The Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series is primarily a west coast thing, specifically California. With the recent shakeup with the TORC series, something was bound to change. However, this just changed thanks to a new partnership with Lucas Oil and a group of Midwest racing tracks. These tracks include Bark River International Raceway (Michigan), ERX Motor Park (Minnesota), and Crandon International Raceway (Wisconsin). This news might seem like relatively unimportant, but by reuniting short-course racing, the entire sport just reached new heights.
“All of us in the short course world have worked tirelessly over the past ten years to promote the sport and help it to reach its full potential,” explained Lucas Oil Executive Vice President Bob Patison. “This expansion is not only exciting for all sides, but it also incorporates big events at proven venues. The objective is to create one viable national touring series for the PRO categories in the next year or two, but we also want to address the economic realities of short course racing by examining a blended rules package and lowering operating costs in the near future.”
For 2018, this new partnership will kick-off with the four-weekend championship events, for both the PRO and Sportsman categories, which will compete this season under existing Midwest rules packages. Crandon International Raceway will host the season opener at the 25th Anniversary Forest County Potawatomi Community Brush Run on June 15th-17th. The competitors then travel over to the 3rd Annual Off Road Race at ERX on July 13th-15th then head over to the Bark River International Raceway for the August 10th-12th for the 43rd Bark River Off Road Rumble in the UP. The season will then conclude at the 49th Annual World Championship Off Road Race and the Crandon World Cup/AMSOIL Cup held at Crandon International Raceway, August 31st – September 2nd.
“Bark River is ecstatic to help originate the collaboration between the Midwest tracks and Lucas Oil. To create our own Midwest championship shows racers, fans and partners that we are positioning ourselves, in collaboration with our peers, to build and expand short course racing not only now, but for years to come,” comments Courtney Prost, Director of Development, Bark River International Raceway. “We have always had the best interest of racing in mind while taking these steps. In doing so, we are confident that we will be able to grow the number of athletes and level of competition we are bringing to Bark River, with the Lucas Oil group.”
Interestingly enough, short course racing began in Crandon, Wisconsin, all the way back in 1970. The reunification brings the sport full-circle back to its roots. The long-term agreement will bring short course racing to the Midwest for the next two years, and hopefully much further after that. More details will be released as they become available leading up to the schedule Midwest events. “We are working to finalize all of the preliminary plans,” said Ritchie Lewis of Lucas Oil. What do you think about the new short-course series in the midwest? Tell us in the comments below!