Huseman Family Honored at TORC Off-Road Races
The Off-Road Championship, or the TORC Series, may have wrapped up its season yesterday after crowing the class champions, but the focus of the weekend was the races held on Sunday in Antelope Valley, California, which was dedicated to late racers Jeff and Rick Huseman.
The Rick Huseman Memorial Cup and Traxxas Jeff Huseman Pro Light Cup were held to remember the late racers while also honoring them by hosting an all-out race the brothers would approve. With the TORC titles wrapped up on Saturday, these races would offer a big payday to the winners – one that TORC says is the biggest single-day cash purse in off-road history at $65,000 for the Pro 2WD/Pro 4x4 and $20,750 for the Jeff Huseman Cup.
Both races would follow different formats from a traditional race, as the idea was to put a large truck field on the track, drop the flags and let the driver able to survive the carnage earn the title. The 15-lap race didn’t feature a halfway caution stop that would bunch up the field – this is survival of the fittest. Before racing would begin, a memorial to the late drivers kicked off the action before each race. It was a day to remember two drivers loved in the sport followed by a race that the Huseman brothers would enjoy.
For the Rick Huseman Memorial Cup, presented by Peak Performance, the Pro 2WD racers were given a headstart on the Pro 4x4 field, and the drivers started the race at a complete stop. With a head start of about 24 seconds, Chad Hord and Rob MacCachren lead the pack of Pro 2WD drivers off the line. Ricky Johnson and Kyle LeDuc in the Pro 4 trucks were working up through the pack, however, and it wasn’t long before Johnson made a move on MacCachren to move into second.
Johnson, having wrapped up another Pro 4x4 Championship the day before, caught up to Hord but was unable to make a pass stick throughout the race. He also had LeDuc breathing down his neck and threatening to take over his spot. Johnson fought off LeDuc and stayed close to Hord’s bumper, and his patience finally paid off as he took the inside line leading into the tabletop jump on the back straight and passed him mid-air.
Johnson was able to hold onto the win to earn the monster $36,000 check, while Hord finished in second (but was the first Pro 2 driver) and earned $13,600. Kyle LeDuc rounded out the podium in third.
“I’m very proud to be the first name on this trophy,” Johnson said on the podium after the race. “In the end this was for Rick and Jeff, and I know they’re up there looking on us and smiling now.”
In the Traxxas Jeff Huseman Cup a $15,000 first-place check was on the line.
After dominating much of the race, a late-race bicycle in the final turn was just enough to open the door for Casey Currie to get by him. It was about this point where Keegan Kincaid saw $12,000 float away, which was the difference of the $15,000 check vs. the second-place $3,000 check in the Traxxas Jeff Huseman Pro Light Cup.
After a tough day on Saturday, Andrew Caddell rebounded for a solid third-place finish in the Jeff Huseman Cup race to round out the podium.