Racing Thrills Fans at Crandon Brush RunSubmitted: 06/28/2014
Story By Marisa Silvas

CRANDON - They call it the Big House and there really isn't anything else like it. Talented off road drivers are kicking up the dirt in Crandon this weekend for the annual Brush Run.

The weather cooperated for a full slate of racing action. Thousands of fans enjoyed the the thrill of being up close to the track. They were able to watch many different classes of racing, a few spills and lots of excitement.

Something new this year is an exhibition of UTV's, or Utility Terrain Vehicles. They're trying to gain more popularity in the Mid-West.

A couple of results from local drivers today include in the 1600 Buggy Class, Rhinelander's Mark Steinhardt continued his success at Crandon. Steiny got out to a good lead and took the checkerd flag with ease.

In the Super Stock Trucks Argonne's Jeff Fannin was near the front the majority of the race. Fannin finished strong in second place. This weekend he's racing for a special cause.

"Our race winnings this weekend we're donating back to the Ronald McDonald House charity in Marshfield today. Then tomorrow our winnings will go to the Wounded Warriors project," explains Fannin. "The Ronald McDonald House charities was a big deal because last year I became a father for the first time. My son came seven weeks early and we spent three weeks there. It opened my eyes to what a great charity that place is."

During the summer, Nick Baumgartner trades in his snowboard for off road racing.

The last time we caught up with the Iron River native, he'd just returned from his second Olympic games.

Now he's back behind the wheel of a truck and excited to have the chance to race close to home.

"When I'm traveling for snowboarding not everyone can come out and see me. Here I have a huge fan base," says Baumgartner. "I've talked to the school here a couple times in Crandon so it's cool to see all these people come out, especially the kids. They get so hyped on it. It's cool having that support and just coming out here and having fun. The adrenaline coming into turn one in Crandon is better than anything I've ever felt. This is what we're chasing for in life (this adrenaline) and we've found it here in Crandon."

You can still catch a full day of racing at Crandon on Sunday. Qualifying begins at 9am.

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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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