ORMHOF Welcomes the Class of 2022

ORMHOF Welcomes the Class of 2022

July 15, 2022, Reno, Nevada – Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Announces the Class of 2022.

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) received forty-six nomination packets for individuals to be considered for the Class of 2022. A committee of off-road industry professionals was convened to evaluate and review the submissions. At the end of a day-long discussion and review, a vote was taken by secret ballot, and the nominees who received votes from a minimum of two-thirds of the committee members were submitted to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame board of directors for ratification.

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the Class of 2022: Randy Anderson, Lance Clifford, Vic Curl, Butch Dean, Jim Fricker, Brad Lovell, Eric Solorzano, Scott Taylor, and Mike Thomas.

The ORMHOF Class of 2022 will be celebrated at the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Gala presented by 4 Wheel Parts, on Sunday, October 30 at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. More than 700 guests are expected to attend. Tickets, program ads, and sponsorship opportunities are available at ormhof.org.

“We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2022 to the Hall of Fame,” said ORMHOF chairman and inductee Mark McMillin. “The ORMHOF Gala is off-road’s biggest night of the year, attended by the who’s who in off-road -- It’s going to be quite a party!”

Meet the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Class of 2022:

Randy Anderson is the man behind the scenes at Walker Evans Racing.  From parts chaser to president, Randy has spent his entire off-road career with Walker Evans. He was just sixteen years old when he started running parts and sweeping floors in the race shop.

“When I first met Randy Anderson, he was still in high school and he worked after school sweeping floors for Walker Evans,” wrote Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) inductee Dick Landfield before he passed away, “Randy was motivated, and his desire was not limited to getting a faster broom. Walker saw the raw material of a future super star and he trained Randy to be a good mechanic, a fabricator, and a machinist.”

By the time he graduated from high school, Randy was in line to become Walker Evans’ crew chief.  Together, Walker and Randy won 122 races and 16 championships. Many other successful drivers spent time behind the wheel at Walker Evans racing, including ORMHOF inductee Rob MacCachren. Walker Evans Racing teams won 178 races and 31 championships.

More than four decades later, Randy is still with Walker Evans, as president and managing partner in Walker Evans Racing products. Randy has designed, engineered, developed, and fabricated suspension components and shock absorbers, building Walker Evans Racing products into one of the largest manufacturers in the off-road industry.

 

Lance Clifford combined his passion for recreational off-roading and competition rock crawling with his ability to learn, understand, and harness the power of early internet technology, Lance and the Pirate4x4.com moderators brought the off-road community together under the umbrella of an often rowdy and raucous forum format that can be politely described as, ‘we agree to disagree’ and channeling that opinionated energy into a strong voice for many important causes and campaigns.

“Lance Clifford gave me, and fellow land use advocates the most prominent and influential platform for communication and engagement in the world,” said ORMHOF inductee Del Albright. “He did this freely and openly as his part of keeping our trails open and helping save our off-roading sports.”

Lance Clifford was also a pioneer in bringing live coverage to off-road competition and events. Years before YouTube offered live-streaming video, Lance and his team brought live coverage of off-road motorsports events and competitions to a quickly expanding audience through his work on Pirate4x4.com. 

“The off-road industry is defined by its culture,” said King of the Hammers co-founder Dave Cole. “Lance Clifford is uniquely responsible for not only forming that culture but also sharing it with the world. As a network engineer and avid off-roader in the mid-1990s, Lance formed the website Pirate4x4.com around his club and their home trail, the famous Rubicon Trail. Pirate 4x4.com was the epicenter of advancement in technology, competition, industry news, and most importantly, social discourse. I can say without reservation, that King of the Hammers and the entire Johnson Valley OHV area would not exist without the reach and power of Pirate4x4.com and the leadership of Lance and his partner Erik Linker.”

 

Vic Curl went out and became one of our sport’s biggest contributors on hard work, a no-nonsense personality, and the backbone to always stand up for the truth.  His career can be categorized into three distinct eras – the Jeep years, the SCORE/PPI years, and the Trackside Performance years. 

From 1975 to 1988 Vic worked with Jeep, leading dealer groups on the Rubicon Trail and supporting Jeep racers at off-road events.  In 1978, he convinced Jeep brass to allow him to take a corporate mobile training semi to Baja for race support. Always a hands-on leader, Vic got his CDL so he could drive it himself. One of the first corporate support vehicles for racers, the semi made a huge impression at the 1978 Baja 1000.

In 1989 Vic went to work for future ORMHOF inductees Sal Fish and Bill Savage doing event logistics and tech inspection under the SCORE International umbrella. In 1990 Vic received a call from future ORMHOF inductee Cal Wells to join the PPI team. Vic oversaw portions of the team’s Mickey Thompson stadium effort with future Hall of Fame inductees Ivan Stewart and Roger Mears. He also managed PPI division’s Precision Service Racing Group (PSRG), supplying trackside and engineering tire support for Yokohama.

From 2000 to present Vic has supported Yokohama’s North American motorsports activity through Trackside Performance, a company he founded with partner Chikara (Cheech) Yamaguchi.

Andrew Briggs, Vice President, Marketing & Product Management for Yokohama Tire Corporation said, “The health of any motorsport is measured by manufacturer involvement and support.   From his early days with Jeep-AMC to his current involvement with Yokohama, Vic Curl has been a constant in helping manufacturers, drivers, and sponsors bring their best to off road racing.  The off-road racing community owes a debt of gratitude to Vic Curl.  I can think of no better way to show our collective appreciation than to welcome Vic into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.”

 

Butch Dean has been in the off-road industry for more than fifty years. In 1968 he opened a small shop in Las Vegas with Orlo Cox and Jim Dixon. Butch Dean’s Valley Speed Shop remains at the same location to this day.  The shop and yard are overflowing with parts from a lifetime of building race cars.

“He was always trying to better the performance of the engines, transmissions, and suspension of his cars,” said Pat Dean of his dad, Butch. “He was willing to provide any help needed to his fellow racers and always and always had a trailer full of spare parts and equipment to share.”

Some of the winningest drivers, many of whom are in the Hall of Fame, were mentored by Butch Dean, including Rob MacCachren, BJ Baldwin, Bud Feldkamp, Jack Johnson, and generations of the Herbst and Gaughan families.

BJ Baldwin said of Butch, “As with anything in life, if you want to be better, learn from someone who is better.”

 

Jim Fricker returned to his hometown of Hemet, California in 1958 after serving in the Marine Corps. With the help of the G.I Bill he started trade school to become a mechanic. By 1961 he completed not only trade school but a stint at the General Motors Training Center. From 1961 until his retirement in 1991 Jim wrenched at the Hemet Buick-Pontiac dealership.

Jim’s first foray into off-road racing came in 1969 with his friend Carl Jackson. Jackson had secured a seat in one of the James Garner (Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame 1978) American International Racers Ramblers that was experimental with four-wheel-drive. Carl and Jim brought that Rambler home fourth in class and were the first of the Ramblers back to Ensenada. Jim Fricker was now hooked on off-road racing.  Jim continued to ride with Jackson for three more years in Bill Stroppe (Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame 1978) prepared Ford Broncos.

After the 1973 season Stroppe moved Jackson into a Courier mini truck. Good for Carl, bad for Jim Fricker who is a tall guy and did not fit in the import pickup. In what would be a fortuitous move for them both Jim Fricker moved to the Bronco of Rod Hall. It would start a partnership that would last through 1994.

When Jim Fricker retired from the right seat, he amassed an impressive list of wins. Twelve Baja 1000s, eleven Baja 500s (or Internacional’s), eight Mint 400s and a host of Parker 400s, Fireworks 250s, Frontier 500s and 250s and many others. Jim Fricker won races in America, Mexico, Australia, and Africa.

 

Brad Lovell is one of off-road’s greatest ambassadors. He played a leading role in bringing Ford back to rock sports, promoting the importance of responsible use of public lands, and representing off-road in professional manner.

“Brad is an enthusiastic and tireless ambassador for off-road motorsports. We have witnessed and appreciate his willingness to talk to fans at events, especially kids, said AMSOIL President and CEO Alan Amatuzio. “Brad embodies professionalism, perseverance and competitiveness – traits that align perfectly with the mission of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.”

With 19 years in competition, Brad has had a tremendous effect on Off-Road. From a start in a two-car garage and a used Ranger, Brad has built a small empire demonstrating that the little guy can build it, can win, and can be successful. Competing and winning Off-Road builds a fan base, it’s what you do with the traction that counts. Brad has worked to tirelessly to promote responsible land use, most notably through three successful “Expedition Colorado” events.

Since 2017 Brad has worked with Ford Motor Company as Bronco & Limit Off-Road Training Manager. He works with the Bronco product development team to offer engineering feedback, product validation, and host remote testing operations. He acted as logistics manager and guide during multiple trips in Johnson Valley CA, Moab UT, Durhamtown GA, and through the Rubicon Trail. Brad is the lead off-road development driver for the program.  He also manages and is the lead trainer for the Ford Limit Off-Road Endorsement. 

 

Eric Solorzano rose from humble beginnings as an orphan boy in Tijuana to becoming the winningest Mexican national in off-road racing history. He started racing off-road on motorcycles in local races around Tijuana in 1974 and continued until 1988 when he decided to trade two wheels for four after an injury so he could continue racing.

Eric bought his first VW Bug in 1989. His first race was in 1991. He still owns, and races, the same car, more than 30 years later!  He has a second VW, which he also races.  Eric’s VWs compete in Class 11, the stock VW class. He first competed in the Mexican Record Series and then SCORE International, where he has won 11 championships and still competes to this day.

Why Class 11?  Eric says, “To me first is my family, Class 11 was the only real option for my budget without compromise. It’s really easy to spend more than what you really have in off-road racing. This is more than enough to keep me busy and be happy which is the point of all this, to have fun and not feel like you have to prove anything to anyone, pure passion.”

“Eric became the ‘King of Class 11’ by working six days a week as a mechanic while being a husband and father with eight children, sending them to college,” nominator Robert Lawrence said. “He has used his success to promote the sport of off-road in the press, in movies, as a mentor, and to inspire the less fortunate who dream of racing.”

 

Scott Taylor started his path to the Hall of Fame at a young age. “I was hopping up my dad’s lawn mower to make it mow faster when I was 6-years old,” Taylor was quoted as saying in a 2012 interview.

Scott’s first off-road vehicle was Volkswagen powered buggy he acquired in 1972 as a junior in high school. His began his off-road racing career in 1974 at Lake Geneva Raceway.

In a career spanning five decades, Scott Taylor won 18 championships and received many awards. During the 1990s, competing in the Short-course Off-road Drivers Association (SODA) series, he was honored as a sportsman of the year and driver of the year, and received a best pit appearance award.

Scott Taylor raced Ford Motor Company vehicles for much of his professional career, receiving a Ford/SODA Hard Charging Award and being selected to drive for the popular Ford Rough Riders team.

Scott dominated CORR Pro2 from 1999 to 2004, winning six consecutive championships.

A privateer racer with a limited budget, Scott’s wife Kellie served as team coordinator. The Taylors have two daughters, Hannah and Karlie.

In 1984, Scott Taylor opened Taylor Off-Road Racing, manufacturing performance race parts. He retired from racing in 2013, changing the name of his company to Scott Taylor Engineering.

“You can do anything you want to do. You just have to want to do it bad enough,” said Scott. “That’s been my legacy, and that has been my words of wisdom to everyone I’ve crossed paths with. I’ve spoken at schools and churches, and I’ve had people come up to me years later and thank me for those words.”

 

Mike Thomas is a Hall of Fame legacy inductee.  He passed away in 2007.  Mike’s legacy reaches beyond the boundaries of off-road. He was a true patriot.

As owner of Chenowth Racing Products from 1979 to 2007, Mike Thomas took the brand around the globe, amassing an impressive list of accolades, including six SCORE chassis manufacturer of the year awards.  By the time of Mike’s death in 2007, Chenowth race cars had 12 SCORE International overall victories at the Baja 1000, more than any other manufacturer. Chenowth cars have been raced by some of the top names in the sport, including ORMHOF inductees Rob MacCachren, Bob and Robby Gordon, Corky and Mark McMillin, Jack Johnson, Ivan Stewart, Roger Mears, Johnny Johnson and others, winning hundreds of races, and multiple championships in every off-road series in North America. 

Competitive success in North America eventually led to interest from racers around the globe. Throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s and early 2000’s Chenowth cars won events in Australian and South African race series. Jean-Louis Schlesser took a Chenowth based chassis to several 2WD victories and two overall victories in the formidable African rally. Thomas is also responsible for selling the first recreational buggies in the middle east. In the early 1980’s several clients from Saudi Arabia purchased Chenowth recreational cars. These early trips and subsequent sales in the middle east laid the foundation for a lucrative overseas future for several US based off-road buggy manufacturers.

Hollywood also came calling. Mike Thomas worked with motion picture and television studios, providing vehicles and training to stars like Tom Selleck, Chuck Norris, Wesley Snipes, and James Brolin. He provided vehicles for stunt shows at Universal Studios and produced six replica Batmobiles for Six Flags Theme Parks.

By the late 1970’s Thomas learned that the US Military was preparing for the battles of the future. Battles they knew would be fought in the deserts of the Middle East. The military needed a high speed, highly mobile off-road platform and Thomas had positioned Chenowth to meet that need. In just over two decades Chenowth built over 300 highly specialized off-road vehicles for several branches of the US Military including the Army, the Marines Force Recon and the Navy Seals. Mike accompanied the vehicles to the war zone, providing training and support to the troops on the operation of his Chenowth FAV Fast Attack Vehicles. At the time, Chenowth vehicles were the only “battle proven” vehicles to be manufactured from within the off-road racing industry.

“Mike Thomas took what he learned in the sand dunes and deserts here at home and mass produced reliable and safe desert vehicles for our troops and sending them overseas to help the United States with the war known as Desert Storm,” said ORMHOF inductee and chairman Mark McMillin. “Of the many generous and noteworthy things that Mike did, this would be one of his greatest.”

 

About the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame:

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame was established in 1978 by racing promoter and NORRA founder Ed Pearlman to recognize and honor those individuals and organizations whose lifelong contributions to off-road motorsports have set a standard for others to follow. In 1995, legendary off-road racer Rod Hall became ORMHOF chairman, a position he held for more than twenty years, before selecting current chairman Mark McMillin as his successor.

The mission of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame is to educate and inspire present and future generations of the off-road community by celebrating the achievements of those who came before.  Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees represent excellence and achievement in many areas of off-road, including advocacy, journalism, industry, rock sports, desert racing, short course, and rally. 

ORMHOF maintains a collection of vintage off-road vehicles that are displayed at museums around the country, as well as an extensive online archive of print, images, and videos, with more content added as funds become available.  The Hall of Fame recently announced the International Off-Road Registry, inviting clubs, organizations, events, businesses, and individuals with fifty years or more of history in off-road to apply for Hall of Fame heritage status in the official archives of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame is funded through donations, individual memberships, and industry partners. A 501c non-profit organization, ORMHOF has earned a GuideStar Non-Profit Gold Seal of Transparency for 2022.

ORMHOF is guided by an all-volunteer board of leaders in the off-road community, including Mark McMillin, Frank ‘Butch’ Arciero Jr, Colin Butcher, Dave Cole, Frank DeAngelo, Bud Feldkamp, Jeff Furrier, Bob Ham, Josh Hall, Rafael Navarro III, Bonnie Vessels, and Rory Ward.

Visit the Hall of Fame website for links to 2022 Gala tickets, discounted room rates, and Gala sponsorship opportunities, browse the ORMHOF online collections of print, images, and video, and to learn more about how to join, partner, or donate. Legends live at ormhof.org.

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