With a little more than a month before the 2011 short course season kicks-off at Firebird International Raceway, defending Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) Pro 4 Unlimited champion Rick Huseman added a final exclamation point to his historic 2010 campaign by being honored by Ryan Communications Group’s (RCG) Dirt Sports Magazine as “2010 Driver of the Year.” The talented and determined Huseman took top honors in this year’s selection, but was also joined by fellow racers David Caspino as “2010 Desert Racer of the Year,” Loren Healy as “2010 Rock Racer of the Year,” and young Colton “CJ” Greaves, who was named as the magazine’s “2010 Rookie of the Year.”
Last season, Huseman piloted the Rick Huseman Racing (RHR) black #36 Monster Energy/Traxxas/ BFGoodrich Tires/ Method Race Wheels/Mastercraft Safety/Oakley/KC HiLites Toyota Tundra to a record 10 LOORRS race wins – a professional short course record. Along with his LOORRS championship, the Riverside, Calif. resident also managed to claim runner-up honors in the Traxxas TORC series, with five PRO 4×4 race wins and five Oakley Bomb awards for posting the fastest race lap.
The enthusiastic winner was honored by Dirt Sports magazine publisher/owner Jim Ryan and LOORRS television announcer Cameron Steele during a special ceremony held in the massive Monster Energy hospitality area at this past weekend’s Supercross event at Anaheim Stadium. During the ceremony, Huseman’s gritty February 2011 cover, shot by artist Boyd Jaynes, was also unveiled. The event was also co-hosted by Blue C Communications and Wahoo’s Fish Taco.
As part of the festivities, Huseman, and fellow honoree, CJ Greaves, were awarded a custom-made presentation box by Oakley featuring a specially engraved watch and high performance sunglasses; along with a one-of-a-kind Oakley “Driver of the Year” jacket. Caspino was recognized last Friday during the Best in the Desert (BITD) Parker 425 official driver’s meeting, while Healy was honored at last week’s King of the Hammers rock racing event.
“It is now almost to the point of being cliché, but the selection process is really becoming more difficult every year as there is a raised level of competition in every core category that makes up Dirt Sports magazine,” said Marty Fiolka, group editorial and marketing director for RCG. “The 2010 season saw incredible performances by a wide variety of racers, but in the end, Rick Huseman’s incredibly focused performance in short course stood out above the rest. All of the Dirt Sports’ honorees for 2010 are highly deserving in recognizing their outstanding achievements and contributions to off-road motorsports.”
In choosing each of their past winners, the panel of judges made their final determinations based upon drivers posting a championship performance, their ability to represent both the sport and their sponsors in a professional manner, and their ability to rise above the competition in a significant manner.
In earning this year’s Driver of the Year title, Huseman added his name to a sparkling list of previous Dirt Sports honorees, including the late Jason Baldwin (2004), Shannon Campbell (2005), Carl Renezeder (2006), Rob MacCachren (2007) and Heidi Steele (2008). Last year, third generation racer Andy McMillin claimed the top award.
“To win the Dirt Sports Driver of the Year title is awesome because you are not just being judged against short course racers, but desert and rock guys too,” explained Huseman. “You are being judged against everyone in the dirt, so to be the Driver of the Year against that kind of competition is just very amazing.”
For the second time in the award’s history, the magazine honored other forms of off-road motorsports not represented by the overall winner. Known as the “Dirt Sports Honorees,” those chosen in these categories will also receive special Oakley watches and jackets. Last year’s list included Carl Renezeder, who claimed two championships in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS), Colorado’s Brad Lovell, a rock racing veteran that also took dual titles in the W.E.Rock and XXRA series, and the multi-talented Jeff Ward, who enjoyed a spectacular first season in LOORRS Unlimited 2 competition.
Dirt Sports Magazine “Driver Of The Year” Awards:
2004: Jason Baldwin
2005: Shannon Campbell
2006: Carl Renezeder
2007: Rob MacCachren
2008: Heidi Steele
2009: Andy McMillin
Jeff Ward (Rookie of the Year)
Carl Renezeder (Short Course Racer of the Year)
Brad Lovell (Rock Racer of the Year)