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Big off-road racing event looks to be headed to Antigo

January 21, 2021

Author:  
Scott Walbeck

Source:  
Antigo Daily Journal

The race track at the Langlade County Fairgrounds certainly has a long and storied history.

Now thanks to the efforts of the Antigo Lions Club and others, a premier off-road racing event looks to be headed to Antigo this summer.

Jamey Flannery, who owns and operates the Crandon International Raceway, overseeing the hugely successful Crandon Brush Run off-road event held each September at the location, plans to bring the circuit to Antigo for what promises to be a big attraction the first weekend in June.

“In the 70s, 80s and 90s my dad was very involved in off-road racing and we raced a lot in Antigo,” he explained. “This facility means a lot to me, I love the people here, the community is great and it’s very important to me to help grow this sport and take it to the next level.”

Flannery last raced in Antigo in 1999. And while the past few years have seen the occasional race at the facility, most notably the IRA Sprint Cars, it’s an opportunity, even if for a lone weekend, to bring a taste of the track’s glory years back to race fans in the area.

“Sprint cars, late models, they’ve had a lot of racing here,” Flannery said. “The one thing about the facility that’s great is the community gets behind it, they support it. They have nice bleachers, nice clay on the track. The power and the infrastructure is here, we’re not starting from ground zero, we have 60 percent of it put together already, now it’s to get the sponsors, the community excited and bring the show to Antigo.”

The event will be sanctioned the same as the Crandon event and feature many of the same drivers. Flannery and Keagan Kincaid are even forming a Hendrick Motorsports racing team and both will compete. Other big names from across the country are expected, including the West Coast.

Flannery is optimistic the nationally known Lucas Oil brand may come on board, perhaps even in the form of television package, but nothing is nailed down as of yet.

The current off-road circuit features five races. Antigo will make it six and if Lucas Oil joins, a seventh race is in the works for the Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri.

“One of the big things I wanted to do by sanctioning the race in Antigo is to show growth for our series,” Flannery added. “Other places are struggling, but we want to show growth by adding two races.”

Amsoil is another name mentioned as a potential series sponsor and the planning process is producing plenty of fun conversations and excitement.

“We’re not sure where everything is headed yet,” Flannery noted. “But we are working on everything hard and with COVID it makes it tough. Everything is up in the air, but we are plowing full-steam ahead.”

Flannery and race officials are optimistic the vaccine and other factors will allow for a full weekend of racing and a packed grandstand, possibly being the first unaltered area event post-COVID.

“Hopefully by the first of June we’ll be rockin’ and rolling wide open,” he said. “Our goal is to bring a bigger-name entertainer to the Fairgrounds as well, it should be a heck of a party.”

The event will also be a fundraiser for the local Antigo Lions Club, which will give all money earned back to the community.

“We’ve always had interest in wanting to have a race here,” Zach Zagar of the Lions Club said. “We are very fortunate that Jamey has given us the opportunity to make that happen. Our motto is ‘we give’ and this would be a good opportunity to give some money back to the community and bring some racing back here. That’s really exciting.”

Exciting and great news for race fans and community members alike.