FOREST COUNTY POTAWATOMI FRIDAY NIGHT OF THUNDER

KINCAID TOPS THE PODIUM IN PRO2WD FOR DAY ONE OF THE

2018 World Cup Off-Road Races ®

 

CRANDON, WISC – AUGUST 31. Day one of competition for the 2018 World Cup Off-Road Races ® begins unlike any other Short-Course Off-Road race in the country. Shortly after the rising sun reaches beyond the clouds, the ignition of the engines begin to fill the air with that raw sound of power and scent of race fuel.

One-by-one, each driver and machine line up behind the local Police for their escort to Main Street in downtown and line the street for a spectacle that can only be Crandon, that is none other the Labor Day Parade that launches off the weekend and has become a tradition dating back to the first race in 1970, a tradition that fans look forward to each and every year.

The 49th Annual Crandon World Championship presented by Polaris RZR is now officially under way!

MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

The weekend kicks off with the Forest County Potawatomi Friday Night of Thunder, featuring a full slate of MORR Sportsman racing action plus some PRO make-up rounds and a special feature Ultra 4 event.

 

1600 Light Buggies got the action started under partly cloudy skies and a comfortable cool breeze. Jake Nelson led the huge field wire-to-wire to take the checkers. Ben Passa and Aaron Konitzer earned victories in the Formula 4×4/Classix race, and young Michael Funk took the Short Course Kart win with a pair of Ingleses rounding out the podium.

 

Matthew Wood pulled off a courageous last lap pass over Mark Krueger on the left-hand shortcut turn to take the win in a very tight Sportsman UTV.  Ben Holtger led most of the race in 1600 Single Buggy, but Bruce Fraley muscled his way around in the closing laps and held off a hard-charging Tony Keepers through the finish.

 

The Crandon World Championships are famous for pitting short course’s biggest names from the West Coast and Midwest series against each other. In the past these clashes were reserved for Sunday, but 2018 got the action started early. Super Buggy West Coast phenom Sterling Cling gave defending Midwest champion Michael Meister all he could handle, as the two young drivers were mere hundreths apart all race long. In the end Meister would defend his region and stand on top of the box. The Mod Kart mashup pitted the established LOORRS karts against a brand-new Midwest versions, and after a spirited run West-Coast racer Mason Prater scored the Crandon victory.

 

Don Demeny took the holeshot in his brand-new stock truck build, but Jordon Fellenz rocketed around him in the gravel pit and held him off to steal the win. Mayhem on the opening lap claimed a couple of the 22 Super Stock Trucks. The rest of the field put on a show but could not catch Jamie Kleikamp, who cruised confidently to the win.

MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

Finally, the PRO 2 and PRO 4 classes ran Round 3 make-up races from spring’s Brush Run rain-out. The races featured only entrants that registered at the Brush Run, and were run as an 8-lap shootout on the Short Track, with starting positions determined by the random draw from the spring.

 

Keegan Kincaid grabbed the PRO 2 holeshot in front of his home-town crowd and never looked back, making it look easy en-route to his second straight win. Andrew Carlson held down the second spot, and Daely Pentico held off Chad Hord for third. Mike Vanden Heuvel’s points lead over Pentico was cut in half – with one race to go, several drivers are still in the hunt for the class championship to be decided tomorrow!

 

MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

The PRO 4 event was one of the most storied in recent memory. Johnny Greaves was running second when his truck burst into flames. Johnny’s truck rolled up and then down a hill while almost entirely engulfed; fortunately he was able to escape the flames unharmed. Ross Hoek ran up front until the mandatory restart, when CJ Greaves powered past. Contact in the Gravel Pit turn resulted in a Black Flag for Andrew Carlson and a full restart. Once again CJ passed Hoek, and Carlson went off the track in the gravel pit turn. At the checkers it was CJ Greaves with the win – Hoek over-rotated in the final turn and class rookie Travis Dinsmore slipped into second; Hoek crossed the line backwards for third.

 

MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

Rounding out the day was the Ultra4 class. An early accident caused a full restart, and a delay, and it was well after sunset before the rock racers returned to action.   But the light-equipped vehicles weren’t fazed by the dark, and fans who stuck around were treated to rugged off-road action on a unique course that integrated the traditional track plus paths and rock structures through the additional wooded acreage of Crandon.

For more information on Crandon International Off-Road Raceway visit www.crandonoffroad.com.