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A true sign that summer's here, the racing is getting started at Crandon
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The stars of the TORC Series—led by Wisconsin’s own father/son tandem of Johnny & CJ Greaves—return to Crandon Raceway for the annual running of the Brush Run, including the $25,000 Forest County Potawatomi Community Cup Race Saturday and Sunday.

The races date back 45 years, back to 1970, when the Crandon Area Jaycees and some 150 volunteers, led by President Rolland Yocum, pulled off what was to be called the inaugural Crandon Brush Run 101.

The day began with a breakfast at the high school, with the racers – some 100 of them in dune buggies, modified cars and trucks and motorcycles – taking off from the Forest County Fairgrounds at 1 p.m. Chicago area off-road enthusiasts Wally Schauer and Jim Zbella would win the grueling contest with a time just over three hours.

Not knowing it at the time, the city of Crandon would have written the first chapter of a now 45-year storied history of off-road racing.

“Back then the Jaycees basically just took the Baja racing they saw on TV and re-created it through the woods around Crandon,” current Crandon Raceway President Cliff Flannery said. “It wasn’t until we got bumped from one farmer’s property to another that this short course idea really began to take root.”

And as the name recognition of the drivers grew, including off-road legend Walker Evans, Crandon’s reputation as a big time event caught the attention of television producers—namely ESPN. It got so big they added a second event, a spring race, which officials re-badged as the Brush Run. And in 1989 ESPN would broadcast its first of many Crandon events, the Labor Day contest now being called the “World Championships.”

The two events annually draw in the area of 75,000 fans, infusing an estimated $10.5 million into the local economy. As one small gas station owner put it: “The Crandon races are like our second and third Christmases.” Fans literally come from all over the United States to be part of the off-road happening that is the Brush Run and World Championships. The camping is a festival in and of itself, bringing family and friends back year after year to the same camping spots where the revel in year’s past events while making new friends along the way.

“Everyone at Crandon Raceway is thrilled to be celebrating out 45 year this summer and look forward to seeing everyone out for the Brush Run next weekend,” Flannery said. “We’ve got 650 volunteers that help put on this event and they’ll do everything they can to make sure you have one heck of a time here at Crandon Raceway.”

Gates open at 8 a.m. and fans arriving before 11 a.m. Saturday to purchase a ticket will be entered, at no charge, in the $1,000 Brush Run fan appreciation drawing. After the race action, the Appleton-based band “RPM” will rock the raceway from 8 p.m. to midnight.

For ticket information, including camping, please visit www.crandonoffroad.com


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The Brush Run returns to the Crandon Off-Road Raceway for its 45th year this weekend.
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Phone: 715-623-4191
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Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

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