Crandon Wrap

stephenrjking

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So I pulled the trigger: Early Friday trip to make the parade, nice easy afternoon in small-town America (which was delightful!), got a room 45 minutes away that was cheap in a lovely camp setting. Got to the track early enough to get a good spot. Did the whole thing--multiple trips through the pits, including chats with several drivers and Bryce Menzies' media coordinator, whom I was sure to praise for the streaming coverage of SS and V2R (more, please!). Just missed talking to Dave Cole, to my disappointment. I *did* get to talk to Marty, who kindly paused to give me some time. Access, man. Every fan can talk to every big shot. Made the tough (seriously, I had a four hour drive and had to be up before 7 Sunday morning in Duluth) decision to stay for the Ultra4 race and I was so glad I did.

I had other things going on last year and couldn't attend the 50th, and between that and the pandemic this was probably not everything that was. But it was still great.

The racing itself was... well, not always as thrilling as the sport can produce. But there were moments, like Szymik shockingly winning, and the Pro 2s going three wide with Kyle Leduc bearing down on them, and Johnny Greaves passing Leduc in full flight half a lap before that horrifying crash.

But it's a spectacle and a festival and it delivered on all of that. It is so, so much fun to have 20 Pro 2s (with multiple fights on the track) and over a dozen Pro 4s out there. It's exciting when there are a dozen guys who can win races, so many that the announcers forget to mention some of them.

I honestly wanted a bit more from the guy next to Jim Beaver in the booth Sunday, but overall everything was excellent. I'm glad we went. I'm pretty encouraged about the health of the sport, getting through a season with a new sanctioning body in the toughest circumstances imaginable. This is a great sport and it deserves to thrive.
 

jon coleman

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mmmmm, a ' Crandon rap' sounds good,bet brauts are one of the main ingredient s in that rap😍( glad there is still grassroots racing for the average Joe's
 

Joxracing

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The P4 race on Saturday was the most stressful race i’ve spectated in a long time. It’s a bummer it took out JG and Menzies for the big show on sunday. I really felt like JG had something this weekend. That pass was something straight from TORC 2012. Excited to see JG show some speed.
Watching a local privateer PL driver win the world championship brought a tear to my eye. That was no gimme either, Zach fought to the bitter end and won it with the best drivers out there.
I felt like there was a lot of attrition this weekend. Everyone was throwing haymakers which resulted in beat / blown up trucks and flat tires. I’m bummed Pastrana kept having tire failures because he was fast for being so green.
Also excited to see Street Bike Tommy race Brad Milan’s Stock Truck on Saturday. Cool to see someone like that step in and have a blast and show some love to the class 5 guys.
I’ll agree with you completely about the second announcer. I kind of had to cringe a little bit when he miss pronounced multiple champion and top P2 driver Kyle Kleiman as Kyle “Kleeman”
 

Joxracing

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Other honorable mentions for the weekend:

Big shoutout to Chad Rayford for his podium. He was smooth as butter all weekend and for him to come down on his own dime for only the second time this year says a ton. Someone get this man a ride for 2021.

Troy Schaden jumping into PL from SuperStock and coming out at Fall Crandon and earning a podium spot is huge. Gives me hope for myself 😂

Ben Holtger snagged a World Championship in Super Stock in great fashion. Mr. Consistent finally can add a ring to the shelf.

Finally Cheynesaw and Brent on the mic are a great combo. I appreciate the knowledge they have from the little guys to the top classes. Finally some announcers that are actually correct when they cite technical specs for the classes and not just off the cuff BS.
 

PDANK Racing

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Crandon set a interesting record this weekend, largest spectated race in the usa. Biggest dissapointment was Crandon hiring some hack announcer instead of Local mic master Cheyne (@handmethemic) . Too much silence during the sunday races. Champ did well with keeping on schedule, but they are too quick to cut laps. Overall a great weekend.
 

CYS Motorsports

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Crandon set a interesting record this weekend, largest spectated race in the usa. Biggest dissapointment was Crandon hiring some hack announcer instead of Local mic master Cheyne (@handmethemic) . Too much silence during the sunday races. Champ did well with keeping on schedule, but they are too quick to cut laps. Overall a great weekend.

Yeah usually they have Weege announce the Sunday races, and he does a good job, but they're in Red Bud due to the delayed MX national schedule. I agree they should've put Cheyne back in there over Ralph Shaheen.
 

Slash01z

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While I'm on here daily yet don't post often here is another viewpoint of the weekend.

First off we all have to be thankful that we even got to be in attendance last weekend so that's a plus!

COR seems to be doing a great job all around. Don't know the ins and outs from a racers perspective but they seem to be listening to competitors more then in the past.

As for Crandon and there "awesome" track crew that steel-it water truck should be buried and the clueless driver fired. I have never seen so much water put down on a track in my life and the lack of knowledge used when doing so. The amount put down for the pro 4 3 lap qualifying session was an absolute disgrace.

They also need to figure out the cup race gaps. Kyle caught the lead p2 by lap 6 of 10 and RJ not far behind. Pretty simple math if you just look at the lap times turned from each class throughout the weekend.

PA announcers... Mixed opinions.. Cheyene knows his stuff, Brent kinda and yes Ralph isnt around offroad much but he does bring a level of excitement as a professional and really sells the show! In my opinion what needs to happen since livestream is so big now there needs to be 2 sets of announcers. The livestream can sit in the booth and watch the live stream feed commenting to that but there needs to be announcers that can physically see the track and catch whats going on so when something happens the cameras dont catch but every person on the hill sees they can actually comment on it..


Racing...

Sportsmen racing was very solid throughout the weekend as usual with solid car counts and good racing.

UTV classes have always been a mixed feeling with me. Obviously the huge car counts give it an A+ in that category Ill never complain about a class that brings 30+ entries... and in my opinion the racing has been getting better and better since their entry into the short course world! I remember the first races that were filled with yellows every lap but now that has generally cleaned up with very close racing in each of the 3 divisions.

Pro's

Lite- This class goes in such swings but I feel the big difference is the range of skill and budget. It will always be that way with it being deemed the entry point into pro racing. It just needs to find the magic equalizer that can allow it to be more inviting without having to chase the pocket book.

2- All I can say is this should be the role model for the future of offroad. The changes made over the last few years have took a class that in my opinion may have been in a downhill sink like pro lite and brought it back to life. Brooks is a rocket ship right now but qualifying saturday morning had the top 8 drivers within a second of each other! I had some friends attending for the first time and when asked who would win honestly other then the fact i wouldn't bet against Brooks I could have easily said that theirs 8-10 guys that could win! Thats amazing, add that to seeing 20 trucks on the track again made it feel like the old days.

4- While saturday took some out and some have since retired what else could someone ask for in a field of trucks! In reality thats what we have left and it was sure great to see solid true hard pro 4 racing again!

All in all very good weekend cant wait till the end of the month to do it again!
 

tchapps88

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thought Ralph Shaheen did a good job, always thought he was a great motorsports announcer even going way back to the days off tnn monster trucks and world of outlaws broadcasts.
 

stephenrjking

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thought Ralph Shaheen did a good job, always thought he was a great motorsports announcer even going way back to the days off tnn monster trucks and world of outlaws broadcasts.
He’s a fine announcer, and seems nice enough. His taped interviews were pretty good.

But it was hard not to get the sense that he didn’t watch a minute of either short course series this season before he arrived in Wisconsin.

So, there are things I wish Jim Beaver did better as far as his announcing and podcasting style goes (for example, he actively races, he has tons of granular insight, I want to hear it! Not just that someone is really fast right now. Tell us why). But he loves the sport, he’s plugged in, and he’s a pro. He should be and is the guy many of these sanctioning bodies go to when they need announcers because he works with anyone, doesn’t upstage them, keeps sponsors happy, and ultimately understands the sport.

His skill was on full display Sunday.
 

Rennsport Group

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As the producer for the World Cup and the promoter at Crandon I appreciate all of the insight and feedback. A couple of things to remember when discussing Sunday's World Cup versus a Champ Off-Road weekend. As it has been since 2016, World Cup Sunday is supposed to be an independent, non-denominational day. The broadcast team of Ralph Sheheen, Jimmy Beaver, Curt LeDuc, Tiffany Stone, Miles Hasslequest and Mia Chapman were brought in for many different reasons, but all brought expertise and enthusiasm.

The Sunday livestream was not just seen on Livestream, but on Speed Sport TV, RACER.com, Ultra4 and Polaris. Sure, Ralph may have made a few mistakes but he is a huge figure in network broadcasting and motorsports in general -- and that was the point. The Pro classes (especially Lite, Pro 2 and Pro 4) need to have a broadcast package that helps find those talented racers better sponsors by getting them higher levels of industry and viewer exposure. Crandon and TRG Rennsport went ahead with a unique, multi-platform streaming to try and achieve that.

Ralph is a great guy, very committed to his craft and he loved coming to his first Crandon. He is a great host and interviewer, and hopefully will return to Crandon down the road with even more knowledge and experience.

The comment about the two announce teams is true and false. What happens when the live stream announcer has something on the feed that the track announcer doesn't see -- or they cut to a Tiffany Stone with some insight the fans can't see. But, let's all remember it wasn't long ago that big screens, replays and video vignettes shot in 4K (or live drones) were impossible dreams at Crandon. It's all about the fan experience...and I am proud of Crandon and Champ Off-Road for trying to raise the bar.
 

jon coleman

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im just happy that there's live racing again( R Shaheen's first Crandon?, wait till his next one, it'll be a homerun
 

tchapps88

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yeah last year the world cup tv broadcast had sal masekala in a fire suit doing the broadcast and I would not consider him a motorsports expert lol
 

handmethemic

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Finally Cheynesaw and Brent on the mic are a great combo. I appreciate the knowledge they have from the little guys to the top classes. Finally some announcers that are actually correct when they cite technical specs for the classes and not just off the cuff BS.

Thanks for the support!

I said at the beginning of this year in our first production meeting that I wanted sportsman classes to get the same coverage and reverence as the pros. And hell, when the racing is that good, it's easy.

PA announcers... Mixed opinions.. Cheyne knows his stuff...

In my opinion what needs to happen since livestream is so big now there needs to be 2 sets of announcers. ... there needs to be announcers that can physically see the track and catch whats going on so when something happens the cameras dont catch but every person on the hill sees they can actually comment on it..

Thanks!

I have thought for years that two separate teams would be a good addition. I think the people who spend money to buy real estate on the hill are being short-changed by the shift to a live-stream focused show, but I totally understand it from a business point of view as well. We try to make sure that even off-camera incidents are at least referenced on the show--if you're thinking specifically about the Menzies crash, well... Brent and I both straight up didn't see that happen in real time, and our production team doesn't like to show replays where medical concerns are involved, which I fully understand and support.

I try to straddle the middle ground a little between "all stream" and "all live" when it's possible, but it's tough at times. If I spend 30 seconds talking about an off camera incident, our live stream viewers (which drastically outnumber the live fans) have no idea what I'm talking about. If I ignore it, the thousands of fans in attendance are being short changed. Like I said, two separate teams is probably a solid solution, but then who pays for the track-coverage team?

All that being said, I think this year's production team is doing a much better job at cycling through various battles throughout the field than years past, when you'd often get to watch a handful of solitary laps by a guy who had a twelve truck lead over second place. Plus, we have a groundbreakingly innovative addition with our drone pilots, who are setting a new standard for live motorsports coverage.
 

stephenrjking

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Thanks for the support!

I said at the beginning of this year in our first production meeting that I wanted sportsman classes to get the same coverage and reverence as the pros. And hell, when the racing is that good, it's easy.



Thanks!

I have thought for years that two separate teams would be a good addition. I think the people who spend money to buy real estate on the hill are being short-changed by the shift to a live-stream focused show, but I totally understand it from a business point of view as well. We try to make sure that even off-camera incidents are at least referenced on the show--if you're thinking specifically about the Menzies crash, well... Brent and I both straight up didn't see that happen in real time, and our production team doesn't like to show replays where medical concerns are involved, which I fully understand and support.

I try to straddle the middle ground a little between "all stream" and "all live" when it's possible, but it's tough at times. If I spend 30 seconds talking about an off camera incident, our live stream viewers (which drastically outnumber the live fans) have no idea what I'm talking about. If I ignore it, the thousands of fans in attendance are being short changed. Like I said, two separate teams is probably a solid solution, but then who pays for the track-coverage team?

All that being said, I think this year's production team is doing a much better job at cycling through various battles throughout the field than years past, when you'd often get to watch a handful of solitary laps by a guy who had a twelve truck lead over second place. Plus, we have a groundbreakingly innovative addition with our drone pilots, who are setting a new standard for live motorsports coverage.

I thought the balance between live stream and live show was perfect this year, with the only real comment to add is that the PA at Crandon was a bit quiet and hard to hear.

I want to see accident replays, but I understand why the producers would decline to show them, and FWIW when I saw the replay of the time period of the Menzies accident, I understood what they were doing right away. I saw the accident as it happened, but that's because I was focusing on Menzies at the time; he was approaching Calamity, while the leaders were headed through Walker Evans toward Argonne. You just can't watch both at once.

I think Rennsport's defense of Shaheen and the crew is defensible. My wishes for what was present remain (when you have people who know and talk about the product in the booth, it sounds more exciting to fans and to sponsors) but using credible voices to attract sponsors is important.
 

Rennsport Group

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Just to clarify, both Brent and Cheyne do a very good job at their calls, and do bring a great deal of enthusiasm and knowledge to the Sportsman ranks especially. They are credible in every aspect, but we have to push out the sport to a more mainstream audience for the Crandon World Cup as part of its overall mission.
 

havahockey

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Just to clarify, both Brent and Cheyne do a very good job at their calls, and do bring a great deal of enthusiasm and knowledge to the Sportsman ranks especially. They are credible in every aspect, but we have to push out the sport to a more mainstream audience for the Crandon World Cup as part of its overall mission.

Agree Brent and Cheyne do an awesome job calling the events. Bringing in Ralph Shaheen doesn't just bring in his announcing expertise but a wealth of networking and connection to push short course out to a more national level = bigger sponsor dollars for teams = more talent racing = fans win.
 

9five9

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ill take ralph over the other guys all day. im so sick of hearing "Johnny GRAVES" and "CJ GRAVES" out of the guy who has supposedly been around short course for years....
 

handmethemic

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ill take ralph over the other guys all day. im so sick of hearing "Johnny GRAVES" and "CJ GRAVES" out of the guy who has supposedly been around short course for years....

I know you ain't talking about Brent and me...
 
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freshwillie

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the anoucers sunday sucked. Brent and Cheyne are killing it. they get paid to anounce but there in the pits all weekend talking to racers and taking notes for free. they bring there A game every race.
 
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