Yokohama and Crandon Raceway partners in celebrating 50 years

Yokohama and Crandon Raceway partners in celebrating 50 years

Off Road

Yokohama and Crandon Raceway partners in celebrating 50 years


Adding another chapter to a growing 50th anniversary success story, Crandon International Raceway has announced a new multi-year partnership with Yokohama as Official Tire of its legendary off-road facility. The agreement begins at next week’s 2019 Crandon Forest County Potawatomi Community Brush Run races and includes the rebranding of the track’s iconic barn as well as other track signage and on-site hospitality.

The new agreement runs through the 2019 and 2020 seasons, including Crandon’s golden anniversary running of the Labor Day weekend World Championship Off-Road Races and World Cup.

Yokohama Tire has forged a winning history in off-road motorsports for decades, a legacy that in recent years has seen a resurgence of the brand via title sponsorship of the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 and Yokohama Sonora Rally as well as producing new, state-of-the-art tires for desert Trophy-Truck racing.

“Yokohama Tire is proud to have finalized our exciting new partnership with iconic Crandon International Raceway,” explained Sr. Director of Product Marketing Fardad Niknam. “Not only is Yokohama placing another significant stake in our future off-road racing activities, but we are doing so at the sport’s most recognized and iconic venues.

“To make things even better, 2019 represents the 50th anniversary of Crandon Raceway and also Yokohama Tire in the United States.”

In addition to its partnership with the largest short-course off-road facility in the world, Yokohama is also supporting several Midwest-based trucks in the rapidly expanding Pro 2 category. Changes to the rules mean that the unlimited two-wheel-drive trucks now must use Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved production tires available to any retail consumer, a transition away from expensive, purpose-built tires of the past.

For the upcoming 2019 Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League season, Yokohama is spotlighting its cutting-edge Geolander M/T G003 tire on several entries including the No. 23 Chevy of veteran racer Kevin Hanegraff and the two Fast Motorsports Group trucks of No. 40 Scott Voge and No. 42 Bob Brand.

The Yokohama flag will also proudly be flown by longtime Crandon fan favorite and 2011 Crandon AMSOIL Cup winner Chad Hord. Although rumored to be “retired” coming into 2019, Hord is set to return for a two-race Crandon effort piloting his No. 9 Yokohama/Ponsse-backed truck recently reworked by veteran crew chief Kyle Greaves.

Popular Crandon champion Chad Hord returns to Pro 2 competition in 2019.

For this year’s 50th anniversary season, Crandon’s iconic red and white barn structure will be retrofit with new Yokohama Tire signage on the exterior, while inside the main area has been upgraded with a professional sound system, multiple new video displays, refreshed decorating and enhanced lighting.

Once one of only two structures found on the vast 265-acre landscape originally called Plumber’s Farm, the large, historic Yokohama barn now serves as Crandon’s legendary landmark. Once home to 59 heads of milk cattle and up to 50 tons of hay before the land was purchased by the Crandon Wolfsman Sportsman Club in 1984, the barn stood through 1998 when the lower portion was turned into the track office, a meeting room, and a special VIP area.

“Since 2016 we have worked hard to grow our corporate partnerships — especially with internationally recognized brands like Yokohama Tire,” explained Crandon President Cliff Flannery. “In today’s environment, hosting world-class events like those at Crandon is much more complicated than even five years ago. This announcement means we must be doing something right, and Yokohama is really working with us to create a real promotional partnership that goes beyond just hanging up some banners.”

Veteran Kevin Hanagraaf flies the Yokohama and Allies of Autism charity colors in the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League series. Image by Scott Behnke.

Unlike every other location in off-road racing, for 50 years CIR has served as a permanent facility now covering 400-plus wooded acres in Northern Wisconsin, with grass fields that can accommodate up to 50,000 fans.

With roots that stretch back to its inaugural running in 1970, this weekend’s Crandon’s Forest County Potawatomi Community “Brush Run” will be the first of two visits by the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League in 2019.

Labor Day weekend 2019 will represent the biggest racing event in Crandon’s long history, with a long list of special happenings and added fan attractions expected to help celebrate the track’s 50th anniversary with “Big House”-style.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, season-long Lucas Oil championships will be decided in both the Pro and Sportsman divisions and MORR Sportsman World Championship rings given out. For the fourth consecutive year, the Labor Day weekend will feature the sport’s most important race day — the annual Crandon World Cup on Sunday, Sept. 1, an event created to showcase the world’s best off-road racers and teams competing for Crandon World Championships in a variety of Pro-level classes and the big Crandon World Cup Pro 2 versus Pro 4 finale.

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