Patrick Clark Racing made their Crandon International Raceway Debut Labor Day Weekend
The 2016 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is in full swing and coming down to the final rounds. Clark has managed to gather some good results this season with a 3rd place podium and two more top 5 finishes. However he pumped the breaks on the west coast and take things to the Midwest.
Patrick Clark and team made their way to Crandon, WI where he raced in some of the biggest races of the year at the historic raceway. This was the first time Patrick Clark put his tires to the well-known Crandon International Raceway “The Big House” dirt to his #25 Budweiser/BFGoodrich Pro-2 and competed in 3 of the scheduled races.
Labor Day weekend was packed with racing and entertainment for over 40,000 fans. Crowds started taking their place early on in the week as they camp out just outside the track and make an entire holiday out of the week. It is the NASCAR of Off-Road Short Course racing and the fans prepare for this many months in advance.
Clark took to the high speed track on Thursday for a practice. Giving him the opportunity to be sure their Pro-2 is set up to tackle the famous high speed turn 1, the legendary leap and more.
With racing on Saturday and Sunday, it was key to keep the truck from getting to beat up and getting into carnage. Clark managed to stay away from the chaos in Fridays race as he competed against the Midwest boys in the final round of the TORC series.
“We decided it would be a good idea to race on Saturday. It gave us more track time and a fill for where we stood. The outcome was well worth it!” Stated Clark.
The #25 Budweiser/BFGoodrich truck of Clark pushed through the pack and managed to pull off a 3rd place podium. Clark was beyond excited to represent for the West Coast and stand up with some more great competition.
This podium finish gave Clark the reassurance that he belonged here at “The Big House” and was a contender to watch for the Crandon World Cup race which was the big race of the morning on Sunday. The new Crandon World Cup was created to bring together contenders from any series and give them the opportunity to race head to head to see who is the best from the West Coast to the East Coast. It has been a highly anticipated addition and in the inaugural year it brought out some great and tough competition.
Clark took to the land rush start line and came out of turn 1 in 4th place behind Sheldon Creed. It was a clean first lap chasing the leaders down. The first half of the laps ticked off and Clark found himself moving up a position as the leader, Keegan Kincaid pulled off the course with a broken truck. Clark now sat in 3rd place and all he needed to do was hold off the rest of the pack.
He pushed hard to catch second place and was nipping at the rear bumper of Creed and managed to look on the inside of him in turn 2 and even would slide by Creed on turn 3 but Creed took his position back from Clark. It was a major but clean battle between the two young guns for 2nd place and Clark raced a hard race and came across the finish line in 3rd place at the first ever Crandon World Cup.
There was one final race for the weekend it was the race that had the most winnings in Short Course history, The Amsoil Cup. Whoever crossed the line first would go home with over $40,000. Clark had his eye on that prize.
This race would see the Pro-2’s go head to head with the Pro4’s. The Pro-2 class would start nearly a half a minute before the Pro-4’s due to the Pro-4’s having faster lap times. The entire crowd had their necks cranked towards turn 1 to see the Pro-2’s rip around at over 100mph.
Kincaid pulled out into the lead and Clark was going head to head with fellow West Coast competitor, Eric Fitch for the 3rd place position.
It took a few laps but Clark managed to pull off the pass but not without the Pro-4’s now gaining on the front of the pack and that included Clark. West Coast Pro-4 driver, Doug Fortin managed to pass Clark. It was on that lap that Clark came up to the front stretch jump and came down hard on the right rear and instantly blew the rear tire from the hard impact. Clark lost his position and his opportunity at a podium was taken away as the rest of the competitors made their way full throttle around Clark.
“Our team has been looking forward to getting to ‘The Big House’ for years now and the anticipation of getting out on the track was indescribable.” – Stated Clark. “We are here to get some great results but also take in the entire experience that is Crandon.”
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