Championship Off-Road Season Kicks Off At Antigo Lions Roaring Raceway
The opening race of Championship Off-Road’s third season will take place at Antigo Lions Roaring Raceway at the Langlade County Fairgrounds.
The 2022 edition of the Antigo Off-Road National will serve as the second visit in Amsoil Championship Off-Road series history. The opening race of AMSOIL Championship Off-Road’s third season will take place at Antigo Lions Roaring Raceway at the Langlade County Fairgrounds. Located in a historic motorsports area, the track is 35 miles from the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway and 60 miles from the World Championship Snowmobile Derby Complex.
The Antigo facility is no stranger to off-road racing. The inaugural off-road race at the facility took place in 1988, Pro Truck racing continued at the track through 2005, and Sportsman racing continued through 2012. The track will be new to the young guns of the sport, but several veteran drivers have logged many laps here in the past.
Antigo saw many racing legends take off-road wins at the track, and this chapter of its history should be no different. NASCAR stars Jimmie Johnson and Brendan Gaughan both won races here in the ‘90s, and off-road legends Scott Douglas and Scott Taylor are the track’s all-time wins leaders in PRO4 and PRO2, respectively.
After two successful seasons, AMSOIL Championship Off-Road is ready to kick off a new season featuring 12 points-paying rounds over six weekend events. Returning events include stops in Antigo, Crandon, ERX, Dirt City, and Bark River.
CJ Greaves set the tone for his PRO4 Championship season early last year by sweeping the opening weekend at Antigo. The track has always been kind to Greaves, who picked up the very first win of his off-road career in a Super Buggy here back in 2010.
History could be made in the PRO4 category this season. If Kyle LeDuc bounces back from an inconsistent 2021 or if Johnny Greaves carries his momentum from the end of last season, either could become the first ever 8-Time PRO4 Champion. If neither of these happens and CJ Greaves goes back-to-back, he’ll join the pair as 7-Time Champions.
Keegan Kincaid also swept the opening rounds in PRO2 at Antigo last season before going on to win his second championship in the class. The title did not come easy as easy as those Antigo wins, as Kincaid needed a dominant win as well as misfortune for others in the final round last season to win the title, but it played out perfectly for him and he took the crown by a single point over Cory Winner.
The 2021 PRO2 field was as stacked and competitive as we’ve seen in many years, and 2022 is shaping up to be even better. This will be demonstrated immediately with the new Yokohama Duel of Champions, driven by Vision Wheel. The format will provide a head-to-head, knockout style tournament with the 16 fastest PRO2 trucks, and anything can happen if the competition of last year’s PRO2 field is any indication.
Much like CJ Greaves and Keegan Kincaid, Brock Heger also swept last years opening weekend at Antigo in the PRO LITE class en route to the season championship. With as many trucks in PRO LITE as we’ve seen in several years, Heger’s path to defend will not be an easy one.
After being joined with PRO LITE in its introductory 2021 season, the PRO SPEC class will be on its own this season with seasoned drivers from all different backgrounds. Ones to watch will include former Super Buggy driver Chris Van Den Elzen, former Super Stock Truck Champion Nick Visser, and multi-time Mod Kart Champion Easton Sleaper.
In an effort to showcase the stacked field and impressive talent found in the PRO2 division, Yokohama Tires and Vision Wheel have teamed up to bring fans the Yokohama Duel of Champions driven by Vision Wheel. This first time ever in off road short course, head-to-head races in a bracket-style competition will take place on Friday evening. The concept is simple, the top 16 PRO2 drivers will go head-to-head for three laps with the winner moving on and loser back to the pits. The winner pockets $10,000.
Pro Stock SxS was all about Brock Heger last season, as he was able to pick up 8 victories, including one at Antigo, on his way to dethroning CJ Greaves as Pro Stock SxS Champion. With a brand new Weller Racing Yamaha YXZ1000R at his disposal, he’ll look to do more of the same in 2022.
In stark contrast to Yamaha teammate Brock Heger’s dominance in Pro Stock, Rodney VanEperen relied on consistency to bring home the 2021 Pro Turbo SxS crown. VanEperen graced the top step of the podium only twice last season but he only finished off the podium entirely twice as well, allowing him to add another Pro Turbo SxS title to his resumé.
After six seasons and 39 short course wins behind the wheel of a Yamaha, 4-Time SxS Champion CJ Greaves will be making the switch to Polaris for 2022. After a Pro Stock season that saw him victorious just three times, a low number by his standards, Greaves hopes the switch will allow him to retake the championship from Brock Heger.
Perhaps no driver in any class showed as much speed last season as Kyle Chaney did in Pro Turbo SxS, and certainly no driver experienced as much bad luck as Chaney. Aside from his two dominant wins, Chaney only finished one other race. With backing from Scheuring Speed Sports, Chaney and new teammate Elliott Burns look to shake their 2021 luck and start this season fresh.
Andrew Carlson looked to be the Pro Turbo SxS title favorite in 2021 with five wins, but a DNF in Round 9 at Bark River derailed his championship hopes. He’ll hope to start this season just like he did the last, with a Round 1 win at Antigo, and incorporate more consistency and durability throughout the season in an attempt to win his first off-road championship.
Along with all the great returning drivers, the Pro SxS categories of AMSOIL Championship Off-Road will feature all kinds of newcomers this season. These include Corry and Jason Weller joining us full-time from the west coast, Chance Haugen adding a Pro Stock to his stable, Jake Kosmecki and Dylan Marquardt moving up from the Pro Am ranks, and more.
You can watch live all season long on the FloSports/FloRacing network and at a later date on the CBS Sports Network (air dates TBD). For more information on how can follow along with the racing action, click here.
The 2022 race season commences June 4-5 in Antigo, Wis., at the Antigo Lions Roaring Raceway for the Antigo Off-Road National. For event information, click here.
All Photos Provided By Champ Off-Road