The off road racing community was stunned to learn of the tragic death of driver Rick Huseman who was killed in a private airplane crash on Sunday, October 16th, near the community of Barstow-California. The reigning Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, (LOORRS), Pro 4 Division champion was 38 years old.
Also perishing in this tragic accident was Huseman’s younger brother, Jeff, who was a mechanic on his older brother’s team as well as a driver in the LOORRS Pro Lite Division. The third victim, believed to be the pilot of the plane, has yet to be officially identified.
According to reports the Husemans were in Las Vegas the night before attending the Monster Energy Cup motorcycle race. Monster Energy Drink is also the sponsor of Huseman’s Toyota Tundra racing truck. The investigation has confirmed that the pilot of the Beech 33 Bonanza plane had filed a flight plan from the Henderson-Nevada Executive Airport with the destination being the John Wayne Airport in Ontario-California.
But something went terribly wrong during the course of the flight and the pilot found himself having to attempt an emergency landing at the Barstow-Daggett Airport. Sadly the plane couldn’t make it that far and crashed approximately five miles northeast of the airport. California Highway Patrol officers reported that the plane was completely engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene.
In 1996 Huseman, along with brothers Danny and Jeff, formed the Riverside-California based Huseman Racing and began to find success in southern California regional racing. That was later followed success in the former CORR Stadium Off Road Series. In 2005 the team elevated their status by moving up to the CORR Pro 4 Truck Division. The 2007 season was a good one for the Husemans. The team won their first CORR race, at the fairgrounds in Lancaster-California, and finished sixth in the division’s points standings that year. The 2008 CORR season provided Huseman with two more wins and second in the point standings.
Rick Huseman’s break out year in stadium off road racing came during the 2009 season when he joined the newly formed TORC, (The Off Road Championship), Series where he won five of the first six races. He finished the season with six wins along with the honor of being the series’ first ever champion. Also that year he collected ten podium finishes, seven Oakley Bomb Run Awards for fastest lap times and he was voted the 2009 TORC Driver of the Year by his colleagues.
He added a second championship while racing with LOORRS during the 2010 season and set a series record by winning ten, of 15, rounds. It still stands as the most single season season wins in short course racing history. He also won the LOORRS Driver of the Year award. Huseman was also racing in TORC events last year and missed winning their championship by only three points.
Huseman started the 2011 LOORRS season on a strong note and, at the point of his untimely passing, posted five wins which placed him second in the current Pro 4 points. In his 12 years of stadium off road racing, Huseman won 29 races. There’s no telling how many more races and championships he would have won had it not been for this terrible tragedy.
Please remember the Huseman family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time in their lives.