2019 FOREST COUNTY POTAWATOMI BRUSH RUN IS SET TO RUMBLE CRANDON INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

26th Annual Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run marks a $87,000 total purse payout.

 

CRANDON, WISC. (APRIL, 9, 2019): When the thunderous sound of 900hp engines plays over-and-over in the back of your mind all winter as a distant memory from the final race of 2018,  it leaves an aching feeling lingering in your soul to hear that roar once again through the Forest County Potawatomi Turn One at Crandon International Raceway.

There is only one cure, the 26th Annual Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run to be held June 15-16, 2019.

 

 

 

The continued support from the Forest County Potawatomi tribe has been a crucial element in both the past and future of Crandon International Raceway. With the FCP being the largest employer in the county, they have invested not only in sport of short-course off-road, but have also invested heavily in the local community as well as within the tribal community and have become a vital partner with Crandon International Raceway. In addition to the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run, they also conduct the largest fair in the area hosted at CIR.

The free-fair runs the July 5-7 for a weekend full of games and rides and family fun for all.

 

 

MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

At the close of the inaugural season with the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League, preparations for the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run were already underway. The weekend’s total purse for both the PRO and Sportman division will exceed $87,000.

A total purse of $28,000 is set for the Forest County Potawatomi Community Cup in which the PRO 4 and PRO 2 go head-to-head in the same race for a chance to claim the top prize of $10,000 while second pays $3,500, third $2,000, fourth $1,500 with fifth through fifteenth paying $1,000.

 

Johnny Greaves, CJ Greaves and Andrew Carlson celebrate podium honors for the 2018 Forest County Potawatomi Community Cup race.
MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

CIR will host again the Sportsman division who bring to the track the largest number of competitors boasting eight separate classes. The 2019 purse will follow the 2018 season payout structure with CIR  honoring an additional $10,000 in pay out for the weekend.

2018 PRO 2 drivers Mike Vanden Huevel, Chad Hord and Mark Peterson take top honors at Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run.
MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

 

2018 PRO LITE drivers Kyle Kleiman, Cory Winner and Cam Reimers take top honors at Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run.
MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

Gates open to the public for the weekend of events at 8am on June 15th and for those arrive before 11am on Saturday, one lucky winner be drawn to receive $1,000.

Weekend admission is $45.00 for adults, children 12 and under and seniors 75 and older getting in for free. One-day admission tickets are available for $25.00 (adults), children 12 and under and seniors 75 and older are free. Weekend camping is available visit http://www.crandonoffroad.com/ticketspackages/ to reserve your spot.

 

 

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

 

1979 – STATEZNY TAKES FIRST IN AMERICAN STOCK

Larry Statezny of Argonne, driving in the big American Stock class, was the top money winner in the this year’s World’s Championship Off Road Race,
the Brush Run 101. Statezny finished first in a field of 48 cars in Amercian Stock to win $864, with a time of 3:44:09

 

The top drivers in Amercian Stock split a purse of $1920, and local drivers took all but one of the first five places. Finishing second to Statezny was
Roger Lindsay of Dousman, whose time was 3:45:23 and prize was $480.

 

G.B. Bradley of Crandon was third with a time of 4:00:50 and prize money of $288. G.B. Carter of Crandon took fourth place money, $192, with a time of 4:02:04.

Jim Gunderson of Argonne was fifth; his time was 4:03:10 and prize was $96.

“The Pick-Up Eater”

 

 

 

 

 

 

1978 – OFF ROAD WINNERS SHARE $15,5000 PURSE

Close to 400 drivers competed in the 1978 World’s Championship Off Road Race at Crandon over Labor Day weekend, and winners shared a purse of approximately $15,500.

 

Crandon’s Jack Flannery, winner of the American Stock class in 1977, successfully defended his championship in a field of 52 entries. Flannery took his Ford truck around the course in 3:11:17 to pick up the top prize money for the class. The five American Stock winners shared a $1,456 purse.

 

An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 spectators watched the 1978 Brush Run from vantage points at the fairgrounds and Carter’s Field.

Jack Flannery – 1978

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977 – RAY RITCHIE AND JACK FLANNERY TOP WINNERS IN BRUSH RUN

It began modestly seven years ago with 50 entries and purse of $1500.

 

This year the Brush Run 101, now known official as the “World’s Championship Off-Road Race”, drew 369 entries competing for a purse of $12,475 plus hundreds of dollars in contingencies.

 

Mud dominated the picture in Brush Run 77’, glazing drivers and machines alike as they wound along the tortuous course and sloshed through the rain-swollen waterholes. And as in previous years, the grueling run took its toll. One estimate was that only about one fifth of the starters completed the required laps. All the winners in the cycle classes went the distance, five laps or 100 miles, but in some other classes Sunday, the number of laps was shortened.

 

Estimates of crowd size ranged upwards to 35,000 for the two day Labor Day weekend event here. Crowds jammed the major viewing areas, and during the height of the race activity traffic seeking to enter the Carter’s field area was backed up for miles along Highway 8 and Corning road.

 

Ray Ritchie of Buchannan, Mich., finished first in Class II cycles to take top money for all classes. His time was 3:20:13 for five laps and he collected $1055. Winners in that class shared a purse of $2100.

 

Among the four-wheeled vehicle classes, top prize money went to a local driver, Jack Flannery, in the American Stock Class, Flannery drove a Ford pickup over the course, taking three laps in 2:55:08, and collecting $931.25. Crandon drivers dominated the American Stock class, with Joe Houle taking second, Leon Eaves third, and Bob Conn fifth, to finish in the money.

 

Guy Biggs from San Diego, Calif., was the competitor who traveled the greatest distance to enter this year’s Brush Run. Other entries came from all over Wisconsin and neighboring states of Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan.

 

In addition to the purse, contingencies were received from the following: Ison Auto, Dayco, Hodaka, Bultaco, Champion, AP Exhaust, Phils Inc., DynaMotive, Amsoil, Sportsman Bar and Guy Briggs.

 

The sponsoring organization, Wolfhead Sportsmen Club, called this year’s race a “huge success due to the cooperation of many clubs, organizations, police department and the sheriff’s office.”

 

The added that they are already looking ahead to next year, planning new routes an extensive repair on old loops, the Sunday night trophy part, which was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and Oneida Liquor, was well attended by the racers and pit crews and plans are to continue this in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1976 – BRUSH RUN 101 GETS CERTIFIED WITH REGISTERED TRADEMARK

With the 1975 race in the books and the 76 race on the horizon, the representatives of the sponsoring organization, The Woldfhead Sportsmen Club, received their certification from Washington, D.C. now officially designating the race with the registered trademark “World’s Championship Off-Road Race.”

 

They came from as far away as Whitefish, MT., and San Jose, CA., this year to test their driving skills and vehicles on the grueling course call the Brush Run 101, vying for a purse and contingencies of more than $20,000.

 

They came in record numbers, too – a total of 401 entries were recorded in the World’s Championship Off-Road Race this Labor Day weekend.

 

An estimated crowd of 35,000 spectators viewed the two days of racing from such vantage points in Carter’s Field and the Milwaukee Loop. The course was a rugged as usual, but because of the long dry summer the waterholes had to be given a boost to fill in where Mother Nature didn’t provide, said the sponsoring Wolfhead Sportsmen Club.

 

Fastest cycle time this year was recorded by Gary Slack of Canton, IL., who took the four laps in 2:31:09, in the open cycle class, Bob Carter of Crandon took the American Stock class with 2:01:35 for two laps. Carter was also top money winner this year; American Stock had 50 entries. Best time in Foreign Stock, which ran four laps, was recorded by Dave Skramstad of Minnetonka, MN., with a time of 3:11:38, while Scott Taylor was the winner of the class for Single Seat Buggy under 40 h.p.

 

Wolfhead members Gary Cyrus, Bob Carter and G.B. Bradley receive registered trade mark certificate from Washington D.C.

 

Scott Taylor – winner of the Single Seat Buggy under 40 h.p.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1975 – 101 WINNERS SHARE PURSE OF $10,000

After a dry summer, the rains fell just in time to fill the mudholes for this year’s running of the Brush Run 101, World’s Championship Off-Road race.

 

Drivers faced a real challenge as they would over the muddy course, and as usual about 2/3 of the starters were left along the route in various stages of mechanical breakdowns. Total entries for the two days of racing were 346, and winners shared a $10,000 purse plus about $1,000 in contingencies.

 

Of those who did finish, best overall time for the four-lap course was recorded by Jeff Smith of Duluth, MN., who powered a CAN-AM cycle to victory in Class II, 250cc bikes, in 2:50:05. Smith has an impressive record of victories dating back to his youth in England. He collected $412.50 for his win, in a class that had 55 entries.

 

Best time for the four-wheeled brush-runners was Bob Warren’s 3:01:39. He won $199.50 as first place money in Class 10, single seat over 40 hp. Warren, who hails from Morton Grove, Ill., is a repeat winner whose name is well-known to Brush Run fans.

 

Another repeat winner was Crandon’s own Bobby Carter, who took American Stock Class 5, by finishing in 2:15:43. American Stock entries were required to take only two laps. Bobby and his co-driver Bob Shepherd of Green Bay collected $285 for their American Stock win. Carter and Shepherd were also first in Class 8, front engine dune buggies, a four-lap event. They covered the course in 5:26:45 to win top money of $126 in that class which had 12 entries. Bobby Carter will also be awarded the high point trophy, sponsored by Crandon National Bank.

 

Crowds estimated at between 12,000 and 15,000 watched the two days of racing from various vantage points along the course. A favorite spot was the mudhole at Carter’s Field where wall-to-wall people jammed the hillside to see drivers take the muddy plunge through that particular hazard.

 

Mel Freimuth, Crandon, who was the oldest driver entered in the race, took third place in single seat, 40hp and under.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1974 -TOP BRUSH RUN MONEY GOES TO JERRY BLASZEK

Driving a Yamaha in Class II (cycles 126-250cc) Jerry Blaszek of Green Bay was the winner of the 5th Brush Run 101 in 1974! There were 71 entries in his class, which would become the largest field yet! The grand purse was $532.50. His time was 2:01:51.

Top money winner amongst the four vehicle classes was Bob Fields of Elk Grove, Illinois with co-driver Ed Wuytack. Driving a Panzer and finishing with a time of 2:44:54, the two won $346.50 in the Rear Engine Dune Buggy class, which had 33 entries.

The high-point trophy was won by Bobby Carter of Crandon. This award was based on the greatest accumulation of points over the weekend. Carter won first in American Stock and third in Front Engine Dune Buggy.

The 4×4 and Rear Engine Buggy classes went four laps; the Cycles, Single Seat and Foreign Stock took three laps and the American Stock totaled two laps.

Winners in nine classes of racing shared a total purse of $7,695.00. Five places were paid in each event. In Class X, which was dubbed as the “Grandpa race” and was for cycles with drivers over 40 years of age, a trophy was given, but there was no cash prize.

Winner of Class I, Cycles 0-125cc, was John Young of Barrington, Illinois. There were 34 entries and winners shared a purse of $850. Young’s winning time with a Can-Am was 2:05:42.

Winner of Class II, already mentioned, was Jerry Blaszek of Green Bay. Seventy-one entries made this the largest class and winners shared $1,775.00.

With 30 entries in Class III,  Cycles of 251cc and up, the winner was Gene Ritchie of Buchanan, Michigan piloting a Malco. Ritchie and John Graves would tie with a winning time of 2:00:13, in which the winner, Ritchie, would be determined by the flip of a coin. The winners would share a $650.00 purse.

Bob Carter of Crandon, driving a Chevy won the American Stock Class IV, with a time of 2:04:03. There were 26 entries in the class, with winners sharing a $650.00 purse as well.

Bob Warren of Morton Grove, Illinois and co-drive Ken Pobloska Jr., won first in Class V, Foreign Stock. They drove a VW, and recorded a time of 2:17:31. There were 22 entries in the class with a purse amounting to $550.00.

Ken Perry of Crandon took first place in Class VI, Front Engine Buggy. Ken and his co-driver, Rusty Bowling of Laona, Wisconsin finished in 4:42:00. There were seven entries in the class, which allowed the winners to share a $245.00 purse.

Geoffrey Dorr and Dave Hanson of Rockford, Illinois, driving a Jeep took home first in Class VIII, Four Wheel Drive, with a time of 3:07:08. Winners in this class would share the second largest purse, $1,015.00.

In the Single Occupant Dune Buggy class, Class IX, Bob Leonard of Northbrook Illinois, with a time of 1:54:31 would be named the winner. Totaling a purse of $805.00, the top winners out of 23 entries would take home a share.

An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 spectators watched the weekend races from vantage points at the fairgrounds, at Carter’s field and at many other points along the race course.

Race officials noted there were a number of minor mishaps and injuries during the race, but no serious injures were reported.

 

 

 

Race Results (1974)

1973 -“THE GOLD RUSH OF WISCONSIN”

Mother Nature provided the trees and boulders, but the Weatherman threw in a few lumps for good measure at the 1973 Brush Run 101 World Championship race. Two days of heavy rain preceded the weekend of off-road racing, turning an already challenging course into a morass of mud and waterholes.

Undaunted, 221 drivers registered for the races and those who finished successfully shared a purse of $6,111.00. Racers came from all different points in Wisconsin as well as surrounding states to test their vehicles and driving skill against the tortures of the Brush Run course. An estimated 5,000 fans were on hand at the various spectator points to cheer on their favorites!

The best time for cars in the race was recorded by the winner of Class VII, rear engine Buggies, Bob Warren of Morton Grove, Illinois,  piloting a Chenowth ran the course in 2 hours, 20 minutes and 58 seconds. There were 37 entries in Class VII, with a purse of $1,195.00

Leading time in the motorcycle classes were John Graves of Buchanan, Michigan, driving a Yamaha in Class 3 (251 cc & up). His time was 2 hours, 42 minutes and 27 seconds.

 

 

 

1972 BRUSH RUN WINNERS SHARE GLORY AND $5,000 PURSE

Nearly doubling in size every year, the Brush Run 101 continues to grow. The Wolfhead Sportsman’s Club could never begin to sponsor a race of this magnitude by itself. Having volunteers come from all over the country in addition to the locals, the 1972 race had over 125 volunteers working throughout the race course.

Co-race directors, Jim Conway and Gary Cyrus, gave the okay for the green flag to drop early Saturday morning. Of the 183 machines that took the starting line, only 61 would finish the race. The total purse was slightly over $5,000 with the prizes given by Air Tight Sealer of El Paso, Texas and four certificates worth $100 donated by the Jeep Distributor of Minnesota.  Fred Holms of Crandon won the sportsmanship award.


1971 -THERE WERE MANY WHO STARTED, BUT FEW WHO FINISHED

There were many who started, but few who finished. That pretty much sums up the 1971 Brush Run 101. After the first year, many thought they knew the rutted trails and brush turns well, but what they didn’t know was that the boys from the south were coming and they were bringing speed.

Two days of Brush Run racing began on Saturday when the cycles took to the rugged course. A total of 39 bikes started, but after two laps only 20 were still in the race. Transmission trouble and blown tires took their toll on cycles in the first three laps. The average time per lap for the motorcycles was 57 minutes. The big race on Sunday for cars, dune buggies and 4-wheel drives alike had 79 starters, but only 15 would pave their way across the finish line.

Of those who did complete the four 25 1/4-mile laps through some of the roughest country Forest County had to offer, Louis Flohr of Rockford, Illinois and partner Geoffrey Dorr made it in the best time for 4-wheeled vehicles, four hours, five minutes and 30 seconds. Flohr and Dorr piloted their Chevrolet V8 Jeep around the course in record time, nosing out their nearest competitor by more than two minutes. The class in which they competed, IV, was made up of 4-wheel drive vehicles and dune buggies. 

“Drudgery is working your fingers to the bone for money, while a hobby is doing it for nothing”

Carter’s Field Mud Hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1970 -THE YEAR IT ALL BEGAN

January 7, 2019
Like many great things, the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway is a phenomenon with deep -but highly organic roots. The entire Midwest off-road movement that the tiny town of Crandon, Wisconsin birthed, did not follow some carefully calculated path to greatness. Rather, it came from a television program filmed thousands of miles away in a remote, largely unknown part of Mexico known as Baja.

In 1968, legendary action sports film pioneer Bruce Brown of Endless Summer and On Any Sunday fame convinced ABC Sports producers that a new sport and race, the NORRA Mexican 1000 desert rally, would be an ideal subject for the network’s hugely popular Wide World of Sports and its millions of weekly viewers.

Wanting to experience what they saw on television, by September 6, 1970 the Crandon Jaycees organized the inaugural Crandon Brush Run 101. Led by Jaycee President Roland Yocum and roughly 150 volunteers, nearly 50 dune buggies, modified sedans, trucks and motorcycles descended upon the Forest County Fairgrounds.

There was, of course, not a single cactus, dry lakebed, silt bed, or Baja taco stand to be found -not within 1000 miles in any direction.

Nonetheless, the Brush Run and its 101 miles snaked through a heavily wooded 25 1/4-mile race course that included a muddy swamp near a place called Carter’s Field. A last-minute newspaper plea by Yocum to assemble the volunteers needed had worked, and by race time the first race in Crandon, Wisconsin was ready for the green flag.

Two young men from Chicago piloted a dune buggy over tricky terrain to victory in the Open Division of the first annual Brush Run 101. Jim Zbella and Wally Schauer crossed the finish line after a grueling 3 hours, 2 minutes and 15 seconds of some of the toughest off-the-road vehicle racing imaginable. The two men collected $500 for their first place finish.

In spite of overcast skies and intermittent drizzle throughout the day, a large crowd gather at the fairgrounds to watch the racers begin the first of four laps around the 25 1/4-mile course. Many stayed around to hear on the spot reports from the various checkpoints, and of course, to cheer on their favorites across the finish line hours later.

The Original Brush Run 101 Course
Original Winners, 1970 Brush Run 101: Jim Zbella & Wallt Schauer; Mike Bettis & Robert Der in the 2 bike classes.

CRANDON INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY EMBARKS ON HISTORIC ANNIVERSARY

50 YEARS IN THE MAKING

 

CRANDON, WI. – NOV 26TH. – Few would of have thought in 1970 that the community of Crandon Wisconsin would someday be celebrating fifty years of off-road championship racing. Only through the dreams, hard work and dedication of so many individuals does it make it possible for this monumental milestone to become a reality. 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary for the holy ground of off-road racing.

 

CRANDON INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY PHOTO

 

From the humble beginnings that began as idea from the local Jaycees, who had seen coverage of the Baja 1000 on TV in 1968, the Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races® have become an institution for the loyal fans who make the trek to the Northern Woods of Forest County Wisconsin every year.

The original Brush Run 101 course layout was through the wooded trails making roughly a twenty-five mile course. Competitors completed the loop four times making the full length almost 101 miles in just about anything with a motor. Assembled in barns and garages, from Mustangs to Pintos and anything in between, the race machines were built from the blood and sweat of men who had nothing to prove to anyone, but to challenge man and machine and conquer the demanding terrain of the Northern woods.

As they often say, “Build it and they will come.”, and come they did, returning year-after-year to once again compete on Mother Nature’s stage.  Through the swamp and into Pitts Field, around the corner and through the woods (and not to Grandma’s house), only the strong would survive the original course, which was utilized during the early years of the Brush Run races.  As the needs for the race changed, Crandon officials made the decision to move the race to a new location in 1984 and built a permanent facility for the World Championship Off-Road Races®.

 

 

 

CRANDON INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY PHOTO

 

As the sport has evolved over the years, so has the facility. Carved into the landscape of what was once a local dairy farm, Crandon International Raceway has become a premier venue that boasts almost 400 acres of land, accommodates nearly 50,000 fans with more than 2,000 permanent camp sites, a pit area for hundreds of competitors, permanent Grandstands, a music stage and more.

Dedicated fans and drivers make Crandon their home each year for the long Labor Day weekend for the traditional gathering of family and friends, parades, live music and of course, the intense off-road racing,  to yet again, embrace the “Crandon Experience.”

Finding the words to describe what it means to go to Crandon for the Labor Day weekend championships to someone who has never been there, it seems is almost impossible. It edges on the borderline of indescribable, it has to be experienced, words simply do not justify.  As Crandon International Raceway embarks on their 50th Anniversary, Crandon officials are planning five days of activities, entertainment and racing for the fans and drivers bringing the “Crandon Experience” to an entirely new level.

 

 

MIKE ROTH PHOTO

 

Activities for the weekend will include the rare opportunity for anyone with a 4 wheel drive vehicle to drive the original Brush Run 101 course to be held on Wednesday of Labor Day weekend. Crandon President Cliff Flannery explained “The chance for the fans to drive and experience the original course will be a dream come true for many of the longtime fans of Crandon.”  The event will begin at the Crandon Fair Grounds just as it did in 1970 and run through the full course with lunch provided at the end of the ride.

Racing action will bring to the stage not only the current PRO divisions that race in the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League and the MOOR Sportsman divisions, but for a special encore appearance, the “Good Old Boys” from the past will resurrect their 1970’s machines from the fields and barns to once again to conquer the World Championship Off-Road Races® and the Northern Wisconsin terrain.

The 50th Anniversary will also notch an “X” in the box for a record setting purse for the World Championships, with over $200,000 in cash and prizes to be awarded to the drivers, it will be the highest ever purse paid in short course off-road history.

 

 

 

Through the coming months more details will be announced regarding live entertainment, race schedules and more. Watch Social Media channels for a chance to win prizes and giveaways. Campsites will fill up quickly, be sure to reserve yours soon to ensure your chance to experience this epic event in short course off-road racing history.

Anyone who purchase tickets to the Forest County Potowatami Brush Run races in June and tickets for the World Championship Off-Road Races® will automatically have their campsite(s) reserved for both races at a discounted price, campsites for both events can purchased January 1st with campsites for the individual events on sale February 1st.

Soon, it will be “Race time in Crandon!”

 

 

 

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