Every Labor Day weekend, the town of Crandon, Wisconsin plays host to the biggest event in short course off-road racing. It’s finally that time again in 2022, as the Polaris Crandon World Championships return to the legendary Crandon International Raceway for the 53rd time starting on Thursday. Four full days of practice, qualifying, and both pro and sportsman racing will include the third season finale of Championship Off-Road Racing, Ultra4’s Crandon Classic event, and Sunday’s independently sanctioned World Championship rounds, all with side-by-side classes involved.
Both of COR’s Pro SXS classes feature championship battles that can be turned on their head in Saturday’s finales. Hamish Kelsey enters the Pro Turbo finale with a 17-point advantage on Kyle Chaney, and Brock Heger boasts 22 points on CJ Greaves in Pro Stock, but both classes are traditionally among the largest in the sport—meaning an unlucky break for either points leader could swing the door wide open for their closest challengers.
Some of the Sportsman classes, which will have points-paying races on both Friday and Saturday, boast even closer battles. The Pro-Am title chase sees Colin Kernz just three points ahead of Bill Berger, but Ryker Remington and Ethan Dresel are in a dead heat atop the 570 class standings. Ben Berger has a 39-point advantage on Riley Marquardt in the Sportsman division and Wyatt Olson is 36 up on Harper Hughes in the 170 youth class, giving both a greater safety net if they should need it over the weekend.
For Ultra4, the Crandon Classic represents the final standalone East division event of 2022, and the ninth of 10 2022 events overall. Ultra4’s SXS class will get its first race of the weekend in on Friday at 6:25PM, after a majority of the COR Sportsman divisions have already run. They’ll also kick off the Saturday night action at 7:15PM local time, just a few hours after the COR finales are complete, with a round on Crandon’s UltraCross course.
Sunday’s World Championships, meanwhile, are the final major races of the year in the Midwest for the Pro divisions. The Lucas Oil Pro Stock SXS World Championship will run at 11:45AM on Sunday, with the Lucas Oil Pro Turbo SXS World Championship following directly after at 12:30PM. Last year, Heger finished ahead of Greaves and Dallas Nord in a 28-entry field for the Pro Stock World Championship, while Owen VanEperen held off Andrew Carlson and Chance Haugen in a battle of 24 Pro Turbos.
Tickets remain available for this weekend’s Polaris Crandon World Championships, with a four-day weekend pass available for $70 and well over 60,000 attendees expected. While the COR and Ultra4 races will have their normal coverage on Friday and Saturday, Sunday’s coverage will stream from the track’s website at CrandonOffRoad.com and across numerous other major industry pages.
Images via Championship Off-Road