While his brother Jack was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his racing success, Cliff is the one who provided his brother Jack, and countless other racers, the opportunity to race at a world class facility.
Crandon Raceway is one of the few off-road facilities outside of the American Southwest, and has been Cliff’s life work for nearly 50 years.
The dream of Crandon Raceway was born in 1968, after a group that would become known as the Wolfs Head Sportsman Club watched a broadcast of the Mexican 1000 on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. The group decided to hold their own race through the woods around the tiny Northwoods Wisconsin town of Crandon. The track was originally a 101-mile race consisting of four 25-mile loops and a big mud pit.
By the mid-1970s, under Cliff Flannery’s leadership, the group decided to build upon the success of their race and purchase land just one mile from downtown Crandon. It was on this ground that Cliff Flannery began to build the largest short-course facility of its type in the world. Cliff has continued to grow and improve the facility over the years, and in 2016 Crandon hosted the inaugural Crandon World Cup, the first independent off-road short course ‘Super Bowl’ that is part of the prestigious Red Bull Signature Series.
While creating and managing a facility like Crandon is certainly a Hall of Fame worthy achievement, it was Cliff Flannery’s philanthropic work that made the biggest impact on the voting committee. Each year, Crandon donates nearly $70,000 to support local youth and charity organizations, a tradition started by Cliff Flannery decades ago. Over the years, the donations from Crandon Raceway have had an economic impact of more than $2 million in the local community of only 1,300 residents. Crandon Raceway also provides up to $30,000 in college scholarships to local students each year.
The Citizens of Crandon, Wisconsin received the 2017 Volunteer Award from the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.