The biggest weekend in short course off-road racing kicks off today, as Crandon International Raceway’s 49th Annual World Championship Off Road Races officially begin. After Thursday’s practice sessions and Friday morning’s downtown events and Labor Day Parade, the 1600 Buggy class will kick off Friday rounds for 12 of the 15 classes competing for Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League championships this weekend, as well as an appearance by the Ultra4 series.
The last of four events on the MSCL calendar, these final Friday and Saturday rounds will see the inaugural titles handed out for every class. As you’re watching Saturday’s live stream on LucasOilRacing.tv with Jim Beaver on the mic, here are the three biggest storylines to pay attention to:
Will CJ Greaves successfully defend either of his 2017 championships?
Greaves has been the midwest’s off-road wunderkind in recent years, winning multiple consecutive Pro 4 and Pro 2 titles before abandoning the latter in 2017 to win the Pro Stock SXS title. But he’s not leading the points in either of his classes coming into Crandon; he’s nine points behind father Johnny in the Pro 4 standings, and a one-point DNF at ERX Motor Park in July has him third in Pro Stock SXS points, 29 back of Ryan Mulder. That’s the trouble with such a short season: one round can make or break it.
How insane will the next two days of Pro Lite racing be?
No, it’s not the largest of the three Pro truck classes, but for the Pro Lite field to come into the final event of the year this close in points absolutely has the potential for chaos. Cory Winner’s 271 points lead the pack, while three drivers—Cam Reimers, Chad Rayford, and defending class champion Kyle Kleiman—are tied for second, a single point behind him. Cody Kleiman is four points off the lead in fifth. Add in a number of one-off entries to comprise a 16-truck field, and this title chase will be complete anarchy.
Can any one-off racers steal a Midwest Short Course victory and affect the championship standings?
While most of the West Coast invasion will stay focused on Sunday’s Crandon World Cup, a number of big names will run this weekend’s points-paying races as well. Those names include defending Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series champion Kyle LeDuc and Bradley Morris in the Pro 4 class, and 2017 Crandon World Cup winner Ryan Beat in Pro Lite. Even last year’s midwest Pro 2 runner-up and 2012 Dirtsports Driver of the Year, Brad Lovell, will get back behind the wheel after focusing on other programs in 2018.