The racing community is still in shock at the tragic loss of Monster Energy driver Rick Huseman, whose life was cut short in a small plane crash three weeks ago that also took his brother Jeff and friend Danny Hicks. Cool weather set the mood as brother and chief mechanic Kevin Huseman took the No. 36 Monster Energy Pro4 Unlimited Toyota around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway track for the final time, leading the parade lap for the Lucas Oil Off Road Series (LOORRS) Pro4 field.
Although Huseman has been taken from us, his spirit lives on through his family and teammates. Motocross legend Jeremy McGrath led a field of 17 Pro2 Unlimited trucks from flag to flag to take home his first LOORRS short course victory after multiple podium appearances. Multiple trucks battled for second place, but no one had anything to match McGrath’s speed and precision. “It is a shame that Rick is not here to share this moment,” McGrath commented after the race, “but I know that he is looking down at as and cheering us on.” Starting further back in the crowded field on Sunday, Jeremy got mixed up in traffic on the first turn of the race. Harm to the truck resulted, and although McGrath was able to continue to a sixth place finish the damage made the truck uncompetitive for the victory.
In Pro Lite Unlimited, both Casey Currie and Cameron Steele were plagued by a string of bad luck in Las Vegas. Cameron Steele’s crew burnt the midnight oil to track down a gremlin that surfaced in qualifying, eventually replacing the entire engine. This change required Steele to start at the back of the 17 truck field, and although he managed to pass half the class in the first lap Steele got tangled with Matt Loiodice, which pushed him back to eighth place at the checkers. Sunday was a cleaner race and Steele finished less than half a second from the podium in fourth place.
Casey Currie had a challenging weekend also, as a faulty steering servo in Friday’s qualifying had Currie starting ninth on Saturday. A barrage of debris from the competition destroyed Casey’s brake lines, leaving him without stopping power on the twisty track. Sunday Currie managed a fifth place finish right behind his Monster Energy teammate, but a damaged exhaust system after hard contact from another driver left his V8 down on power for much of the race.
Only one round of racing remains before the big money cup races at Firebird Raceway cap off the end to the 2011 LOORRS season next month.
Story by Harry Wagner
Photos by Vincent Knakal