BARK RIVER - The Offroad Championship series (TORC) has dates set for July 18-20 at the Bark River International Speedway.
In year's past, the Championship Series made it's stop in Bark River during the second weekend of August. Due to scheduling conflicts last year's race was moved to June 14-16. The race saw a 9.7 percent decrease in attendance during last year's move from August to June, though part of that was due to rain. This year, the race was moved to July so organizers wouldn't have to compete with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that is set to take place during early August.
Bark River Lions Club Chairman Richard Ault thinks the race, now in its 39th season, will have a boost in attendance due to the move.
"The reason for that is because they're racing out in Sturgis, S.D., during Bike Week so we just feel that is a big plus for the racers, so we decided to move to July," said Ault. "I think it will be a great weekend. We should probably average 15,000 to 20,000 spectators."
The major sponsors for the event will be The Boss Snow Plow, Island Resort and Casino and Stewart Manufacturing. As of Nov. 5, Monster Energy Drink has been named the exclusive and official energy drink for TORC. AMSOIL will also sponsor the series as the Official Oil the TORC series.
Upper Peninsula resident Chad Hord of Felch is a member of the AMSOIL Super Team. Ault expects Hord to race this season along with local riders Danny and Scott Beauchamp. Ault also encouraged people to attend who haven't been to a TORC event.
"I just think it will be a good wild weekend," said Ault. "If people have never came, they should take in the opportunity to come out and see what it's like. It will be televised on NBC Sports this year so it should be a great event. I'd like everyone to come out, It's sponsored by the Bark River Lions Club, we're a non-profit organization and all the money goes back to charitable organizations and donations."
The prices will be the same as last season with day passes at $25 and weekend passes going for $35. There will also be a sportsmen race set tentatively for June 13-14.