'01 Off-Road World Championships at Crandon Dominated by Ford and Rob Mac"Crandon" CRANDON, WI -- Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, NV, successfully defended his mythical "King of Off-Road Racing" crown at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway for the...
'01 Off-Road World Championships at Crandon Dominated by Ford and Rob Mac"Crandon"
CRANDON, WI -- Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, NV, successfully defended his mythical "King of Off-Road Racing" crown at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway for the third time this past weekend at the 2001 BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races. MacCachren's "three-peat" win of the $100,000 BorgWarner Cup in his 4x4 Ford F-150 truck came against a field of 16 other race trucks. The largest Sunday crowd in Crandon Raceway's 32-year history watched him take the checkered flag.
The 7th annual World Championship BorgWarner Shootout included high performance 4x4 and 2-wheel drive (2WD) race pickups in a 10 lap showdown event for the coveted Cup and a record posted purse of $82,166. MacCachren and other 4x4 competitors took the starting line under new rules. The 4x4 race machines have an advantage over the 2WD trucks. The race provided a 100-yard handicap at the start to the 2WD pickups.
Crandon fan favorite Scott Taylor, Belvidere, IL, took advantage of the rule change and at the race start had his 2WD Ford first into Crandon's famous Forest County Potawatomi turn one. He was quickly followed by Chevrolet pickup drivers Carl Renezeder (Laguna Beach, CA), Evan Evans (Riverside, CA), Tommy Bradley (Las Vegas, NV) and Kevin Probst (New Lenox, IL). Despite the time advantage, MacCachren had another fabulous start off Crandon's Precision Gear Oklahoma Land Rush Start and outgunned the balance of the field into turn one where he took over sixth position. In the next half-mile of racing action on Crandon's 1.75-mile track, MacCachren passed all the 2WD trucks. He won the race by leading all 10 laps, also a new record for him at Crandon. No driver had ever led all the laps in off-road racing's showcase 10-lap event.
Race runner-up was Scott Douglas, El Cajon, CA, in a Rancho Ford 4x4 pickup. Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, CA, was third, also in a Ford 4x4. Taylor finished fourth overall and was the first 2WD pickup to take the checkered flag, earning more than $5,000. Jason Baldwin, Laguna Beach, CA, was fifth. Baldwin was the Shootout pole winner. Bradley finished sixth but he was the first Sportsman 2 pickup truck to finish.
MacCachren, now referred to by many fans as "MacCrandon" as a tribute to his domination of off-road racing at the legendary track, won nearly $40,000 for the win in cash and prizes. With three wins of the BorgWarner off-road cup, he is approaching the accomplishments of great drivers such as A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Sr., and Rick Mears who have won the most coveted cup in pavement racing -- the BorgWarner Indianapolis 500 trophy.
"With the rule change and the two-wheel drive trucks getting the handicap, I wanted to get up front with them right from the start," said MacCachren. "Anything can happen at Crandon and I just wanted to get to the clean air in the front as soon as possible," he said. "I was a little surprised it happened before the end of the first lap but my truck felt great and was very, very fast." MacCachren thanked his crew and sponsors such as BF Goodrich, Ford Truck, Trail Master Suspension and Precision Gear for providing the technology and support to get him into Crandon's hydraulic Victory Circle one more time. "We call our Victory Circle Rob's 'home away from home', smiled Cliff Flannery, president, Crandon Raceway.
The Crandon and BorgWarner champion accepted the $100,000 Cup and his third $7,500 "King of Off-Road Racing" BorgWarner World Championship Driver's trophy in victory circle. Presentations were made by Bob Richardson, Vice President - BorgWarner Torque Tranfer Systems and Mark Bill, Assistant Chief Engineer - Ford Ranger.
MacCachren also received $2,100 from Gus Frank, Chairman - Forest County Potawatomi for the third time. The award is the "Blackjack Award". Interestingly, MacCachren's truck number is "21". "Rob MacCachren is a great driver and we are proud to award him the prize and be associated with BorgWarner, Ford Trucks and other great sponsors at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway," said Frank.
Earlier in the weekend, pickup trucks qualified for the event in the annual Trail Master Time Trials. Under ideal conditions, four trucks shattered the existing single lap time record of 1:25:98 previously set in 1998 by Jamey Flannery, Wisconsin Dells, WI. MacCachren, Baldwin, Douglas and LeDuc each broke the record. In fact, Douglas twice bested the old mark in his two qualification attempts. Baldwin's new record time of 1:24:50 held up as the time to beat and he earned the pole position and the $2,000 Trail Master Lap Master Award and the title of "Fastest Off-Road Racer Alive". He accepted the award from Jim Chick, president, Trail Master Suspension. Fastest 2WD qualifier was Renezeder with a record time of 1:26:64.
In other weekend racing action, World Championship titles and rings were earned by racers in several classes and points racing was held in the Exxon Superflo Motor Oils Championship Off-Road Racing Series. MacCachren was also undefeated in his class racing and won a Pro 4 World Championship title on Saturday. He has won more than $125,000 in prize money at Crandon since 1999.