Off-Road Racing Is RED HOT!
Short course off-road racing is one of the fastest growing sports in America!
The exploding popularity of light-duty trucks in the 1990s combined with a high level of competition and "NFL-style parity" brings fans by the thousands to events, such as those to be showcased by the Lucas Oil "World Series of Off-Road Racing" in 2007!
The interest and excitement of off-road racing has spawned new participants, an increased fan base, new enthusiast and trade magazines, a dedicated exhibit industry, and now long-term, prime time national SPEED Channel TV coverage!
The Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing has established itself as a national short course racing series with a three-year primetime SPEED television package through the 2009 season. Shown on a regularly slotted airtime for three consecutive years beginning next season, the sport will be brought inside the homes of millions who are seeking race excitement at a whole new level!
The desert Southwest is often cited as the sweet spot of off-road truck racing in the United States. And there is no denying that is the case. It's the home of the internationally famous 39-year-old SCORE Baja 1,000 and numerous other popular off-road races, including Best in the Desert Terrible Herbst sponsored events in Southern Nevada.
But when it comes to short course racing -- racing powerful race trucks and buggies on a closed course in front of a huge live spectator audience, the Midwest has been the place to be -- for 38 years.
The 2007 Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing (WSORR) is centered in Wisconsin. More than 200 off-road racing shops are located in and around the greater Midwest and the region is the hard-pounding pulse of short course off-road racing in the U.S.
Each year, the BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races, held annually Labor Day weekend -- the Serie's equivalent of the Daytona 500 -- draws record numbers of fans.
So what is with all the buzz behind the Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing?
Fans are immediately attracted to the sport by the fender-to-fender racing, the jumps and bumps, and the sheer thrill of seeing snarling 800 HP trucks and exotic buggies flying, even criss-crossing, through the air.
A 20-truck wide "Land Rush" start that funnels drivers into a blind, off-camber, then banked 90-mph turn can definitely make even the burliest fan anxious.
Add a bevy of top professional drivers going flat out in 4x4 and 2WD high performance pickup trucks and its clear why off-road racing is enjoying such notoriety! All guys? Not! A crop of talented female racers are butting in on the boys.
Fans examining the sport more deeply find the complexity of the machines equally fascinating.
Sophisticated engines, drive trains, and suspensions are customized to withstand the rigors of high speed abuse. Tires play a key role and special tire grooving for track conditions has been a hallmark of off-road racing for decades.
Each successive technology is separated into its own class. The playing field is kept essentially level, creating hot racing in every class and a class for every level of commitment and spending!
To some, only the high tech, big money, monster-hyped duels of the 2WD and 4x4 trucks will do.
But to others, the grass roots battles of the buggies are the thing. There's something on the WSORR menu for every off-road taste, and the huge appetite for this type of racing is becoming insatiable for racers, their fans and sponsors!
Off-road spectators are extremely devoted. Like Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers fans, they come early and stay late. Tough and demanding, they bring lawn chairs, coolers, umbrellas and canopies to setup camp in prime viewing spots along the off-road courses.
They demand action.
And they get it! Like a monster 200 foot launch off "Long Jump Hill" at the U.P. 100 Raceway in Bark River, MI. Like 100+ mph speeds along Crandon Raceway's skybox straight-away. Or a heart-stopping roll in what Autoweek Magazine has called "the most exciting but dangerous turn in all of racing" -- the Potawatomi Turn One at Crandon.
They bring their wives. Or the wives bring the husbands! 51% of the attendance at Midwestern off-road events are males, 49% females! The kids come, too. It's a family affair.
No lock-outs, no steroids, no player strikes. Pits at World Series of Off-Road Racing events are open and free of charge. Meet the racers. Grab an autograph. Watch some of the most talented team mechanics in the motorsports industry, up close and personal, in million dollar pit setups.
Like the old NASCAR days, it's a still a brand loyalty thing in the WSORR. It's Chevy versus Ford versus Nissan versus Toyota in a major league way. And like NASCAR fans, off-road aficionados are true to their brand and to those behind the wheel. And just as in NASCAR, Formula One, or Indy Car racing, the off-road teams with the best drivers, crews, and equipment are usually the ones to beat.
In addition to the three-year Lucas Oil title sponsorship, the Forest County Potawatomi Community -- one of the most prosperous and respected Native American tribes in the Nation and a long-time supporter of the sport -- will receive additional WSORR presenting rights as part of a major sponsorship package.
The World Series will be paying record purses to Pro and Sportsman race divisions in 2007. And investing record amounts on individual race weekend promotions.
The World Series of Off-Road Racing features high performance, 4x4 and 2WD pickup trucks racing in their natural environment -- off road!
After all, just what does oval racing have to do with "Built Ford Tough"?
Besides, just what does pavement racing have to do with "Like a Rock?"
When Nissan says "Shift, they mean a Titan muscled into high gear at a short course off-road race!
And any Toyota racers will tell you "Moving Forward" is getting 25 feet of big air over a monster jump!
Other WSORR classes range from entry level Stock trucks to exotic high-flying buggies.
A record number of competitors and fans attended off-road races in 2006 and the future of off-road racing -- the Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing -- will continue to showcase this fast-growing motorsport in exciting venues across the country this coming year.