Rounds 13 and 14 of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series presented by GEICO and sponsored in part by E3 Spark Plugs proved a beautiful but bittersweet time for racers and fans. We celebrated as one favorite competitor locked down the season’s first championship title and said a formal good-bye to two others.
Saturday’s round was the first since the death of 2010 Pro 4 Champion Rick Huseman, his brother Jeff and friend Dan Hicks, all killed in a plane crash near Barstow, CA last month. Tributes to the Huseman brothers could be seen everywhere. Pro 2 competitor Robby Woods’ truck featured a special green paint scheme with Rick Huseman’s name and number. Junior 2 Kart racer Shelby Anderson had her kart painted with the livery that Huseman ran and invited other racers to pen a special message on it. In fact, most ever vehicle and driver suit bore some sort of tribute to the Huseman brothers. Most touching, however, was the final lap of Rick Huseman’s No. 36 Toyota driven by brother Kevin Huseman. The number is now permanently retired from Pro 4.
After the opening ceremonies, racers were ready to put on a show worthy of their friends’ memory. And they did just that – especially in the Pro 4. Carl Renezeder; the three LeDucs, dad Curt and brothers Kyle and Todd; and Greg Adler spent much of the race neck-and-neck with each other – each leading the field at one point or another. The race proved quite the barnburner with two full-course cautions to clear Josh Merrell’s and Curt LeDuc’s trucks from the tracks.
When the mud stopped flying, it was Renezeder out front for his 98th off-road victory with enough series points to clinch this season’s Pro 4 championship title. Rounding out the top five were the brothers LeDuc, Kyle and Todd taking second and third place respectively, Adler finishing fourth and Kent Brascho finishing fifth.