Author Archives: bryan novak

Larry Roeseler

Larry Roeseler has been riding, racing and winning off road competition races on both two-wheel and in four-wheel race vehicles for 50 years.  Known to friends and competitors alike as simply LR, Larry’s legacy as a champion off road racer is exemplified by his induction into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999 for his motorcycle achievements alone.

In SCORE International Competition, Larry has 39 Class Wins, 26 Overall Wins, 11 Overall Baja 500 Wins, and a record 13 Overall Baja 1000 Wins, the most of all time.

Still competing in his 50’s, Larry has no plans to quit competing at the highest levels of the sport any time soon.  He continues to grace the sport with a down-to-earth approach to winning while continuing to make himself accessible to fans who have supported him these past 50 years.

 

 

 

Casey Folks

Casey Folks, founder and Director of Best in The Desert Racing Association has worn many hats in the sport of off-road racing including competitor, promoter, and businessman in both two-wheel and four-wheel racing.  Folks is noted for his tenacity and dedication to making races happen regardless of the extreme web of challenges.  His ability to work with land management agencies, landowners and racers has allowed his organization to build the stage for off-road racers to compete and excel and enable the sport to not only survive, but grow.  Folks is also known for adopting new technologies to keep costs down for racers and developing innovative rules often adopted by other sanctioning bodies.  His event portfolio as a promoter is extensive and includes the Nevada Rally, Vegas to Reno, the Nevada 2000, Parker 250 and 425.  Casey passed away in 2017.

Ron Bishop

Ron Bishop is special kind of Off-Road racer whose consistent winning record is eclipsed by his dedication to the sport and by his passion for bettering the sport and improving its safety. With an incredible record of having been the only motorcycle racer to have entered in every Baja 1000 since the race’s inception in 1967, Ron also recognized the need for better lighting for the motorcycles that were competing against the larger 4 wheeled vehicles with their monster lighting systems. As early as 1970, Ron was beginning to tinker with the halogen lighting systems that were being used by the race trucks of the era, and by 1972 he had engineered a system to adopt the technology for use on racing motorcycles.

Throughout his racing career, Ron has always been ready to help new racers understand how to prep and maintain their bikes and how to prepare man and machine to finish and win a race. Many younger riders who have been mentored by this exceptional racer have gone on to become champions in their own right. Besides racing in Baja, Ron also competed and earned medals in the International Six Day Trials qualifiers and was recognized by the American Motorcyclist Association as an inductee to their Hall of Fame. Ron is truly one of those all around racers who exemplify the qualities that entitle his picture to hang on the wall alongside those of the previously inducted members of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Rob MacCachren

Rob MacCachren has raced in and won in virtually every kind of Off-Road racing series during his career that has spanned the past 3 decades. Whether it is desert racing in the U.S. or Baja, stadium racing, or short course racing, Rob has raced it and won in it. He has compiled a very impressive record of wins and championships both in limited and unlimited classes. No other racer has ever enjoyed the level of success he has had in so many different vehicles and so many different series.

But it takes more than just racing successes and victories to impress the voting committee members who decide on who should be admitted to the Hall of Fame. It was Rob’s role as an ambassador to the sport that convinced the committee that this man is truly worthy of induction into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. Rob never misses an opportunity to promote or support the various series with which he has been involved. Press conferences, public speaking engagements, promotions, interviews, and appearances are just a few of the opportunities he embraces to promote the sport. Rob’s media savvy and availability have gotten him named to the All American Writers and Broadcasting Association’s first and second teams on multiple occasions. He has also been named as Dirt Sports Magazine Driver of the Year (2007) and has been BF Goodrich’s Motorsports Person of the Year (2007) as well as having been named SCORE Person of the Year twice (1987, 2008). Rob has also mentored several up and coming drivers. He has taken promising young drivers and shows them not only how to go fast, but how to work on the vehicles, and how to earn respect in the sport and be a good representative for their sponsors. Rob has even helped his competitors by testing to improve their race cars and driving practices. Rob has already set numerous records with his impressive list of wins, and as an active racer we expect he will continue to win and to represent our sport as an ambassador of excellence.

 

 

Rick Pewe

Recreational: Four Wheeling category.  Singling out Rick Péwé’s most significant impact on off-roading is difficult as his contributions reach into virtually all aspects of the sport.  The one overriding aspect of his contributions probably involves his nature of grounded teaching that has made him an influencer of trends and a motivator of passion in each of the positions he has held within the industry.  From being a 4×4 counterman to owning his own shop to working alongside magazine editors and ultimately becoming the Editor-in-Chief of “Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off Road” magazine, Rick has always quietly taught his “children” (who now number in the tens of thousands) in the ways proper wheeling.  The influence of his teaching has affected trail-ride Jeep style and function, has helped create several 4×4 competitions, and has been a call to action for magazine readers and advertisers to become more involved in making off-road vehicles more pure and more functional.

Peter Brown

Pioneer:  Industry category.  Pete Brown, was an innovator in the creation of advanced lighting products for off-racers and off-road recreational enthusiasts.  Starting in his garage in Saugus, California, Pete began his quest to create better and more reliable lighting options for off road applications.  Throughout his career his innovations became the industry norm as his KC HiLites logo became one of the most recognized icons in off road applications.  He continued his quest to make off road lighting better and safer by pioneering the use of halogen lighting and eventually making HID lights the standard for night lighting in the off road racing community.  Pete saw a unfilled need in the early days of the off-road sport and moved in to fill that void, and spent the next several decades constantly improving and innovating in his passion to bring better lighting products to the off-road sport.

 

Johnny Johnson

Competition:  Off Road Racing category.  Johnny Johnson was one of the early champions in our sports, yet his innovations and his spirits are still part of the legacy of off-road racing today.  With 107 first place wins in his career, Johnny proved himself to be a fierce competitor.  But it is more than his ability to win races that have endeared him to the hundreds of other competitors and fabricators that have worked and raced with him over the years.  His willingness to help anyone, anytime is one of the most common comments that is repeated whenever his name is mentioned.  He helped promote the sport in the early years by participating in a one hour TV special in 1971 that featured George Plimpton racing with him in a Baja race.  Now a resident of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Johnny continues to help anyone and everyone, whether it involves pulling stuck cars out of the sand or half-sunk boats out of the water, Johnny is there to help.  Johnny is one of the true legends of the sport.

Chris Haines

Pioneer:  Industry category.  Since Chris Haines owned his first motorcycle at age 15 all the way through to the current success of his Baja Off Road Tours Company, he has been a true pioneer in off-road motorsports.  His efforts as a racer and businessman have truly expanded the reach of off-road motorsports around the world.  As off-road motorsports has experienced a surge in popularity during the recent decades, Chris has been right there in the lead.  Through his high profile client list and the massive amount of media exposure his business has created, there is little doubt that Chris’ work has helped spur the popularity of the sport.  From his philanthropic involvement to his contributions to the training of our armed forces personnel, Chris has often been called upon to serve as a liaison between our sports and the outside.  His reputation for excellence and dedication to the sport have been consistently relied upon to provide a legitimate and professional exposure to the off-road motorsports world.

JN Roberts

We are pleased to have J.N Roberts inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Class of 2009 in the Competition: Off-Road Racing category.

James Nelson “J.N.” Roberts is nothing less than a legend of off-road racing. He is one of those competitors who can make a motorcycle look like a ballet performance.

Now 68, Roberts has been known as “Da Man” in motorcycle and ATV circles for decades. He has been featured in hundreds of races all over the world and highlighted in films such as “Dust to Glory” and “Full Circle – The Legend Lives On” to name a few.

At the age of 22, Roberts entered his first desert race – the Moose Run at Holiday Hills. While the event wasn’t a huge success for the aggressive ride, it reminded Roberts of the cowboys and Indians chasing each other and a racer was born.

Hooked on the sport in a very short period of time, Roberts bought a new Husqvarna 360 Cross from Tracy’s in Burbank, California and began recording victories in the huge AMA District 37 events against 1,000 competitors.

From there, Roberts purchased a 350 Honda Scrambler that he modified before running to several Top 10 finishes. He then joined forces with the legendary Malcolm Smith to win the 1967 Mexican 1000, (later to become the Baja 1000). The victory marked the beginning of countless big time victories all over the world.

Roberts has remained close friends with Smith and in fact, the two were featured in the DVD “Full Circle – Malcolm Smith and JN Roberts – The Legend Lives On.”

Among his accomplishments has been the fact that Roberts has been inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which recognizes those who have excelled in motorcycle business history, design and engineering in addition to those known for their contributions to road racing, off-road racing, and all categories of motorcycle racing.

When the first Mint 400 was staged in 1968, Roberts was the first competitor to complete the grueling event riding his Husqvarna across the finish line in a fitting historic effort.

To say that Roberts is an Ironman is a definite under statement. He mastered off-road racing in the 1960s and 1970s aboard a two-stroke Husqvarna, winning twenty-seven straight races during one particular stretch when four-stroke thumpers were the dominant force.

And when he wasn’t sailing across the desert en route to another victory, Roberts was being followed by young riders who worshipped his talents. His riding advice through regular articles in Popular Cycling encouraged young riders to get out, ride and compete.

“Everybody in off-road racing knows J.N. Roberts,” said KJ Howe, who spearheaded the Mint 400 from 1973-1985 and personally watched Roberts compete. “He was a wizard of reading terrain and keeping equipment together which other riders tried hard to emulate.

“He was legendary even then. As a member of the Board of Trustees with the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, I’m proud to see him inducted in 2009.” Equally important was the fact that Roberts’ innovative use of protective gear made the sport safer. He paved the way for extreme sports as we know them now, according to Howe.

Jack Flannery

We are honored to welcome Jack Flannery to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Class of 2009 in the Competition: Off-Road Racing category.

Championship off-road racer Jack Flannery is one of the most well-known names in off-road racing for his talents as a competitor and an innovator. Born and raised in Crandon, Wisconsin, Flannery joins an extremely elite group of other legends such as Walker Evans and Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, among others, in the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. The achievement is also significant in that Flannery is the first off-road champion from the Midwest to be inducted into the Hall.

Flannery brought short course off-road racing to the mainstream by being the first Midwest native to organize a professional off-road race team that was capable of competing against, and beating, the best off-road racers in the world. His passion and commitment to the sport and innovative truck designs helped bring short course off-road racing to a higher level. Being continuously involved in every aspect of the sport, from track designs and layout, to bridging the gap between promoters, racers, fans, and sponsors alike, he enabled more people to experience and enjoy the sport on all levels.

Starting his career at the legendary Crandon International Off-Road Raceway as a grass roots off-road racer, his charismatic personality, techniques and refinements allowed him success in a variety of venues. Competing against factory sponsored teams in the initial stages of his career, privateer Flannery, with the financial backing from Flannery Trucking, owned by his father Melvin and late mother Dorothy, proved early on he was quite talented behind the wheel and a force to be reckoned with.

Beginning his nearly three-decade racing career by piloting a snowmobile, he switched his efforts in the ‘70s to a Class 6 two wheel drive sedan and utility vehicle. In 74 he discovered a new niche and began piloting rear engine off-road buggies. In the late 70s he began to focus his talents and passion on the full-size truck classes.

Competing in the Mint 400 in the Nevada desert in ‘78 and ‘79 helped Flannery gain valuable experience.

Venturing into Canadian territory in the early ‘80s, Flannery competed in the Canadian Off-Road Series two times, all the while dominating the Midwest SODA series and racking up five Pro Series Championship titles. He also competed in the SCORE Off-Road Championships in Riverside, California.

In 1990, Flannery added another victory at the Inaugural SCORE Off-Road Championships in Phoenix, Arizona. The highlight of 1990 was when Flannery captured the Class F truck title in the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb and earned Rookie of the Year honors while piloting a Ford F-150.

The following year brought a major sponsorship on behalf of Chevrolet and launch of the famous “Chevy Thunder” Team as well as 9 wins out of 10 events in the SODA ESPN-TV Pro Series. Jack also once again returned to Pikes Peak, this time driving a new full-size Chevrolet, and not only won the Heavy Metal title, but shattered his own record by a whopping 22 seconds! In ‘92 Flannery made the trek back to the Hill finishing second. 1993 again showcased Flannery’s talent as he stormed through the SODA circuit by winning five of six events, and taking home the ESPN Pro Series Championship for a sixth time.

In subsequent years, Flannery was a solid fixture in professional short course off-road racing and again no stranger in victory circle scoring numerous Pro 4 and Heavy Metal wins. The pinnacle of his career came in 1996 when he won the coveted $125,000 Borg Warner Cup Race at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. “Mr. Chevy Thunder” followed that up in 1997 with a clean sweep at Crandon, once again winning both Pro 4 classes and the prestigious Governor’s (now called “Chairman’s”) Cup Race. Victory followed Flannery into 1998 when against a world class field of off-road competitors; he dominated and claimed the CORR Pro 4 Championship title and in 1999 won a second Chairman’s Cup as his curtain call.

Having accomplished goals most can only dream of with well over 150 class wins and series titles, Jack has enough championship rings to fit every finger and toe on his body.

Jack Flannery 1952 – 2010