Off-road scene quiet but it will roar soon – Huge crowds set for Bark River races

Huge crowds set for Bark River races

BARK RIVER – It is the calm before the storm at the Bark River International Raceway.

The U.P.’s mecca for off-road short track racing will be booming with activity beginning late Thursday with some of the up to 1,000 campers arriving.

The 43rd annual Bark River Off-Road Rumble gets underway Friday night and continues through Sunday, with record-setting possibilities to break last year’s 36,000 attendance.

The large 2018 race crowds expected are exciting rewards to the the hard-working raceway staff.

“We have had record tickets sold (in advance), record number of camp sites reserved (near sold out of 1,000 sites), record number of race partners on board with us,” said Courtney Prost, the raceway’s director of development.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the race weekend coming up. We are on track to sell out the camp ground and that has never happened.”

Prost gave a facility tour during the week highlighting all the work and preparations being done by the outstanding volunteer staff owned and operated by the Bark River Lions Club raceway.

Prost has helped grow the partnership base to record numbers with local, regional and national companies and says the Bark River racing weekend has a little bit of something for everybody.

“We have all kinds of new events planned and it is family oriented entertainment on top of the great racing all weekend,” said Prost.

Spectators throughout the weekend will have the opportunity to win a new set of Kenda Tires during the tire roll competition.

Delta County Credit Union’s smash ball contest will be staged throughout the three days to win a gift swag bag and gift certificate. 906 Events of Escanaba is providing a bounce house for the kids and a fun photo booth.

Prost also said there is live music both Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Friday night will also feature a big screen movie shown in the camp ground area for kids and families.

Team Wireless is providing a charging station on the hill all weekend for racing fans.

Bark River is the fourth of five stops on the Lucas Oil short-course Midwest Summer race series, and the support from the California based corporate leader is very evident here.

“In my former career as a crew chief, I raced here in Bark River about a dozen times and am always impressed,” said Bill Smith, Lucas Oil race director.

“The track has a nice flow and races well. Lucas Oil would like to thank the Bark River staff for all their work. They are very accommodating and we are all working together to make the series the best it can be.”

The busy raceway staff will also be highlighting the traditions of old school Bark River racing, and the the very popular U.P. 100 race that was held at the raceway for years.

There will be a limited edition, “throwback” U.P. 100 t-shirts available for race fans and spectators all weekend.

“Thanks to our great partners, we will be tossing the throwback U.P. 100 t-shirts into the crowd all weekend,” said Prost.

“It will be a great weekend of racing and everybody will enjoy the live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights on the hill.”

Log on to the the Bark River International Raceway Facebook and Instagram pages for any last minute racing schedule updates, ticket information and availability for the race weekend. One day tickets are $25, or $40 for all three days of racing. Friday night is included with Saturday’s $25 admission. Camp site reserved spots cost $50 for the weekend.