While it was always designed as a non-denominational event meant to bring all of America’s best off-road racers together, this spring’s unification of short course racing across the country can only serve to benefit the Crandon World Cup/Amsoil Cup over the long term. That’s because, with both regional series now operating under the Lucas Oil banner, you can imagine that it won’t be too hard to convince every major racer in the country to make it a priority to get to Crandon International Raceway on Labor Day weekend. (The fact that next year’s event will mark the 50th anniversary of competition at The Big House can only help, too.)
Since we know that all of the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League racers will be on site already for Sunday’s competition, today’s article focuses mostly on the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series drivers who loaded up after last weekend’s General Tire Utah Off Road Nationals to trek halfway across the country and race on back-to-back weekends. But of course, there’s one notable exception, and that’s who we lead off with:
All-Around: Bryce Menzies
Menzies absolutely dominated last year’s Crandon World Cup, winning all three major races on Sunday: Pro 2, Pro 4, and the Amsoil Cup race that pits both classes against one another. It was a strong way to come back from having to cancel his appearance at Crandon in 2016 due to injury. Well, Menzies is coming off another injury this year, and after losing what looked to be a sure victory at General Tire Vegas to Reno after the 500-mile mark due to mechanical trouble, he’s the hungriest driver in Wisconsin.
Pro 4: RJ Anderson
With Rob MacCachren focused on Pro 2 this season, LOORRS competition has gone the way of a different Rockstar Energy-backed athlete so far in 2018. Anderson’s lead has shrunk to four points over Doug Mittag, but with remarkable consistency and the help of 24 qualifying bonus points, the multi-talented racer has been on top of the Pro 4 standings for most of the year, and is in fact MacCachren’s closest challenger in the Pro 2 class (although he’s 54 points back of the lead there).
Pro 2: Brian Deegan
How fun is it to see Deegan take on Crandon? The Pro Lite championship race winner back in 2011, Deegan made his debut at The Big House in 2009. One of the most popular racers in the sport no matter where he goes, the freestyle motocross legend and X Games gold medalist on both two wheels and four hasn’t lost the competitive fire just because his kids’ careers have taken center stage in his life. In fact, he just won the most recent LOORRS round last Saturday in Utah to jump to fifth in Pro 2 points.
Pro Lite: Ryan Beat
Winning last year’s $10,000 Pro Lite cash bonus at Crandon seems to have spurred Beat into the best season of his career in 2018. The Californian hasn’t missed the top three all season long—even in qualifying! With four wins and a pole in his eight starts so far this season, Beat has a 32-point advantage over Brandon Arthur going into the final four rounds of the LOORRS season. The Midwest Short Course League racers have proven to be evenly matched this year, but they’ll have their work cut out with Beat.