Crandon is the biggest race of the year for short course, some would even say for all offroad. The track is rich with history and tradition. The course worker you see in turn one was also there 5 years ago, as is the person grading the track, and working the ticket booth. While some series have a hard time finding volunteers to help put on the race, the track and Crandon have to turn people away.

The last time I was in Crandon was 4 years and I’d always wanted to come back. The race is always a lot of fun and the track is what short course is supposed to be, fast and on the edge at every turn. Watching turn one at the start of the Cup race is something everyone needs to see and feel in person. I also mounted a remote camera on Kyle Leduc’s truck hoping to get some good photos from the turn, more on that later.

The weekend started with the traditional Labor Day Parade in downtown Crandon. Everyone comes out to see all the racers with their trucks on display, and then at high noon the parade runs down the main street.

The famous wood car of Crandon always comes out and makes an appearance.

100 Ounce Big Gulp cup, ice cream cone, and a smile. Only thing he was missing was his sleeves.

This is the first year the cup race will be run under the name “Amsoil Cup”, so they revealed the new trophy for the winner.

A funny moment from the parade was when Robby Gordon was checking out a Classix car (think of a 79′ Buick with a cage, shocks through the roof, and rust) and the owner of the car yelled to him, “If you like it its for sale!”

Normally right after the parade the racing kicks off with practice and qualifying, but because it had been raining since Thursday TORC decided rather then tear the course up, cancel everything until Saturday. I was bummed because it would mean less shooting on the track, but it was the right move so that the weekend could go on as scheduled.

Skate shoes and mud don’t mix

It felt good to be out on the track again in Crandon. There is just something about being out there that you can’t really describe without actually being there. You can sense the tradition 41 years of racing there walking around the pits, the race course, and see people of all ages at the track.

Before I go into all the photos of the racing from the weekend, first I’ll show a few photos from the remote camera.

A few months ago I mounted my trusty Canon 20D body on Kyle Leducs truck at the Las Vegas LOORRS race. Its been a while since I’ve done it, and since Crandon has the most famous turn in offroad racing I thought it would be a perfect time to bring the remote cam out of retirement.

I used the same mount as before, a simple piece of tubing cut in half long way with a ball head mounted to it. Last time I used a Pocketwizard Multimax to fire the camera, but after damaging it and a $175 repair bill later I decided to use a cheap intervalometer I got off for about $30. Here is the link to the one I got, if you get one make sure to get the right one for your camera.

Canon Intervalometer

As far as settings go I again used the same from last time. AV mode set at f5.6, 400ISO to keep the shutter over 1/1000, and pre-focused the camera before hand.

My goal was to get a good shot in turn one with a bunch of trucks behind Kyle and lots of roost. While that situation never happened, I was able to get a few decent shots from the weekend that I liked. Here are a few of them. Note that I kept about 15 shots from the whole weekend, out of around 1300 shots the camera took. Remote cameras are always hit or miss, you just hope to get a few good shots.

Adrian Cenni and Steve Barlow say hi to the camera.

A little vibration during the shot caused it to be a little blurry.

Since I didn’t get to shoot on the track on Friday I was anxious to get out there on Saturday. As luck would have it when we woke up Saturday morning there was still a little rain in the air, so I was worried the races may get pushed back again. Anyone who’s been to Wisconsin knows the weather up there is very unpredictable, and a little before the first race the rain would stop and the track would get a chance to dry out.

Rather then talk about each day I thought for this blog I would just show some of my favorite photos at random and talk a little about each one. Here we go!

Turn 2 of the course is always fun for me to shoot because its a very high speed turn and you can get some great panning shots there. If you’ve seen the cover of Dezert People 4, the shot of Jonny Greaves is from this spot. Here Todd Leduc got bumped by another racer and caused him to go over.

Dezert People 4 Cover
Dezert People 4 Cover

Here you can see the huge crowd that always shows up for Crandon races. Whether its the Cup race or the first race of the day there are always people cheering.

Most famous turn in offroad racing.

Monster Energy’s Casey Currie

This is the largest jump on the track, in previous years the jump has been steeper so they weren’t going quite as big as years past.

Steve Barlow catches a rut in the last turn during Saturday’s Pro4 race.

Another unique thing about Crandon is the water truck. Typically all water trucks are one man operations where the driver controls the water, but in Crandon they have someone on top of the truck spraying the track. Another thing that gives Crandon a personal touch.

One spot on the track I’ve never shot before is the last straight away and 180 degree turn before they start heading towards turn 1 again. It has some great backgrounds with all the trees and offers a different perspective to the course.

The heart and soul of racing at Crandon.

After eating dinner in town Saturday night, driving back into the pits we passed the large Crandon Raceway sign. I knew that there was going to be a fireworks show later that night, so I thought it would be a good chance to try and get a nice shot of the sign all lit up with some fireworks in the background. After about 100 shots or so here is one that came out during the grand finale.

Todd Leduc repairs some damage to his Pro 2 working late into the night.

Ricky Johnson won the points championship in Pro2, so his team helped him celebrate on Sunday.

On the back side of the course there is a platform about 40′ high that overlooks most of the course. Its a great place to get a different angle, the only down side is the only thing holding the platform up is 3 long rusty tubes and a couple shoty welds :).

Another angle of the back straight away.

One of my favorites from the weekend, I like how the lighting is, the position of the truck, and all the dirt flying. Just works for me.

This is a shot of Monster Energy’s Casey Currie celebrating after winning the points championship in Prolite. I wanted to get a different angle then everyone else who would be right at the podium, so I got back a few hundred feet away and shot it with the 300mm lens.

The weekend always ends with the big cup race where the Pro2’s and Pro4’s all race at the same time, with the Pro2’s getting a head start. Amsoil’s Scott Douglas would take the win in his Pro 4 after a hard fought battle with Redbull’s Steve Barlow.

All in all I had a great time in Crandon and can’t wait to get back there again. Here is a link to the rest of my photos from the weekend, enjoy!

2010 TORC Crandon Photo Gallery