March 2018 saw major changes in short Course Racing
Early in March of 2018 a press release informed race fans that three major Midwest tracks withdrew from The Off Road Championship TORC. This set in motion for the unification of America’s Short Course racing series. Within a few days it was announced that Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League LOMSCL was formed and became part of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series LOORRS. To heighten the action packed excitement of unification it was announced that the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, were proud to announce the first-ever short course unification race, which would pit the drivers of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series against the drivers of the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League. This event was set to take place at the, Lucas Oil Speedway, in Wheatland, MO, on the weekend of June 29-30, 2019, offering racers a dual points race for the two series. “This is something we’ve been looking forward to: west versus Midwest; it’s something we haven’t had in a long time,” says Lucas Oil Off Road Series Director Bill Smith.
A press release from Crandon made the with-drawl from TORC official:
CRANDON, Wisconsin (March 06, 2018) Citing the need to ensure the future of short-course off-road racing in the American Midwest, Crandon International Raceway, Bark River and ERX Motor Park today announced their immediate withdrawal from “The Off Road Racing Championship” (TORC). In addition, the three purpose-built facilities announced that planning is underway for a five-weekend championship race series that will incorporate both traditional PRO and Sportsman truck, buggy and UTV categories as well as Crandon’s 49th annual Labor Day weekend World Championship/World Cup races.
“We very much appreciate the effort that the TORC ownership group has put into the series over the past two seasons,” explained Crandon President Cliff Flannery. “Our group of Midwest track owners invested a great deal of time, energy and patience in hopes of helping the TORC series return to a top-tier entertainment product. Unfortunately, recent business developments dictate that as a group we must take a different direction in moving toward the future.”
Idea about new racing series with 5 weekend-races on three raceways
While the group is engaged in detailed discussions for the 2018 season, one primary objective in moving forward is to execute a five-weekend championship that will see two events at Wisconsin’s Crandon International Raceway, two at Minnesota’s ERX and one at Michigan’s Bark River International Raceway. The 2018 championship is expected to include all current PRO and Sportsman classes to be run under existing rules and technical specifications.
All three tracks offer fans and racers purpose-built facilities, along with a dedicated fan base that includes the sport’s largest single weekend – Labor Day weekend’s 49th annual Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races(R). Last year the event saw a record crowd of 54,404 guests take over Crandon’s 400 acres.
The Crandon World Cup is part of the Crandon World Championship Off-Road Race weekend that comprised 29 races in 2017, including a complete slate of PRO and Sportsman classes. Coveted Crandon World Championship titles and custom rings were presented to all PRO and Sportsman winners.
The Midwest track owners promise to release additional championship information, as well as a finalized 2018 season schedule and more, as soon as possible. “For all of us, the bottom line for 2018 is that there will be top notch PRO and Sportsman short-course off-road racing in the Midwest,” concluded Flannery. “While this season is very important, the overall direction the sport takes for the immediate and long term future will be crucial for our collective success. We ask that our racers, fans and corporate partners grant us a bit of patience in bringing all the pieces together.”
Another release from Crandon further backed up their support of the unification of short course:
CRANDON, Wisconsin (March 22, 2018): For the first time in a decade, the visceral motorsport of short course racing will, once again, be unified – thanks to a newly completed partnership with Lucas Oil and a group of Midwest racing tracks that include: Crandon International Raceway (Wisconsin), Bark River International Raceway (Michigan), and ERX Motor Park (near Minneapolis)
“All of us in the short course world have worked tirelessly over the past 10 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.
The long-term agreement was created to unify the sport on a national level over the course of the next two seasons and into the future. Today’s announcement is based upon the strengths, history and unique aspects of a form of motorsport that has deep roots in both the American west coast and Midwest. Short course racing began in the fall of 1970 in the tiny north woods town of Crandon, Wisconsin.
“We have been involved with this sport longer than anybody, but it was finally the right time to come together and work in one unified direction,” observed Crandon International Raceway President Cliff Flannery. “History is a great teacher. No major form of motorsports has operated successfully with two or more groups working against each other for racers, sponsors, fans or attention. Together with Lucas Oil, our goal is to bring racing fans the best athletes and highest level of competition at the biggest venues for years to come.”
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 rescheduled for June 15th – 17th. The competitors then travel over to the Twin Cities Takedown at ERX on July 13th – 15th before heading over to the Bark River International Raceway for the August 10th – 12th for the 43rd Bark River Off Road Rumble in the U.P. 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 – Sept. 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.”
The new venture also incorporates an extensive broadcast and online streaming package for Midwest races and corporate partners that includes the world-class Lucas Oil Production Studio team responsible for all of the Lucas Oil TV programming. PRO category racers can look forward to a total of 16 one hour broadcast shows on MAVTV (with multiple showings) that are comprised of four one hour shows – per race weekend. In addition, broadcast quality live streaming will cover approximately five hours of PRO and Sportsman categories – per race day – to be distributed internationally – via Lucas Oil Racing TV (LORTV).
“While we represent the newest purpose-built venue in short course racing, the spirit of cooperation between the Lucas Oil group and the Midwest tracks is the most positive development yet in helping us reach ERX’s full potential,” explained President Chris Carlson. “We are within an hour’s drive of a huge population base, located in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. I am confident that bringing the best teams, competition and exposure – via our new partnership with Lucas Oil – will drive our future success.”
Lucas Oil and the award winning Lucas Oil Studios, along with the three Midwest track management groups, are working diligently on all of the logistics and as many details as possible. The details will be released as they become available over the coming days and weeks – leading up to each of the four scheduled weekends.
“We are working to finalize all of the preliminary plans,” stated Ritchie Lewis of Lucas Oil. “This all came about very quickly and with a tremendous amount of welcomed cooperation between Lucas Oil, Crandon, Bark River and ERX. From the moment we were notified, our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that we do our part in keeping short course racing alive and well in the Midwest. We are excited to work with the Sportsman and Pro teams in a manner that does not prevent anyone from racing. We want every short course competitor in the country to feel welcome and come out and support these tracks and have a good time while racing under the Lucas Oil banner.”
To further excite the unification effort LOORRS stated:
Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
After years of dreaming, short course off-road fans across the country will finally see something they’ve been eager to see for years: a showdown race between the west coast and Midwest drivers of one of the world’s most exciting forms of motorsports. Today, it is with great pleasure that we at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, are proud to announce the first-ever short course unification race, which will pit the drivers of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series against the drivers of the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League.
This event will take place at the, Lucas Oil Speedway, in Wheatland, MO,on the weekend of June 29-30, 2019, and will be a dual points race for the two series. “This is something we’ve been looking forward to: west versus Midwest; it’s something we haven’t had in a long time,” says Lucas Oil Off Road Series Director Bill Smith.
Much like the annual Lucas Oil Challenge Cup race, some races in this event will feature a staggered start, with the drivers from the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League, whose rules are a bit more restrictive, getting a head start on those from the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Additionally, all drivers involved will be registered and tech inspected through the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series system, each according to their respective series’ rule book.
When it comes to payout and points, the purse will be funded and paid through Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series funds, and will be based upon each driver’s overall finishing position. However, in an attempt to avoid causing any major points upsets, each driver will score points according to his or her finishing position relative to the other drivers in his or her series. For example, if a Midwest driver wins a race but the next Midwest finisher is fourth, that fourth place driver will score second place points in his or her series, and the second and third place overall finishers in the race will score first and second place points in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Furthermore, a great bonus for all competitors will be an extensive TV package, which will include airings on CBS, CBS Sports Network, and MAVTV- more details on this will be forthcoming. *Not all Classes will be shown on all networks.
Lucas Oil Speedway will be a wonderful backdrop for this entire event. The track itself has a little bit of everything; from high-speed, high-flying sections, to lower speed, more technical areas, this one is a driver’s track, and that makes it a favorite among the drivers. For Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Dan Robinson, it’s the perfect place to host this first-of-its-kind event. “It’s really important to bridge the gap between the two series,” Robinson says, “to bring them together. It’s a clash of the titans, and having it here, at the best meeting point for both the west and Midwest series, right here in America’s heartland, is a very proud and important moment for us.”
Not only is this track itself a very exciting one, but it also boasts many unique amenities that will make this a perfect summer family destination event. The track has recently finished up construction on new, permanent shades, which will now provide full coverage of the entire grandstand seating area. Off the track, the facility has on-site camping with both partial and full hookups, as well as some great ponds for fishing, and there’s also some great golfing to be had nearby. Saturday night will feature a race on the adjoining dirt track (after the off-road races), which those in attendance of the off-road event can also attend with the same ticket. While the dirt track race is going on, additional amenities like the Diamond Bar and the Track Treasures Gift Shop, as well as the Vendor Midway, will also be open, giving those in attendance even more to pore over. Moreover, both days will allow fans to test their own driving skills on the Slick Track, a go-kart track with both single and two-seat karts; at just $5 per race, it’s a great place for fans to race too. More details on this event will be available soon, including ticket pricing, so stay tuned to pick up the latest details.
The entire facility is beautiful, and the joining of these two series will make for an event that will certainly be a must-see, so start making your plans now to join us for this very exciting event next summer!
With the new series unification rule changes were made to accommodate existing machinery.
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, in continuing efforts to strive for more competitive and entertaining racing in 2019, is going to allow Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League drivers to use their spec 410-cubic inch motor to compete in Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series events in 2019.
Bill Smith, Series Director for both series, said the goal is to provide the LOMSCL drivers with a formula that will balance the two different motor rules that will be equally competitive for points, wins and prize money in LOORRS while providing great entertainment for the fans.
“We’ve given a lot of thought to this rule change and we believe this is another step toward providing the LOMSCL drivers with a spec 410 motor a chance to compete in more races and on equal footing, with the 2019 fuel injected motors, which also is a win for our fans in terms of additional close competition,” Smith said.
Full 2019 schedules for both series recently were unveiled with the intent of giving drivers more of an opportunity to compete on both circuits. The LOORRS opens March 16 at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California. The LOMSCL gets going June 15-16 at Crandon International Raceway in Crandon, Wisconsin.
The new rules: A. Cup-Configuration races:
- When racing similar vehicles together with differences in the competition balance for equipment LOORRS may start these races in a staggered standing start style configuration.
- All staggered start races will be separated by distance or time determined by the Competition director and at LOORRS sole discretion. Separation for initial starts will determined before the start of the event.
- If there is a full course caution on the first lap there may be a full restart. There will only be one attempt at a full restart
- Restarts will also be done by standing re-start at the flag line with the first group stopped at the end of the start zone. Second or third groups will start behind the first group determined by the time gap from the leader of each respective group from the most prior green flag lap line crossing. All restarts will be called over the raceceiver by the Competition Director only and separate for each group based on the time gap needed to maintain separation of the groups
- Any competitor in one Group that is passed by the leader of another Group is now part of that group and will remain in the physical position in line with the group the competitor is mixed into for any restarts.
- There may not be a competition caution at the midway point in any Cup-Configuration races and it will be at LOORRS sole discretion to use a competition caution or not.
- Each class will still qualify for starting position and normal inversion procedures will be used for each class of vehicle. Some similar vehicles may qualify in a single group or separate at LOORRS sole discretion.
So working together the two race organizations were ready to put on their first combined event. However, just one month before the match race pitting West Coast and Midwest drivers on the same racecourse Mother Nature caused LOORRS to send out a media release.
A quick update about Wheatland… the Lucas Oil Speedway facility in Wheatland, MO has suffered pretty severe damage that we will not be able to sufficiently repair in time for the scheduled Off Road race at the end of June. The event will not be held at Wheatland.
We are currently looking in to other venues to hold the same event on the same dates. It will still be a Saturday/Sunday two day event, the same as it was scheduled for Wheatland. However, the location will change. We have not solidified the location just yet, but we hope to be able to announce the new location in the next couple of days.
We sincerely appreciate your patience. As you can imagine, this has been an unexpected challenge and we are working diligently to make an alternative plan for the race weekend. We will keep you updated as soon as any further information is available.
May 31 2019 another update from LOORRS:
Thank you for your patience while we sorted through the best possible options following the devastation in Wheatland, MO. With the recent storm damage suffered at Lucas Oil Speedway, we were forced to make changes in the race schedule in order to allow the speedway the time it needs to clean up and rebuild the facility.
With sincerest regret, we must cancel the Dual Points Race that was originally scheduled for June 29th and 30th.
See below for rescheduled dates for the LOORRS series. We will continue to run the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) and the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League (LOMSCL) independently, with each of their respective schedules.
After looking at many different options, below is the best possible solution we have for making up the rounds we will lose at Wheatland. We feel confident moving forward with this plan:
The LOORRS Series has decided to make both Sparks, Nevada and Glen Helen, California each two-day events.
* Sparks, NV will be Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 NIGHT races.
* Glen Helen, CA will be Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6 DAY races.
The Live stream coverage will transition over to both days at Glen Helen. We will maintain the same number of rounds of racing as well as live stream coverage.
* The Regional event that was originally scheduled to be on the same weekend with Nationals in October at Glen Helen has been rescheduled also. The event will still be held at Glen Helen Raceway, but will now be on Saturday, July 13th, and will be a NIGHT race.
If you already registered online for the Wheatland event, your entry will automatically be rolled over to the Sparks, NV event. If you are not planning to race Sparks, NV please let me know and I will roll it to Glen Helen instead, or refund your entry if needed. A copy of the Event Schedule for Reno is attached.
As for Lucas Oil Speedway, they continue to clean and rebuild the facility with tremendous amounts of support and love from the surrounding communities. Those who were injured during the storm have been medically treated and released back to their homes and families.
We sincerely appreciate all of your kind thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We look forward to getting back to normal as quickly as possible and get ready for the other awesome events that are coming up. Best of luck to those of you who plan to race the first Midwest event at Crandon in a couple of weeks!
2019 UNIFICATION IS UNDONE
Goodbye Midwest Short Course League
Friday Sept 13 2019
Dear Fans, Friends, Racers and Sponsors,
It is with much regret that we must dissolve the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League. Due to operational differences, we have chosen to focus our efforts on the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
Many factors were part of this decision, which does not come lightly, or without fully analyzing all pertinent factors. It’s our belief that a common and focused vision, for the future of short course racing is the best way to provide our partners, racers and fans an exciting and healthy Series for many more years.
The sheer dedication of racers, teams and fans has been tremendous.
The track owners, promoters and their staff, along with their sponsors, have made great contributions in bringing this exciting sport to venues across the Midwest. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
We are proud to have shared the track with some of the most professional teams and avid fans of any division of motorsports, and despite the dissolution of the League, we certainly hope your passion for Short Course Off Road Racing continues, bringing you all many victories in the future.
Once again, thank you to all who participated in the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League. It was a wild, inspirational ride, and we wish great success to our off road racing colleagues and partners.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series will be finishing it’s eleventh successful season with races in Glen Helen, California and Chandler, Arizona. We are planning an even stronger 2020 season; with continued support from our partners we are adding two more rounds of racing and an additional $150,000 to the purse payout for 2020! We will be releasing our 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series schedule very soon.
Bill Smith: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series – Series Director
Midwest tracks form new series
Oct. 25, 2019 a press release announced a new short course racing series called Championship Off-Road.
Officials at the International Series of Champions are pleased to announce the creation of a new short-course, off-road racing series: Championship Off-Road.
After the dissolution of the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League, ISOC began working with leadership from Crandon International Raceway, Bark River Raceway, ERX Motor Park and industry experts to create a unified Midwest racing series.
“We understand the difficulties that lay before us because we’ve been through it,” said ISOC President, Carl Schubitzke. “There are no quick-fix answers, but we know how to build a competent and professional business-model around events that are beneficial to everyone involved. This ten-race series will lay the groundwork for future success and that success starts with the racers. Our mission statement is that we are a racers circuit.”
Based out of Albertville, Minn., ISOC is the ownership group behind the AMSOIL Championship Snocross. ISOC turned the then struggling series into a marketable and entertaining National sport while growing its base of major, national-level sponsors, many of whom have been involved with the company for more than a decade. Championship Off-Road is already proud to announce its new partnership with Dirt City Motorplex. The Lena, WI.
ISOC also owns its own television production company, Long Haul Productions, and has worked hand-in-hand with both Crandon and ERX. They have also worked on other racing projects including; Champ UTV, Pro Watercross World Championship, and the American Rally Association.
“ERX has been working with the team at ISOC for more than ten years, and we have always been impressed with the level of professionalism and integrity they bring to every single event that they are a part of,” said Chris Carlson, Co-Owner of ERX Motor Park. “We are thrilled to be working with ISOC and the newly formed Championship Off-Road, and look forward to doing our part to ensure a strong future for the sport of short-course racing.”
The inaugural season of Championship Off-Road will be highlighted by the current four off-road venues in the Midwest, and include a minimum of five weekends of racing beginning in 2020.
Well there you have it. Unification of the two PRO series was something hoped for well before the country’s 2009 financial break down that then put doubt into the future of Short Course racing. What was hoped for has now dissolved before it really had a chance to see the green flag. The sport has survived other set backs, however, as Crandon International Raceway President Cliff Flannery stated “History is a great teacher. No major form of motorsports has operated successfully with two or more groups working against each other for racers, sponsors, fans or attention.” Hopefully the day will come when operational differences will be resolved and professional Short Course Racing will have a unified World Championship title.