Crandon, Wis. ~ For the past 54 years, the center of short-course, off-road racing has been held in upstate Wisconsin, in the small, quiet town of Crandon, Wis. World Champions are crowned in Crandon. Points championships are won and lost on the famed track’s final turns. Big paydays and legendary moments are made at the Big House.
All that was in play on Saturday as AMSOIL Championship Off-Road, presented by the U.S. Air Force, held its final, full day of racing of its 2023 season. The Sportsman classes were geared up, ready for the end of a competitive year and the chance to get both a points title and a World Championship ring. The Pro classes still have a whole weekend of racing in Oklahoma later this month, but a win on Saturday is equally as necessary for the points as it is for prestige, as a win at Fall Crandon will be remembered forever.
Greaves Gives Polaris a Podium Sweep at Crandon
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.
Mason, Jr. Ends Greaves Win Pro Stock Win Streak
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.
Pro-AM SxS: 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.
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 SxS: Bryce Carlson and Brayden Kernz had a tight battle for most of the Sportsman SxS race on Saturday and were joined late in the contest by Trent Peetz.
Round 10 winner Carlson and Kernz were out front together when Peetz caught them just before the white flag. Peetz would put pressure on Kernz but could not get around the runner-up before finishing third. Carlson, meanwhile, would stay out front and pick up his second win of the season.
Peetz would also take home the season points title. He entered the day with an 11-point advantage over Lucas Houle. Peetz’s third-place finish and Houle’s 11th would secure the title.
570 SxS: Corbyn Wassenberg turned a seven-point championship lead into a 15-point title by finishing second in Saturday’s 570 SxS race.
Out front, it was a great, late-race effort by Bryce Powers to win his first win of the season. Powers sat third behind Ellah Holtger and Wassenberg until the final turns when the front two cars made contact and opened the door for Powers to get into the lead with one lap left. Round five winner Holtger would drop to third behind Wassenberg.
170/200 SxS: Ryan Deininger needed to make up 14 points to overtake Tanner Thibeault in the 170/200 SxS points race. Deininger did his part. He finished off a weekend sweep and picked up his sixth win of the season. But Thibeault finished third, securing the points title, mainly due to his 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.
Youth SxS: 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: The final rounds of Pro racing will be held on September 23-24 at MidAmerica Outdoors, in Jay, Oklahoma.
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