#3 FABTECH / Toyo Tires / Toyota TRD / Monster Energy backed Rick Huseman Dazzles packed house of over 25,000 fans at "The Quarry" in San Diego With Top Finish
Riverside, CALIFORNIA - Rick Huseman's day at the office starts with the buckling of his fitted race helmet and then climbing inside his #3 FABTECH/ToyoTires/Toyota TRD/Monster Energy Pro 4 race truck. Once he's settled into the Mastercraft race seat, he begins the process of belting himself inside the machine that he and his brothers engineered from straight chromoly tubing.
Huseman is all business behind the wheel of his race truck and his truck is his office. Every time the racer buckles up he's intending on accomplishing one thing and one thing only, that's to make it to the podium each and every race.
Championship Off-Road Racing Series (CORR) arrived to San Diego, California for Rounds 7 & 8 of the 2008 CORR season in front of the largest crowds that CORR has ever seen. On Saturday, a record of nearly 15,000 fans packed into "The Quarry," at Chula Vista International Raceway to watch the 70 plus racers competing in 8 different classes.
"The Quarry" at Chula Vista International Raceway is a .82-mile purpose-built race course featuring high banked turns, six-foot high bumps along with a high-speed front stretch directly in front of the grandstands providing pure entertainment. CORR is the toughest racing in off road and Rick Huseman Racing is all about testing the limits of hardcore racing.
Rick explained, "My brothers and I have been racing CORR since the days when the name of the series was SODA. We've been around the block and back a few times and every season is long and challenging. This year is no different, I'm just glad that we're on the top of the pile instead of on the bottom trying to make up lost ground."
Friday's busy practice schedule left no time for socializing as Rick and his brothers worked diligently towards a 'faster truck.'
Huseman explained, "We had some adjusting to do once we got to the track and the crew worked hard all day Friday while we went through the practice sessions in preparation for the qualifier. Qualifying in the top half of the field is very important and we've been very fast at this track in the past. We shaved off some time and qualified in the top five, but I was really looking for some faster times. On Friday our fastest time was a 56.535 and by Saturday morning's practice we shaved off almost a full two seconds down to a 54.813. That gave me a lot of confidence heading into Saturday's race."
The mayhem started early in Saturday's race as the start of the race was red-flagged after Red Bull's Steve Barlow flipped end-over-end in front of the grandstands as the green flag dropped. Rick Huseman positioned the #3 Pro 4 for the restart and ran a torrid pace towards the first turn where he managed to outlast the carnage of some serious bumping and banging in the first turn. Huseman charged towards the front of the pack with his FABTECH/Toyo Tires/ToyotaTRD/Monster Energy Pro 4 working very good for the entire race. However, about the midway point Rick was sliding hard through turn five when he caught an edge and that put him on his two right side tires bicycling.
"The only escape route I had was over the top of the berm and into the hot pits so that's what I did. However, that put me to the back of the field and I had to play catch up the rest of the race. Our truck was much better than the 7th place finish we showed, but that one mishap in turn four put me behind the pack with very little time to get to the front. The competition is so close and everyone is running at top speeds that a slight miscue will cost you a top spot," said Rick.
Sunday's racing action reached a new pinnacle as CORR Pro 4 racing was televised live on NBC Sports nationally. Besides the thousands of excited fans at the race track, hundreds of thousands of motorsports fans tuned into a 1 ½ hour special CORR motorsports show on NBC Sports.
Starting from the front row alongside Toyota TRD/Monster Energy teammate, Johnny Greaves, Huseman took the outside line into turn one which provided him the optimal traction for his Toyo Tire Open Country tire. The battle between the titans of Pro 4 was on as Huseman, Douglas and Renezeder all fought it out for the second spot behind Greaves. At the midway point of the race and just before the yellow competition yellow, Renezeder tried to pass Huseman and ended up on the K-rail of turn four. The race for the checkered flag was now left to Greaves, Douglas and Huseman, all patiently waiting to charge up turn one.
husemanrd8 Rick held his position and slid the FABTECH/Toyo Tires/Toyota TRD/Monster Energy Pro 4 hard into turn one and out towards turn two holding onto the third spot. Greaves led the fastest pack into turn three and then he suffered a mechanical failure allowing Douglas and Huseman to fight it out to the end.
With only one lap to go, Huseman closed on Douglas several times but came up just short, taking the second place finish on the nationally televised race.
Smiling wide as he stepped off the podium drinking an icy cold Monster Energy drink Rick Huseman commented, "We really had a good race. I positioned myself in the spot where I thought we could make a run at the leader in the final laps and then it all broke loose. We had a geeen-white-checkered flag situation and then Greaves fell off the pace and it was Scott and I battling to the end. A couple times I thought I was going to be able to get by Douglas, but I needed a couple more laps. The FABTECH/Toyo Tires/Toyota TRD/Monster Energy Pro 4 performed well. The Toyota TRD power plant withstood a harsh pounding today and the Toyo's hooked up really well. A big thank you goes out to everyone who supports our program. Airing this race live on NBC Sports is exciting for everyone involved in our race program. We couldn't do it without all of our partners and I want everyone to know that we appreciate your support."
Finishing the weekend with a solid performance and claiming the 2nd place trophy Rick Huseman Racing is in the top three for the 2008 CORR Series season championship point's race. A mere 13 points separate the top three racers and at this point in the season series, the championship is up in the air for the taking.
"We'll be there in the end, you can count on that," regarded a grinning Huseman.