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.