Pomona, CA – Off-road legends joined a community of industry heavy-weights this past Friday to celebrate the achievement of three Inductees at the 2012 Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) Induction Ceremony at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel. The event was held in conjunction with the Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo.
The notable list for the class of 2012 includes Roy Denner, Casey Folks and Larry Roeseler, each one contributing and carrying out their own unique vision to bettering the sport through off-road racing and advocacy. Jack Arute, well known for his career as a television announcer in ABC’s Wide World of Sports, motorsports and current SIRIUS XM radio show, emceed the annual event for a crowd of almost 200 including past Inductees Malcolm Smith, Walker Evans, Ivan Stewart, Sal Fish, Rod Hall, Parnelli Jones, Rick Pewe, Judy Smith and Brian Chuchua.
The criteria for ORMHOF Inductees reaches beyond races resumes and length of time involved and also factors in how they have given back to the sport. The Board of ORMHOF has a long and arduous selection process to ensure Inductees have met not only the criteria required, but also shown tremendous efforts in bettering the sport. Casey Folks was a fitting first inductee of the evening, playing a tremendous role in coordinating land management, assisting racers and fostering key relationships in the race world in order to make events happen even amongst great obstacles. The crowd was also impressed to learn of him many accomplishments racing motorcycles.
Folks was given a warm introduction by off-road racing icon, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart. Folks’s long history in off-road includes founding the Best in the Desert Racing Association, implementing new ways to cut costs for racers, and die-hard dedication to ensuring the livelihood of off-road racing. As Stewart fittingly stated, Folks “Works his tail off for us to have good off-road memories.” His current title is the race director for the legendary Mint 400 as he continues to play an important role for the sport.
The late Roy Denner was the second Inductee of the evening, and was honored by fellow advocate, Del Albright. Denner, who passed away in 2009, was a well-known and highly-respected pioneer whose commitment to preserving America’s public land for OHV access was revolutionary and inspired others to continue his work even after his death in 2009. Additionally important was Denner’s creation of the non-profit group Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), a national trade association to this day committed to carrying out Denner’s mission of preserving off-road recreation in an environmentally responsible manner. In Albright’s words of life celebration – “Roy was a man on fire. He breathed this sport.”
To top off the evening, off-road legend Malcolm Smith arrived to give the final introduction for the third inductee, Larry Roeseler. Smith endeared the crowd with great stories and respectful remarks for the Inductee. Roeseler, who has idolized Smith since childhood, took to the podium and humbly recounted his appreciation to all those who have helped him and the other racers that have inspired him to be his best. Larry currently holds an impressive record for overall Baja 1000 and Baja 500 victories and is noted for dominating both two-wheel and four-wheel off-road racing. Roeseler’s deeds both on and off the course are what earned him his induction including his work with orphanages in Baja, constant commitment to a host of charity rides and events and his mentorship of young, up and coming riders.
The event weekend included a cooperative booth at the Off-Road Expo with SCORE International to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, a large display including vintage race vehicles and a silent auction and raffle of off-road memorabilia.