CRANDON, Wis. — Fans packed the main boulevard in downtown Crandon as the Lucas Oil Labor Day parade kicked off the 52nd running of the Fall Crandon Off-Road races.
Race vehicles lined the sides of the streets with drivers interacting with fans. Discussions could be heard about vehicle liveries, technical specs and the off-road lifestyle in general. At high noon, a siren sounded, signaling the start of the parade.
A Crandon fire truck lead local floats and crazy custom-built vehicles with parade participants throwing candy to the kids like it was Halloween. A half-mile line of race vehicles followed as they headed to Crandon Int’al Raceway, a short few miles outside of town.
The sportsman classes were the first to take to the track for a full day of racing. First up are sportsman side-by-sides followed by Ultra4 side-by-side and Ultra4’s Every Man Challenge. The Every Man Challenge cars are OEM vehicles with some modified suspension and performance products. They however must retain much of their original stock components. These are the vehicles typically found at King of the Hammers, a combined rock crawling desert event held in Southern California.
Racing continued with two youth classes which included short course karts and modified karts. Short course karts are powered by small 4-cycle Honda motors. Modified Karts can run any motor but are limited to 450cc. These are basically scaled down versions of the larger pro trucks that will be racing later in the weekend. Over the years many of the current pro drivers have honed their skills in these vehicles.
A light drizzle couldn’t keep fans away when the buggy classes began racing. The diehard fans braved moist conditions while watching 1600cc Volkswagen powered buggies battle it out on the track. The youth were also back with two separate races starting with the Polaris 170 and 570s.
As the sun disappeared and the lights came on, Stock and Super Stock trucks raced into the night. Rules in this class say much of the OEM parts to remain intact with only modified suspension, seats and other required safety gear. Super Stock trucks are afforded a few additional modifications.
The two hundred plus horsepower four-cylinder pro buggy class continued the show for the fans. In the final race of the night, fans stuck it out to watch classic iconic Volkswagens battle on the short-course track in epic fashion. This race did not disappoint.
Saturday’s track action will include the final points championship for the Championship Offroad Racing series. Classes will include pro buggy, pro stock side-by-side, ProMod side-by-side, Pro-Lite and Pro-Spec and high horsepower Pro 2 and Pro 4s.
When the sun goes down the lights come back on for the Ultra4 classes to return to the track in their final points championship of the season. They will be running the full long short course with the addition of a new rock obstacle, that adds to the excitement and challenge.
For additional coverage from Crandon, visit our friends at DirtSportsWorld.com.