Paul Wolff and Tyler Gibbs took the battle all the way to the finish line during the Ultra4 USA 4900 UTV Open race on Friday night at Crandon Int’l Raceway, but it was the No. 1018 of Wolff who held the advantage at the checkered flag.
Wolff’s margin of victory was 1.838 seconds over Gibbs, who put up a valiant effort in his No. 926 entry.
Jason Soucie completed the podium during Friday night’s opener at the 54th Polaris Crandon World Championships.
As the 4900 UTV Open class ran alongside the 4900 UTV Stock division on Crandon’s renowned short course, there were three more drivers who made their way up to the podium following the event.
Fourteen-year-old Nathan Parker was one of them.
In his first race at the Big House, Parker stunned in the Stock division, picking up the win in his No. 900 vehicle.
“Feels good, considering we didn’t have a good qualifying. We had to start all the way on the back,” Parker said. “Definitely a good confidence booster. I love this track, so I think that really helped. Definitely one of my favorite tracks so far.”
Aaron Lynch came in second, wheeling his No. 113 vehicle. Despite running five laps with a flat tire, Mark McCleary held on for third in his No. 717 entry.
Kyle Chaney dominated the 4900 UTV Pro Mod race, with Mike Park and Travis Zollinger filing in behind.
In the 4800 Legends class, Brent Harrell experienced the race of his life as he conquered a hard-fought battle with Shaun Rajski and emerged from the dust to the steal the Friday Night Thunder trophy. Rajski finished second, with Jeremy Jones coming in third.
Bailey Cole took the checkered in the 4600 Stock/EMC class, with Brexton Glines finishing runner-up.
Third-place Doug Langford had quite the story to tell on the podium, sharing that he lost brakes on lap three and was unable to control his car in the turns. Nonetheless, he was “happy to be here after that kind of problem.”
Friday night was the night for Rick Lavezzo, who stole the spotlight in the 4500 Modified division.
“You hear the fans when you come around the corner (at Crandon),” Lavezzo said. “This is it. This is the pinnacle.”
Cody St. Clair was second in the 4500 Modified class.
The Forest County Potawatomi Friday Night Thunder event was not a points-paying event for the Ultra4 USA series. However, Saturday’s races at the Big House will award points in the East Championship standings.
Jordan Bernloehr enjoyed an emotional moment after winning the Pro Lite Vs. Super Buggy showdown.
“This is a dream. This is my second year in Pro Buggy, or off-road racing. This is all we care about, this is all you work for. My dad does not stop talking about, we want to win Crandon. And we won Crandon!” Bernloehr said.
Ryan Rodriguez played the smart game and took home the trophy in the fan-favorite, bug-bashing Class 11 division.
Watch every minute of this weekend’s off-road action from Crandon LIVE on SPEEDSPORT1.com.