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Short Course Ramblings and Rumors

Wisc SC

Member
I attended the Crandon Spring and Bark River TORC races so far this year. I'm encouraged to see the increase in Pro 2 truck counts but bummed to see some of the top talent that left the class (i.e. CJ, Keegan, etc). Even with Luke and Lovell being apparently a notch or two above the rest performance wise I thought the racing in Pro 2 was just fine. I think they were about 2 seconds a lap slower at Crandon than last year's Pro 2s. Hardly noticeable...I would say the engines being down in RPM was more noticeable than the speed difference. Surprised to see how well the DOT tires have held up to side loading - especially the sideways landings setting up for the barn turn at Crandon. IMO, the rule changes have put more trucks on the track and slightly improved the overall racing in the class. Very cool to see Andrew Carlson get a win in his first Pro 2 race at Bark River this past weekend. He looked fast and comfortable. Probably fair to say he's in the upper few of the new field. Overall the class is certainly less "polished" (truck appearance, driver interviews, etc) than in the past but it's an experiment and I'd say it's working so far.

Mixed emotions about UTV racing... I have a UTV and I think they put on a great show but it sucks to see former Pro racers like Kyle Hart, Rodney VanEpren, etc wheelin' a UTV instead of Pro truck. I guess it's the only race vehicle that folks can finance in many cases so if it gets more people into the sport that's a good thing... just concerned it's going to become a UTV dominated sport. CJ being undefeated in Pro Stock UTV doesn't help things...who's racing for 2nd?

Torc Pro-4 is almost painful to watch. 6 or so trucks with Greaves dominating. Hopefully Keegan can get a W pretty soon. Encouraging to see Hoeker running so strong at Crandon. Hearing in the past that Greaves and/or Monster was giving money to some lower tier P4 teams to make it to races to have more than about 4 or 5 trucks in the class. Not sure if that is still happening.

Walking through the pits at Crandon in the spring was troubling with the notable absence of Jenkins and other top teams. Makes me realize how good we had it just a few years ago with major involvement from Traxxas, Dodge, the Menzie's Red Bull team, etc. I used to love the TORC TV documentary style shows - miss that a great deal and wish it would come back. Like NASCAR in it's prime a lot of the interest in the sport comes from the behind the scenes stories and personalities, not just the action on the track. Of course maybe it takes a Short Course nut to watch an hour of behind the scenes stuff.

Hearing Mike Jenkins isn't racing this year because he wanted some rule changes (wanted to chip or limit RPM on P4 engines). The 'Yota camp didn't want that (and perhaps others). Someone told me they were quite sure Jenkins will be back next year but I'll believe that when I see it. It would be good to see at least Mike and hopefully Mark as well back out there some time. As it historically has, it seems like the RC industry bubble has burst from where it was just a few short years ago... it will be back but I have to believe that Traxxas selling a lot less than the bzillion slashes they used to a few years ago will factor into whether or not Mike is back in a Short Course truck anytime soon.

I'm sure there will be all sorts of rumors once again of West Coast racers coming to Crandon for the fall race... it's usually 1 or 2 in each Pro Truck class but with the difference in Pro 2 rules between series this year I'm guessing there won't be many / any Pro 2 racers making the trek from the left coast. Respect the Greaves boys but it's always fun to see Kyle Leduc make them earn their wins at Fall Crandon.

Pro-Lite is probably the most disappointing as far as truck counts... 15 used to seem like a small field now it's 7 or 8. Here is where UTV likely hits the most.

Very puzzled by the cup race at Crandon in the spring... new Pro 2 rules have them about 6 seconds a lap slower than Pro 4. I believe it was a 10 lap race which would mean Pro 2 should get a 60 second head start. I believe they got about a 34 second head start. Between that and the rain on the track it was a snoozer in terms of P2 vs P4. I think they threw the green for P4 when the lead P2 was in the gravel pit corner... should have been more like after the lead P2 got on the back straight past the Argonne corner.

While at Crandon in the Spring there was a Lucas Oil person talking to many of the TORC teams. Also heard Forest Lucas was at that race but not sure about that. Pretty clear that TORC is on life support. Hearing that the series does not / hasn't been paying winners so there's really no purse money. Talking to someone at Bark River close to the sport and heard from them that Lucas is trying to take over and figure out a way to allow teams to run for West championship, East championship and/or National Championship. (a bit like supercross 250). If Short Course in the midwest is going to survive, sorry to say but I think it needs to be under the Lucas banner.

Hearing there has been a management change at AMSOIL and the new bean counter has dramatically tightened the purse strings for motorsports sponsorship. Not good for TORC, Douglas, Lovell, etc.

Was told that it's a "contract year" for TORC with major sponsorships, TV deals, etc up for review.

On a brighter note it was great to see the investment Crandon has made in upgrading their facilities. Still had some rough edges / unfinished touches at spring but I'm sure they'll have it dialed for the Fall race. The LOORS Wheatland facility and track looks great (covered grandstands at Crandon would be the bomb) but LOORS can't buy the legend and fans like Crandon has. It's bit like comparing Cowboys Stadium (i.e. Jerry's House, aka AT&T stadium) to Lambeau field. That said I hope they have a very successful first event at the track.

It sucked to hear of the storm that created so much carnage at ERX. That said the weather Gods shined on TORC for a change at both Crandon and this past weekend at Bark River when nasty storms skirted the event during racing on both weekends. Hopefully ERX is repaired and ready for prime time for the TORC final rounds this fall.

In general it seems like interest in all forms of motorsports is declining but the overall economy (and hence company profits that lead to more sponsorships) is improving. It will be interesting to see how things shake out for the balance of the year in TORC, what goes down at the LOORS Wheatland race, and what the off-season will bring in terms of two or one series.

Counting down until fall Crandon...
 

alwaysracin

Well-Known Member
Lovell
Spring Run 2016
Sat: 1:23.0305
Fastest Lap CJ 1:20.829
Sun: 1:26.016 DNF
Fastest Lap CJ 1:21.494
Fall 2016
Sat N/A
Sun 1:23.889
Fastest Lap CJ 1:21.457
Spring 2017
Sat 1:23.070
Sun1:26.32
Lowell's lap times are faster than last year.....Ex Sportsman lap times are the same as last year and the other ex Pro 2's are faster than Lowell.....
 

dbq61537

Well-Known Member
I was at the Chicago event. Heard some of the same things.
But...

I don't see Lucas taking over, MSI has some big plans and just signed a new tv deal. But I can see the option of Lucas Oil becoming a series sponsor. They would bring more money then Amsoil.

ProLight, has a cost problem. In that, costs are out of control!! It costs the same to run ProLight, as it now costs to run Pro2. Or you can run up front in the UTV categories, and actually...possibly...make a dime or two. Easier to find a few grand to run a UTV...than find 100k to run a ProLight.


Sent from my iPad using race-deZert
 

justafan

Well-Known Member
PL needs to go back to an actual crate motor. When Greaves showed up with their legal/not legal Toyotapar to prove a point it began the spiral. Well, it was already started, they just pushed it off the cliff.
 

acers

Well-Known Member
I attended the Crandon Spring and Bark River TORC races so far this year. I'm encouraged to see the increase in Pro 2 truck counts but bummed to see some of the top talent that left the class (i.e. CJ, Keegan, etc). Even with Luke and Lovell being apparently a notch or two above the rest performance wise I thought the racing in Pro 2 was just fine. I think they were about 2 seconds a lap slower at Crandon than last year's Pro 2s. Hardly noticeable...I would say the engines being down in RPM was more noticeable than the speed difference. Surprised to see how well the DOT tires have held up to side loading - especially the sideways landings setting up for the barn turn at Crandon. IMO, the rule changes have put more trucks on the track and slightly improved the overall racing in the class. Very cool to see Andrew Carlson get a win in his first Pro 2 race at Bark River this past weekend. He looked fast and comfortable. Probably fair to say he's in the upper few of the new field. Overall the class is certainly less "polished" (truck appearance, driver interviews, etc) than in the past but it's an experiment and I'd say it's working so far.

Mixed emotions about UTV racing... I have a UTV and I think they put on a great show but it sucks to see former Pro racers like Kyle Hart, Rodney VanEpren, etc wheelin' a UTV instead of Pro truck. I guess it's the only race vehicle that folks can finance in many cases so if it gets more people into the sport that's a good thing... just concerned it's going to become a UTV dominated sport. CJ being undefeated in Pro Stock UTV doesn't help things...who's racing for 2nd?

Torc Pro-4 is almost painful to watch. 6 or so trucks with Greaves dominating. Hopefully Keegan can get a W pretty soon. Encouraging to see Hoeker running so strong at Crandon. Hearing in the past that Greaves and/or Monster was giving money to some lower tier P4 teams to make it to races to have more than about 4 or 5 trucks in the class. Not sure if that is still happening.

Walking through the pits at Crandon in the spring was troubling with the notable absence of Jenkins and other top teams. Makes me realize how good we had it just a few years ago with major involvement from Traxxas, Dodge, the Menzie's Red Bull team, etc. I used to love the TORC TV documentary style shows - miss that a great deal and wish it would come back. Like NASCAR in it's prime a lot of the interest in the sport comes from the behind the scenes stories and personalities, not just the action on the track. Of course maybe it takes a Short Course nut to watch an hour of behind the scenes stuff.

Hearing Mike Jenkins isn't racing this year because he wanted some rule changes (wanted to chip or limit RPM on P4 engines). The 'Yota camp didn't want that (and perhaps others). Someone told me they were quite sure Jenkins will be back next year but I'll believe that when I see it. It would be good to see at least Mike and hopefully Mark as well back out there some time. As it historically has, it seems like the RC industry bubble has burst from where it was just a few short years ago... it will be back but I have to believe that Traxxas selling a lot less than the bzillion slashes they used to a few years ago will factor into whether or not Mike is back in a Short Course truck anytime soon.

I'm sure there will be all sorts of rumors once again of West Coast racers coming to Crandon for the fall race... it's usually 1 or 2 in each Pro Truck class but with the difference in Pro 2 rules between series this year I'm guessing there won't be many / any Pro 2 racers making the trek from the left coast. Respect the Greaves boys but it's always fun to see Kyle Leduc make them earn their wins at Fall Crandon.

Pro-Lite is probably the most disappointing as far as truck counts... 15 used to seem like a small field now it's 7 or 8. Here is where UTV likely hits the most.

Very puzzled by the cup race at Crandon in the spring... new Pro 2 rules have them about 6 seconds a lap slower than Pro 4. I believe it was a 10 lap race which would mean Pro 2 should get a 60 second head start. I believe they got about a 34 second head start. Between that and the rain on the track it was a snoozer in terms of P2 vs P4. I think they threw the green for P4 when the lead P2 was in the gravel pit corner... should have been more like after the lead P2 got on the back straight past the Argonne corner.

While at Crandon in the Spring there was a Lucas Oil person talking to many of the TORC teams. Also heard Forest Lucas was at that race but not sure about that. Pretty clear that TORC is on life support. Hearing that the series does not / hasn't been paying winners so there's really no purse money. Talking to someone at Bark River close to the sport and heard from them that Lucas is trying to take over and figure out a way to allow teams to run for West championship, East championship and/or National Championship. (a bit like supercross 250). If Short Course in the midwest is going to survive, sorry to say but I think it needs to be under the Lucas banner.

Hearing there has been a management change at AMSOIL and the new bean counter has dramatically tightened the purse strings for motorsports sponsorship. Not good for TORC, Douglas, Lovell, etc.

Was told that it's a "contract year" for TORC with major sponsorships, TV deals, etc up for review.

On a brighter note it was great to see the investment Crandon has made in upgrading their facilities. Still had some rough edges / unfinished touches at spring but I'm sure they'll have it dialed for the Fall race. The LOORS Wheatland facility and track looks great (covered grandstands at Crandon would be the bomb) but LOORS can't buy the legend and fans like Crandon has. It's bit like comparing Cowboys Stadium (i.e. Jerry's House, aka AT&T stadium) to Lambeau field. That said I hope they have a very successful first event at the track.

It sucked to hear of the storm that created so much carnage at ERX. That said the weather Gods shined on TORC for a change at both Crandon and this past weekend at Bark River when nasty storms skirted the event during racing on both weekends. Hopefully ERX is repaired and ready for prime time for the TORC final rounds this fall.

In general it seems like interest in all forms of motorsports is declining but the overall economy (and hence company profits that lead to more sponsorships) is improving. It will be interesting to see how things shake out for the balance of the year in TORC, what goes down at the LOORS Wheatland race, and what the off-season will bring in terms of two or one series.

Counting down until fall Crandon...
I agree, I do not see torc surviving. I do see lucas taking over. If torc is not paying purses their done. Most top drivers are with lucas now and that is where sponsors are going.You are right on with the utvs. Cannot wait until crandon
 

Pro4orNothing

Active Member
It's never good to lose any sponsors, but considering that Amsoil seems to be one of the few opponents to working with Lucas left, it might not be the worse thing if they dropped their support. A partnership/sponsorship/acquisition of TORC by Lucas would, in my opinion, be the springboard to take the sport to another level.

Since Sunday at Fall Crandon is a Red Bull/Crandon event, could they make the call that Lucas Pro2's are legal without any mods to entice any of those guys to make the trek east? No disrespect meant to TORC's Pro2 class, ...but the Cup race will be a snoozer if there isn't a couple of Pro2's who are capable of hanging with the Pro4's like Keegan has done the last couple of years. I think there's a couple of sportsmen like Ruppel, Dorr, and Peterson who are capable, but that might be a year or two away.

On the Lucas side of things, with Carl's impending retirement and Hord's part-time schedule with Lucas as his sponsor, is it possible that if we do continue with separate series next year that Hord runs the full LOORRS tour next year?
 

acers

Well-Known Member
I was at the Chicago event. Heard some of the same things.
But...

I don't see Lucas taking over, MSI has some big plans and just signed a new tv deal. But I can see the option of Lucas Oil becoming a series sponsor. They would bring more money then Amsoil.

ProLight, has a cost problem. In that, costs are out of control!! It costs the same to run ProLight, as it now costs to run Pro2. Or you can run up front in the UTV categories, and actually...possibly...make a dime or two. Easier to find a few grand to run a UTV...than find 100k to run a ProLight.


Sent from my iPad using race-deZert
Time will tell, I would put my money on lucas
 

acers

Well-Known Member
It's never good to lose any sponsors, but considering that Amsoil seems to be one of the few opponents to working with Lucas left, it might not be the worse thing if they dropped their support. A partnership/sponsorship/acquisition of TORC by Lucas would, in my opinion, be the springboard to take the sport to another level.

Since Sunday at Fall Crandon is a Red Bull/Crandon event, could they make the call that Lucas Pro2's are legal without any mods to entice any of those guys to make the trek east? No disrespect meant to TORC's Pro2 class, ...but the Cup race will be a snoozer if there isn't a couple of Pro2's who are capable of hanging with the Pro4's like Keegan has done the last couple of years. I think there's a couple of sportsmen like Ruppel, Dorr, and Peterson who are capable, but that might be a year or two away.

On the Lucas side of things, with Carl's impending retirement and Hord's part-time schedule with Lucas as his sponsor, is it possible that if we do continue with separate series next year that Hord runs the full LOORRS tour next year?
Could not agree more. For the fans lucas would be great ! Crandon said they make the rules so its equal for everyone.Do not know how they will do that for pro2 but only 3 pro2 raced in the spring cup race. They confirmed Menzie is coming with pro4 but did not say anything about pro2
 

racefan2041

Well-Known Member
I believe the contract between Red Bull and Crandon Raceway is that there will be at least 20 trucks in the Amsoil race
 
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