When business entrepreneur Jamey Flannery official takes possession of Crandon International Raceway on New Year’s Day, much than the ownership will change. In fact, the entire way the historic racetrack does business will undergo a massive transformation.
Since its inception in 1970, off-road racing in Crandon has operated as a not-for-profit club created to help support many local and regional charities. It has been a highly symbiotic relationship for both sides, offering the 400-plus acre facility access to much needed volunteer labor during world-class race weekends in exchange for year-end financial contributions to a wide variety of local charities.
In fact, the largest purpose-built facility of its kind in the world has contributed millions of dollars in much needed support to the small city of Crandon and surrounding Forest County located deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Crandon International Raceway is comprised of a 1.75-mile short-course off-road track, more than 2,100 designated grass camping sites, a modern grandstand and a hospitality facility, a designated off-road park, corporate hospitality suites, a trap range and a VIP center and office at the location’s original barn. The track plays host to two major race events each year, including June’s Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run and Labor Day’s massive Polaris World Championship Off-Road Races and Crandon World Cup – an event which saw a record crowd of just over 70,000 people at its 50th anniversary running in 2019. Both the new Champ Off-Road and Ultra4 series are scheduled to run at the track as part of their 2021 race seasons.
Jamey Flannery’s vision for the future of Crandon International Raceway may be operationally different than the past, but his already well documented interest in helping locally based community programs will remain a cornerstone in moving forward.
“It’s important to honor the service of so many people and organizations that contributed to this track by carrying things forward in the future,” Flannery explained. “There will still be opportunity for volunteer organizations here at the track, and there always will be as far as I’m concerned.”
At the recent 27th Forest County Potawatomi race weekend the track and Jamey Flannery Trucking combined forces to contribute two new drug K9s to the Forest County Sheriff’s office. Flannery was also the driving force in kick-start the first annual “Crandon Rocks” concert with Kid Rock at the tracks 50th anniversary race in 2019.
Racing at Crandon began under the umbrella of the original “Wolfheads Sportsmen Club” umbrella, also a non-profit entity. In 1984 the group moved into its present home on US Highway 8, eventually reforming under the official name of Crandon International Off-Road Raceway Association, Inc.
Following Wisconsin state law and the bylaws stated in official documents, the dissolution of a 501 (c) (3) organization requires that Crandon pay all outstanding accounts payable and other debt before distributing the remaining balance to a list of similar local organizations approved by the Forest County Circuit Court. The current intention by Crandon International’s Board of Directors and President Cliff Flannery is that these contributions will be disbursed primarily in Crandon and the immediate surrounding area.
The evening also features the distribution of tens of thousands of dollars in financial support to worthy groups. While the overall structure of the track’s operation will change on January 1, 2021, both Jamey Flannery and the outgoing members of Crandon’s Board of Directors are united in a mindset that giving back to the community remains an important chapter to the overall story of Crandon International Raceway.
Currently the 28th annual Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run weekend is scheduled for June 25-27, 2021 and the Polaris Crandon World Championships will take place September 3-5, 2021.