The most anticipated race weekend of the year finally arrived! Racers from across the country made the trek to Wisconsin for the 51st Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races held in Crandon, WI!
It was shaping up to be a busy weekend for the John Holtger Racing Team! John was registered to race in (3) different classes (Pro Lite, Pro Stock SXS, and 450 Mod Kart) throughout the weekend.
The events kicked off on Thursday with practice. John had a good run in all (3) vehicles and was able to grab the fastest time in the 450 Mod Karts, and trailed CJ Greaves in the Pro Stock SXS by only .2 seconds!
Friday started off with the famed Crandon Labor Day Parade, where John debuted his “throwback” Pro Lite body for the Cup Race! It was a great time spent with the fans and all the other racers! After the parade, it was time to get ready for the 450 Mod Kart race! Having had a good run in practice, John was ready to battle it out against the 4 other West Coast drivers in this class. Unfortunately, during the land rush start the engine blew, causing John to end the race as quickly as it began.
Ready for a full day of racing, John qualified Saturday morning and kicked off the Pro races in the Pro Stock SXS Class that afternoon! John qualified 4th, and with the invert was starting on the pole! 33 drivers lined up for the legendary “land rush” start! John came through the hole shot in 2nd and battled with CJ Greaves for the first lap. Falling back to 4th in lap 2, John gained some momentum and made some passes to get back up into the #2 spot. Holding his lines, he battled to the finish line and ended up 2nd!
For the Pro Lite race, John was starting 2nd after the invert. He made it through the hole shot in 3rd against 11 other drivers! The start was ugly, and due to several crashes, they had to do a restart. After a race full of continued crashes and carnage, only 5 drivers finished.
After the team worked endlessly on all (3) vehicles, it was time for Sunday’s Cup Races! Hoping to redeem himself from Friday, John was ready to give it his all in the 450 Mod Kart race. He was running in 3rd to start on a very wet track. After the mandatory caution at the halfway point, John was able to take the lead! Unfortunately, John was plagued once again, and due to more mechanical issues he was not able to finish the race.
The Pro Stock SXS Cup Race was next. John came out of the land rush start running in 5th out of 33 other drivers, but due to a red flag they had to stop and do a restart. John had an issue with his fuel line and had to go into the hot pits to have it fixed while they waited to start back up. Unfortunately, this caused him to go from starting on the pole to starting in the back. Once the race was able to start back up, they only had 6 laps to finish due to time constraints. John raced hard and went from 30th all the way to 14th to finish the race.
The Pro Lite race was the last race of the weekend for John. After an already tough day, he was ready to battle! John came barreling out of the hole shot running in 5th against 11 other trucks. He moved into 4th and held his spot as another truck flipped – almost hitting him and then ended up with a flat tire as they restacked for the caution. John went into the hot pits where the crew changed his tire in record time, and John made it back on the track just as the green flag was dropping! Having to battle his way from the back, John held his lines and made his way through the pack and took home a strong 2nd place finish in the Pro Lite Cup Race!
Overall, this was a great weekend for John and his team! They had some challenges that did not allow John to end up where he hoped, but he still took home some hardware and had a fun time! The points race allowed John to move into the final race weekend in a good spot. John is running 6th place in points in the Pro Stock SXS class, and still running 2nd place in points in the Pro Lite class! The final rounds of Championship Off-Road will be back at Crandon the weekend of September 26th and 27th!