campgrounds to luxury skyboxes. Crandon is approximately 25 minutes from Rhinelander, 80 minutes from Wausau, 90 minutes from Green Bay and Escanaba, Mi, three hours from Milwaukee and four hours from Minneapolis, MN.

Crandon has been truly fortunate to build a remarkable base of loyal and enthusiastic sponsors. Key sponsors include the Forest County Potawatomi, BorgWarner, Miller Lite, American Axle & Manufacturing, Johnsonville Sausage, Trail Master, Indian Springs Lodge, Coca-Cola, Snap-On, Rancho, Miller Electric Welders, 4 Wheel Parts Performance Centers, Associated Bank, KC Hilites, BF Goodrich, Bergstrom Ford, Baumgart Tire, Amsoil, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, Superior Diesel, Parsons Chevrolet, Goodyear, Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, Lucas Oil, Ford Trucks, Cellcom, Precision Gear, Potawatomi Bingo Northern Lights Casino, TRD, K&N Filters, Kumho Tires, GM Hydra-Matic,Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, Bluffs at Horseshoe Bay, Baumgart Tire (Appleton, WI), among others.

-cr-

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Series Offroad