A dark day for motor sports fans got even darker after the death of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, who was killed Sunday as a result of a pileup at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as news surfaced that off-road racing star Rick Huseman (pictured) was killed in a plane crash at nearby Barstow-Daggett Airport.
Details about the Huseman incident were not clear late Sunday evening. His website, however, confirmed the sad news at about 9:30 p.m., stating that Huseman’s younger brother Jeff also died in the crash, which occurred at about 2 p.m. Rick Huseman was 38.
A source close to off-road racing said via email that the competitor’s wife, Michelle, and the couple’s baby were not aboard the plane. Huseman had been returning from a Saturday night event in Las Vegas.
Huseman was a longtime star on the offroad circuit.
Last year he won the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series Pro-4 Championship, and he was in second place in this year’s series standings. Since he began racing in 1997 he was a fan favorite.
News of his death began to spread Sunday evening via social media platforms, including the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series Facebook Page.
SpeedZone Los Angeles posted on the page: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, team and fans of Indy Car Champion Race Dan Weldon and Rick Huseman. The racing and motorsports community is deeply saddened by today’s tragic losses. They will be missed and both [were] great drivers!
“Rick you where a friend and you will be missed,” read one of the posts. “I can not stop crying right now. I know God must have had big plans for you. Our thoughts and prayers go to your family now.”
Another supporter states: “R.I.P. RICK HUSEMAN We Will Miss you this Sport will never be the same without you. You were Truly a Champion Weather it was TORC or LOORRS. 36 Lives on Forever.”
These sentiments will be echoed many times over as news of the star’s death becomes widely known.
— Image of Rick Huseman is courtesy of his website