CORR: Crandon set to open season

CRANDON, WI -- The distant thunder of thousands and thousands of horsepower from Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, Nissan, Toyota and other race engines is rumbling its way toward Crandon International Off-Road Raceway as the famous track opens its 34th...

CRANDON, WI -- The distant thunder of thousands and thousands of horsepower from Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, Nissan, Toyota and other race engines is rumbling its way toward Crandon International Off-Road Raceway as the famous track opens its 34th season with the Potawatomi Brush Run Races on June 21-22. Part of the Lucas Oil Championship Off-Road Racing circuit, the Brush Run will feature the 10th anniversary race for the Potawatomi Governor's Cup during weekend action.

"Anniversaries are always special and our 2003 Brush Run off-road races mark a decade of one of the most important off-road clashes in the country," said Cliff Flannery, president, Crandon Raceway. "Drivers, sponsors and fans have been behind us since the very first race to make the Governor's Cup race a great tradition in motorsports and in the State of Wisconsin," he said.

More than 10 classes of trucks and buggies will take on the most challenging circuit in off-road racing over two days. Feature race of the weekend is the special "heavy metal" Governor's Cup challenge event as powerful 4x4 race trucks square off against high performance 2-wheel drive trucks in a mega-dollar shoot-out for the Potawatomi Governor's Cup, on Sunday, June 22.

One of the most important professional off-road races of the season, drivers will be looking to unseat Scott Taylor, Belvidere, IL, reigning Governor's Cup champion and only driver to win the event in a 2-wheel drive race truck. In more than 25 years of racing at Crandon, Taylor had his most impressive season last year. Besides winning the Governor's Cup, Taylor came back two months later to claim his first BorgWarner Shootout at Crandon's annual off-road World Championships -- again, the only driver to ever win that race in a 2-wheel drive pickup. He will look to continue his success but faces formidable competition from the 4x4 Toyota pickup of Johnny Greaves, DePere, WI ; and Californian's Scott Douglas, Jason Baldwin and Curt LeDuc -- all in 4x4 trucks. Looking to surprise are Chevy drivers Dan Vanden Heuvel, Appleton, WI, and Carl Renezeder, Laguna Beach, CA. Mike Oberg, Eagle River, WI, was the first driver to register for the historic 10th anniversary race. He will compete in a 2-wheel drive Sportsman 2 truck sponsored by DynoMax, Kumho Tire and Amsoil.

"After the first two races of the year, I am awfully glad to be going to Crandon, " said Taylor. "We have a fast truck and Crandon is the world's greatest and fastest track so I want to tell all the fans I will have the throttle wide open ," said the champ. Taylor's F-150 Ford is sponsored by Mobil 1, BF Goodrich and Phil's, Inc., among other sponsors. Whoever wins the prestigious silver Cup will also take home a first place check and prizes from the total available race purse of more than $30,000 and best wishes in Crandon's victory circle from Gus Frank, chairman of the Potawatomi Nation of Forest County. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has been invited to attend. The first term Governor of Wisconsin would be awarding his first Governor's Cup. Former Governor Scott McCallum presented the award last year. Also attending will be Wisconsin Secretary of Tourism Jim Holperin. While each winning driver takes home a Cup, a permanent award with the names of all the past winners is continually on display at the Potawatomi Bingo Northern Lights Casino in Carter, WI. Toyota has also posted a $2,000 contingency for the race. The award is payable if a Toyota Tundra wins the event.

The Crandon track will sport several additional improvements in 2003, from facilities to better serve fans to updated signage. "We have a basic philosophy and that is one of continuous renewal and reinvestment," said Cliff Flannery, track president. "We must keep pace with the huge spectator crowds that attend our events and our philosophy helps keep our track the premier off-road race facility in the country," he commented.

A prize giveaway, featuring $1,000 cash, will be awarded to one lucky fan on Saturday. A Millermatic welder, Goodyear tire sets, American Racing wheels and more, will be be part of a raffle conducted throughout the race weekend. Racing begins daily at 10 a.m. and the $1,000 cash will be given away promptly at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 21. The drawing for the $1,000 is open to all fans purchasing tickets at the main spectator gate as well as the campgrounds. Crandon fans will also be treated to a "Battle of the Bands" performance by three groups and the annual Associated Bank fireworks show Saturday evening after racing action.

Attention will focus, however, on the 10th anniversary race for the Forest County Potawatomi Governor's Cup. "Every year, this event has been one of the great races in the country," said Cliff Flannery, track president. "Driver's let it all hang out for a chance to win the Cup and the big purse," he said. "We are indebted to the Forest County Potawatomi for sponsoring this great race for the past 10 years," Flannery noted.

Key sponsors at Crandon International for the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run include Potawatomi Bingo Northern Lights Casino, BorgWarner, Miller Lite, Coca-Cola, BF Goodrich, American Axle & Manufacturing, Rancho, Goodyear, KC Hilites, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands, Johnsonville Sausage, Parsons Chevrolet, Bergstrom Ford, Precision Gear, Miller Welders, Kumho Tire, Indian Springs Lodge, Cellcom, Amsoil, K&N Filters, Skyjacker, GM Hydra-Matic, Baumgart Tire, Nissan and Associated Bank, among others.

The Brush Run Races are the opener of a series of events at Crandon Raceway this year. Next up is the FCP "Thunder Valley Biker Rally" July 10-13. A "mini-Sturgis" type event, the Biker Rally features a concert by famed country rocker David Allan Coe. This event is followed by the Potawatomi Friday Night Xtreme Thunderfest, August 29. The Thunderfest is the prelude to the BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races over Labor Day weekend, August 30-31.

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. Several current high profile pavement racers have competed and won big at Crandon in the past, including NASCAR racer Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan, and Indy 500 and NASCAR driver Robby Gordon. Situated on 400 acres, the raceway features both 1.75-mile and 1.25-mile tracks surrounded by amenities ranging from spacious campgrounds to luxury skyboxes. Crandon is approximately 20 minutes from Rhinelander and 90 minutes from Green Bay. The track's Web site address is www.crandonoffroad.com.

-ciorr-

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Series Offroad
Drivers Robby Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Douglas , Curt LeDuc , Scott Taylor , Jason Baldwin , Johnny Greaves , Brendan Gaughan , David Allan