Ricky Johnson's Off-Road Grand Prix Announces 2009 Race Schedule
GETTING READY TO RUMBLE
Lake Elsinore, CA (January 29, 2009) – The USAC sanctioned Off-Road Grand Prix (ORGP) announced today that it will be holding eight, points-race weekends plus two sportsman weekends in 2009 with the world’s best short-course drivers from coast-to-coast. The season will take flight at Perris Auto Speedway in California, make a Midwest swing, including the prestigious Crandon International Off-Road Speedway, and end in Las Vegas in November. With the Professional Drivers Group (PDG) kicking in, it is sure to deliver the best racing entertainment going.
The inaugural season schedule is as follows:
May 15-16 Manzanita Speedway Phoenix, AZ
May 29-30 Perris Auto Speedway, Perris, CA
June 20-21 Crandon, WI
July 11-12 Bark River, MI (no pro points, Sportsman East)
July 25-26 Oshkosh, WI
August 8-9 Bark River, MI
August 29-30 Perris, CA (Sportsman West, no pro points)
September 5-6 Crandon, WI (double points) (proposed Network TV)
September 26-27 TBD***
October 31-November 1 Las Vegas, NV (proposed NETWORK TV)
November 2 Awards Banquet in Las Vegas and SEMA Kickoff Party Hosted by Cary Hart at Hard Rock Hotel
***The September Perris Race will likely change to another California venue pending final negotiations. Perris is reserved as back-up.
“We have put together some exciting venues featuring the prestigious Crandon International Speedway where this year will mark the 40th anniversary of ‘the birthplace of short course racing,’” said Ricky Johnson, series owner. “This schedule will cover a wide range of tracks and different looks for the drivers and fans. I am really looking forward to some old-fashioned, ass-kicking door-to-door action across the country. We added a west coast sportsman race to give the teams that don’t travel back to the Midwest a place to race,” Johnson continued.
Johnson also wants everyone to get a taste of both short “supercross” type tracks as well as wide-open tracks like “The Big House at Crandon.”
“We want to experiment a little with different venues like Perris where I can promise you the racing will be exciting for drivers and fans alike,” said Johnson. “If the fans and drivers don’t like it–we will try something else. But I can tell from my experience–it’s going be a great time in a great location in Southern California.”
Of course, the sportsman classes will continue in both the west coast and Midwest. While the final class structures are still being hashed-out, there will certainly be a class for everyone to come out and show what you’ve got. All classes will be announced very soon, but drives should not expect a lot of changes from WSORR and previous series. USAC will be in the middle of things to keep a consistent and impartial hand on the rules.
“We are really excited about USAC taking the key role in running these events,” said Johnson.
The series is planning for all the points events to be televised either on a major Network or sports cable networks. Television discussions are confidential at this time but some announcements on the TV packages are just around the corner.
“We have been assured that the time slots are available in our discussions so far,” stated Mitch Covington, CFO of Off-Road Grand Prix. “We have ongoing talks with major networks and cable channels, and I am really excited about what I’m hearing so far. Our process of selecting TV partners and partners for production are progressing much faster than I had ever anticipated and it is obvious that short-course off-road racing is in demand despite all the confusion of late. Make no mistake, 2009 is a critical year with the sponsor community, and we will be very diligent in choosing our partners in order to build a financially viable and sustainable series for everyone involved. It’s going to take a lot of support from racers and sponsors alike this year to make this thing stand on it own two feet. We will be watching our budget closely.”
Johnson said a website is under development. The site, along with the staff in Crandon, will be delivering further details and plans in the near future.