Greaves Wins Big at Fall Crandon as Sportsman Class Champions Crowned
There’s no place like the Big House. With four days of racing, off-road fans will get their fill of short-course hoopla in Crandon, Wis. It also marks the final weekend of competition for AMSOIL Championship Off-Road, presented by the U.S. Air Force sportsman classes.
Crandon International Raceway, celebrating his 54th year of competition this weekend, hosted the foundation of Champ Off-Road’s future on Thursday and Friday. From 170 SxS’s to Super Stock Trucks, the racing was tight, and the championship implications for Saturday’s Sportsman finale were abundant.
Mason, Jr. Ends Greaves Win Pro Stock Win Streak
CJ Greaves opened the season with a weekend sweep at Antigo and has been looking for his third victory ever since. He earned number three on Saturday, outlasting another pair of Polaris teammates for the victory. Greaves didn’t get ahold of the lead until lap seven when he got around Robert Loire. Greaves held off Loire and Andrew Carlson over the final three laps.
Carlson would finish second, using early race patience before making late moves to put him in contention for a race win. He would cross the line just 3/10ths of a second behind Greaves for second. Loire crossed the line 6/10ths of a second behind Carlson for his sixth podium of the season.
CJ Greaves had a six-race win streak coming into Saturday’s Pro Stock SxS race, and for ten laps, it looked like Lucky number 7 was in his grasp. But luck ran out right before the start of the final lap when Greaves pulled to the high side of the turn in a puff of smoke.
Greaves was ahead of a pack of four cars by more than seven seconds. That pack was very tight, however, and it was led by David Mason, Jr. One round after picking up his first Champ podium, Mason picked up his first Champ win, holding off Josh Luketic at the line by .575 of a second.
It was Luketic’s highest finish of the year. Owen Van Eperen, who started ninth) was only half a second behind the runner-up, finishing on the podium for the fourth time in the last five races.
Forest County Potawatomi Friday Night Thunder
Kolton Krajicek started his rookie season with three straight wins and has rediscovered that early speed with a late-season surge that now includes three wins in the last four races.
Krajicek went wire-to-wire for his sixth win of his rookie campaign. He used clean air to get away from a three-car battle that unfolded behind him. John Kummer started the race in second and sat there through the checkered flag. That was despite heavy pressure from Matt Boerschinger and Bill Berger late in the race.
There was a lot of action leading up to the final turn of Pro-AM SxS, but nothing could overshadow the last 200 feet of Saturday’s contest. Kolton Krajicek was poised to take home his seventh win of the season, but he would do so by the slimmest of margins.
That’s because Tyler Remmereid was digging deep over the last lap and nearly stole the win at the line. Krajicek drifted just wide enough to let Remmereid in, but Krajicek had just enough momentum to take the by less than a tenth of a second.
Boerschinger had his work cut out early, starting seventh but jumping into his final finishing spot of third after a mid-race restart. Berger finished fourth, and the points leader stretched a 16-point lead over Derek Liebergen (7th) into an unofficial 22-point lead heading into championship Saturday.
With Remmereid in second, Kyle Sharkey was all alone in third for this third podium of the season. As for points, Krajicek’s win almost helped his cause, but Bill Berger was the model of consistency all season, finishing with three podiums and a 12-point championship.
Sportsman Was in The Spotlight at Crandon on Friday Night
It will come down the final laps on Saturday for Sportsman SxS supremacy, but neither of the top two in points factored into Friday night’s podium. Brayden Kernz snatched the lead at the mid-point and held off round three winner Ben Heiting until the last lap. Heiting grabbed the lead and finished ahead of Kernz by 7/10ths of a second for the win.
Kernz held on to the runner-up spot, and Ben Berger had an excellent restart, moving from seventh to a final finishing position of third. As for points, leader Trent Peetz finished fifth, and Lucas Houle crossed the line in seventh, making it a nine-point difference heading into Saturday’s finale.
Crandon Youth Cup: Thursday Action
There was plenty of AMSOIL Championship Off-Road action, presented by the U.S. Air Force on Thursday night. Crandon hosted all of the youth class races, which were part of round 11 of the Champ Off-Road championship, with the twelfth and final round scheduled for Saturday
Draxton Szymik is doing everything he can to catch 570 SxS points leader Corbyn Wassenberg, including picking up his first win of the season on Thursday. Szymik started eighth and took the lead with two laps to go for the victory. Szymik also closed the points with Wassenberg, who finished fourth. Ryker Remington started second, and the round eight winner finished second. Kody Krantz earned his first class podium of the season in third place.
Tanner Thibeault came into the weekend with the 170/200 SxS points lead, but Thursday winner Ryan Deninger picked up his fifth win of the season to cut that lead to 14 points heading into the final round. Deninger held off Kody Krantz at the line by 6/10ths of a second for the win. It marked Krantz’s third straight podium finish. Thibeault didn’t drop far, finishing third after driving to his first podium since Dirt City.
Needing to make up 14 points, Deininger did his part. He finished off a weekend sweep and picked up his sixth win of the season. Finishing Third, Thibeault secured the points title, mainly due to two wins and nine podium finishes this season. Axel Deher was wicked quick on Saturday, swapping positions routinely with Thibeault, including a final lap pass for second. It was Deher’s fourth podium finish over the last five races.
It was a weekend sweep for Libby Nielsen, who went wire to wire for her fifth Youth SxS win of the season. Nielsen held off Layne Peterson, who also podiumed on Thursday, for the World Championship win. Ryker Remington got into third on lap seven, helping him secure the points championship. Remington held a 41-point advantage coming into the day, thanks to his six wins in 2023.
Up next for AMSOIL Championship Off-Road, presented by the U.S. Air Force: Crandon International Raceway in Crandon, Wis. All classes of Championship Off-Road Racing will be held Saturday with the Polaris World Championships and Red Bull Cup on Sunday. Sunday is a non-points day.