Spotlight: We go behind the scenes at CrandonSubmitted: 09/04/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

CRANDON - The trucks were roaring. Everyone with one goal. To win. Rhinelander's Mark Steinhardt proved to be too much. He not only won Saturday's 1600 Buggy class, he captured the TORC series championship for the second straight year.

Mark Steinhardt said, "You set your goals at the beginning of the year and obviously the goal just like any football team is to win the championship."

Other local drivers winning over the weekend include Jeff Kincaid of Crandon. He won the Pro 2 wheeldrive final. He dedicated the win to his father who recently passed away.

Scott Taylor of Illinois competed in Crandon for 40 years. Completed 40 years of racing in Crandon. He had his signature truck. Tiger logo on the front, and tiger tail on the back. He wanted to compete in the Northwoods one last time.

Scott Taylor added, "The folks up here are great. Crandon's been my favorite race to come to. This is the Daytona 500 of off road racing."

While the drivers get all of the attention, it's the people working behind the scenes which make this event a success.

Pace car driver Rich Kulal said, "To live 5 miles down the road, from the biggest track and the biggest race in the world is something amazing."

One state study estimated the Championships bring in over $8-million dollars to the local economy. An expected attendance record of more than 20,000 fans watched the action Labor Day weekend.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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MERRILL - One Northwoods farm wants to give all families the full Fall experience.

Grampa's Farm in Merrill has been a popular fall destination in Wisconsin since 2010.

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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