• Forum membership has its advantages....

east coast offroad racing?

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Badlands off road park in Attica, Indiana. Cool place to trail ride but full size (cars/trucks) have to be 4WD.
They had KOH qualifiers there fairly recently but the only motorized thing I see on the schedule for this year is a hare scramble. Old motocross course has been closed off for a few years. Owner is (was?) a big racing fan and basically put on races there for years even though he was losing money at them and it was probably hurting his business.
Badlands actually looks about as good as you could expect out here, I was looking again at Windrock TN and there are so many sharp up hills and few places to pass it might be difficult to run any kind of a real race. Badlands looks much more tailored to a short course race based on your video, At 800 acres it is the same as Saddleback Park was in Orange, so that tells you that a short course might be able to be run at Badlands. I see he closed to public for some races so he must be willing to do that for a certain amount of payback. The big problem is no rail buggys and I assume that would include Baja's as we are essentially Rails with a body on it (C5) unless you could say pan only Bajas. If he allows SxS I don't get the ban on Rail buggys as built SxS can haul ass. If he closed the park for a race that includes several class heats, I wonder if he would allow Rails,Bajas. I had heard about the place but was planning a couple years ago to bring my 4x4 over there but it is my tow vehicle not a play car.
 

pontoontodd

Well-Known Member
Badlands actually looks about as good as you could expect out here, I was looking again at Windrock TN and there are so many sharp up hills and few places to pass it might be difficult to run any kind of a real race. Badlands looks much more tailored to a short course race based on your video, At 800 acres it is the same as Saddleback Park was in Orange, so that tells you that a short course might be able to be run at Badlands. I see he closed to public for some races so he must be willing to do that for a certain amount of payback. The big problem is no rail buggys and I assume that would include Baja's as we are essentially Rails with a body on it (C5) unless you could say pan only Bajas. If he allows SxS I don't get the ban on Rail buggys as built SxS can haul ass. If he closed the park for a race that includes several class heats, I wonder if he would allow Rails,Bajas. I had heard about the place but was planning a couple years ago to bring my 4x4 over there but it is my tow vehicle not a play car.
Interlake would be about as good. Yes, you'd want somewhere with open areas and/or wide trails. Worst case someone breaks down on a narrow woods trail and shuts down the race.

What do you mean by a short course? One mile course, wheel to wheel, fifteen minute races? They tried short course races like that in the woods one time but the course they made was just too narrow and probably not enough people showed up.

Or do you mean short for a desert course? The endurance courses (in that video) were usually five miles but they've done ten, there's plenty of room, just a matter of marking and working the course.

The park does not allow 2WD. I don't know exactly why, most likely they would tend to tear up the trails. Not an issue for a race, MAORA had races there and most of their trucks and buggies are 2WD. Generally when they raced there it was after the park closed, closes at 7PM in the summer but in June or July that still gives you a couple hours of daylight, and everyone would run lights. Like I said before, the owner wasn't making any money to speak of from the races and the racers would prerun at dangerous speeds while the park was open and piss off the trail riders. Ultimately I'm sure it was far more hassle and expense than it was worth. Which probably describes racing in general...
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
When I say short course I mean like an old Riverside race or Baja de Saddleback race which I think could be done within 800 acres.

My Ideal that would get me excited would be endurance races of 5 mile loops with switchbacks and varied terrain to get to the 5 miles and do like 5 laps or more. Not sure if that would even be possible out here other than MI. Were they doing 5 miles in total? or 5 mile loops?
 

pontoontodd

Well-Known Member
Five mile loops. 2-3 hour enduros. MAORA had a bunch of those at different courses years ago, the bottom line is not enough people were showing up to race to make it worth putting them on. Many times the tech director would tell us that thirty people called him asking about the race and then none of them showed up. I can think of at least three off road parks off the top of my head where we raced or tried to race where you could lay out a nice 5-10 mile course.

I think it would be difficult to do something like that on public roads, I assume that's what you're thinking in Michigan, but the rally guys still do it so it's possible.
 

Larry in N.C.

Active Member
Hello guys..... From the good response that I am reading there seems to be a lot of interest in maybe something happening . I don't see why a event like saddleback couldn't be organized. The only problem is, finding someone who has done this before. They would have to locate a place in the middle so racers could get there in a reasonable amount of time to be able to get back for work or whatever. We need to find another Bob Maynard to consult. He done a great job with the races at saddleback park. I loved the times spent there. Good clean family fun cheep.I really think that there are a lot of racers here in the east that really miss the times spent at the races.They may not know about this web site to let us know that they are here. Any ideas about this subject would be good .
 

BarrelRoll

Well-Known Member
It's been a couple years since I lived back east. Badlands had races for a while, a couple desert cars showed up but I'm not sure if they ever finished a lap. ECORRS allowed "rail buggies" but I think they aren't running races any more. You kinda need 4x4 in that country. Your best bet for "budget" racing is a UTV in some of the stuff like GNCC. I don't know if any of the grass roots series are still alive or not. Once in a while you'll see a race pop up. I think the owner of Jellico is open to holding events and you could probably get a 3-5 mile loop.


Ultra 4 runs an east coast series but you are into a limited class car 30-70 grand to have a chance at being some what competitive.

I don't think I've seen 5/1600 cars at Crandon recently. UTV's are all over the place these days though.

Haspin Acres in Indiana allows rail buggies and VW based stuff.
 

oldschool5er

Well-Known Member
Jellico is close enough for a multi state venue, that is interesting. I will have to check out Haspin never heard of it. I really don't know of any 5/1600 race cars out this way other than mine. I thought RPM built one though. Most of these cars were left out West. I think there are some pre-runner styles that would be able to race short course out here for sure but the owners just don't know where to even trail ride. I know out East we will never have a Class 5 or 5/1600 race as there are not any out here, let alone in any kind of shape to do short course. Buggys though there are lots of that owners might like to run. Drews in Dayton has a few, they even ran the 50th in Baja but not sure how that turned out for them. I think there are some hidden prerunners brought from out west still around as I see one pop up at a show once in a while. I was hoping to convince some of those owners to run in a short course as I get asked all the time where trails are. If a venue was found and enough guys running around in their states trying to gather interest you might be able to get enough entrants to make it work, but one promoter is not going to get it done without a bunch of people working on the side in other states. It would be a big endeavor that would be a couple years out I think. Finding a place that is central and big enough to allow a race is the first step to even see if it would be possible. I think with enough of us that go to places here then people should be able to get some good prospects like the ones that have been mentioned. I am able to check out areas from here to Chattanooga as I am down in those areas in the summer so I am always looking as I know a few of you are also.
 

pontoontodd

Well-Known Member
I think there are plenty of places in the midwest where you could lay out a five mile loop that would be good for an off road race. I think the big problem is getting enough racers to show up to make it worthwhile for the landowner and being able to police and support a course of that size.
 

pontoontodd

Well-Known Member
I think there are plenty of racers too, I wouldn't be surprised if there's at least 100 guys with buggies and trucks that used to be race legal. Informing most of them about a race like this would be hard, getting enough of them in the same place at the same time would be even harder. It would be great though.
 

Larry in N.C.

Active Member
Yes all this info is a good start. I guess that we could get the info out to more people if we had a Action News or a good off road mag. to put adds in. Some of the problems about getting something started in N.C. are people here are NASCAR crazy and don't think that our kind of racing is worth doing. They like mud holes to play in and rocks to climb over. Restoring old cars to take to car shows and so forth. I happen to be one of the guys that does that to have a little fun time out of the house. I have a lot of old stuff. After all isn't that what we do. Have old stuff. Ha Ha .
 

BarrelRoll

Well-Known Member
If someone wants the contact info for ECORS East Coast Offroad Racing Series last owners I think I can dig it up.

There are a ton of racers back east, they race ultra 4 www.ultra4racing.com or many of the utv's gncc www.gnccracing.com or another smaller series. If you want short course there's morra/ traxxas series. I don't know of a truck/ grass roots ultra 4 based long course series currently racing back east but I've been gone for a while.

I can't remember for the life of me what the series was the badlands ran. For a while it had a pretty good turn out. I'm sure if Kyle still owns the place he'd talk with someone about the issues he had.

4 wheel jamboree has a pretty well attended short course tuff truck series TOUGH TRUCKS ® CHALLENGE

I don't see enough interest to make a stand alone 2wd truck/ buggy series work. UTV's are the current "cash cow" when it comes to entries. They are accessible to the general public and don't require creating an expensive race only vehicle depending on how you structure the rules. There's probably 150 or 200 ultra 4 rigs east of the Mississippi.

The problem with 2wd classes is a long enough track at the current off road parks. I could see creating level playing field rules being a problem as well. Most of the buggies were built with what was at hand to play at the dunes or in the woods. Not to class 9, 1-2 1600, or 12 rules. Getting a guy to build a limited class motor or change his buggy to meet the rules for a series that might or might not happen will probably be pretty hard.

One of the big issues with racing at a private off road park is closing down the park to race. The badlands races were after hours which was fun because it gave you time to prerun and you could go play before the race.
 
Top