Compton, California (October 27, 2015) – Today, Transamerican Auto Parts announced the panel of experts who have been selected as judges for the 2015 “Life is Better Off-Road™” SEMA builder award in addition to the host of the award presentation. The group of judges has been selected to represent a cross section of the off-road industry and includes some of the most recognizable individuals in off-road vehicle design, fabrication, journalism, and competition.
Hosting the award presentation will be renowned automobile enthusiast, NBC Motorsports personality and host of History Channel’s Top Gear USA, Rutledge Wood. While known for his knowledge and enthusiasm for all things automotive, Wood has himself been bitten by the off-road bug, making him the ideal choice to direct this important presentation.
Representing rock crawling, rock racing, Ultra4 competition and fabrication is vehicle builder and race champion, Shannon Campbell. Campbell’s innovative approach to “hard core” 4×4 rock crawling and racing has earned him countless victories and established him as one of the foremost authorities in off-road vehicle design and fabrication.
Joining Campbell on the panel is fellow Ultra4 competitor, short course off-road racer, Jeep enthusiast and scion of the well-known Curry Enterprises, Casey Curry. With his transition from freestyle motocross evolving into a successful Rallycross and short course off-road racing career, action sports icon, Brian Deegan has quickly emerged as a tour de force in the world of off-road motorsports. As a team owner with multiple signature aftermarket products to his name, Deegan will bring his unique perspective and a businesslike approach to the proceedings.
Trophy Truck racing is the premier division in off-road racing with the custom, tube chassis vehicles commonly requiring an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars and often climbing into seven figures for a complete high end build. Rick Geiser and his brother Jeff are considered the Godfathers of the modern Trophy Truck. With more trucks on the course and more wins under their belts than all other builders combined, Geiser brings a tremendous level of design, development and fabrication experience to the panel.
Rounding out the collection of experts are off-road journalists Sean P. Holman and Craig Perronne. Holman an off-road enthusiast himself, currently serves as Content Director for the Truck Trend Network, overseeing the editorial content production and strategy for the group’s seven brands. Perronne now serves as both Editor and Publisher for 4 Wheel Parts’ Off-Road Adventures magazine after a 10-year long stint at Dirt Sports Magazine.
The group will be selecting 10 semi-finalists from among the previously submitted entries based on such criteria as off-road reliability and capability, real-world functionality, quality of craftsmanship and overall vehicle presentation. From those contenders, one Jeep and one truck / SUV will be chosen as the two finalists to vie for the designation of being named the most authentic off-road-capable vehicle at the SEMA Show.
Launching this year at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, the “Life is Better Off-Road™” award is an annual industry prize awarded by Transamerican Auto Parts to the best presented, truly off-road capable truck, Jeep or SUV on display at the show.
The award, a custom designed trophy, will be presented by Transamerican Auto Parts President and CEO, Greg Adler, at 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 5 at the ProComp / Transamerican Auto Parts Booth #62112 within the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience Area (Located outside of the South Hall in the Silver Lot).
In addition to the award itself, the winner will receive a cover feature and multi-page vehicle spotlight in ORA Magazine, a professional photo shoot, recognition across the spectrum of Transamerican social media and digital channels, a promotional email campaign highlighting the award and winners, an invitation to be displayed in feature locations at TAP-sponsored events, tradeshows, Truck & Jeep Fests, along with the benefits of extensive partner media coverage of the award. The 10 semi-finalists will also be included in the full media campaign as well as receiving ribbons in recognition of their accomplishment.
To submit your off-road SEMA display vehicle for award consideration please visit www.transamericanautoparts.com/award.There you may complete your entry on-line or download the PDF application that may be completed and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, complete rules, terms and conditions for the Transamerican Auto Parts “Life is Better Off-Road™” SEMA builder award please visit www.transamericanautoparts.com/award
Life is Better Off-Road Host and Judges
Rutledge Wood – Presentation Host
Rutledge Wood grew up with an auto enthusiast father who restored, bought and sold old and new cars and he’s now following in his father’s tire tracks. Growing up in Alabama and Georgia afforded him firsthand experience with a wide variety of classic vehicles and trucks. As co-host of the History Channel’s American version of popular auto show Top Gear, he’s no stranger to the vast spectrum of custom, exotic and performance vehicles. While traveling the NASCAR circuit, Wood accumulated a considerable amount of racing knowledge and currently serves as an auto analyst at NBC Sports covering NASCAR and a host of other motorsports events. Rutledge’s travels in search of classic cars, annual appearances at the SEMA Show and on screen presence make him a natural as the host of the inaugural Life Is Better Off-Road Award presentation.
Never tell off-road innovator Shannon Campbell that something can’t be done or it won’t work unless you want him rise to the challenge. From an early age, Shannon learned that if you want to accomplish something you have to work hard for it. What has now become an addiction to racing began when he won the Four Wheeler Magazine Top Truck Challenge in his homemade Willy’s Jeep, and with organized rock crawling emerging in the late ‘90s, Campbell found himself right in the mix. In 2005, Shannon won his first Championship and was chosen as Dirt Sports Magazine Driver of the Year. From 2006 to 2010, Campbell joined the XORRA series and dominated rock racing events while bringing home a total of six Series and National Championships. In 2008, he won the inaugural King of the Hammers event in Johnson Valley, California, capturing the scepter again in 2011. Now focusing on the Ultra4 series in addition to supporting his kids Wayland and Bailey as they race up through the ranks, Campbell was named Dirt Sports Rock Racer of the Year in 2013 and continually competes in off-road races.
Born into a family that has been in the motorsports business for over 50 years, Casey is no stranger to the off-road way of life. Since 1959, the Currie’s have been building high performance rear ends for hot rods, off-road and NASCAR style racing vehicles. At the age of 16, Casey jumped behind the wheel of his first race truck and since then his off-road resume is bulleted with wins on motorcycles, trucks and buggies. Among his many highlights are winning the MDR series in his JeepSpeed in 2003, taking 2nd in Pro Truck in the 2004 Baja 1000, finishing runner up at the 2009 King of the Hammers and capping off 2010 with a Pro Lite Championship, including 4 wins. On top of his full race schedule, he builds multiple Jeeps for various companies for the SEMA show and participates in historical events like the Bantam Historic Jeep Festival in Butler, PA. When he’s not on the road, building off-road vehicles and drumming up side projects, Casey takes to the dirt with friends on dirt bikes, UTVs or mountain bikes – he does it all.
Motocross legend, off-road racer, team owner and businessman, “The General” Brian Deegan is a pioneer in action sports. At age 17, outfitted with only a credit card, a dirt bike and an old truck, Brian left his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska for Southern California with dreams of becoming the next big name in Motocross. Brian’s skills quickly impressed everyone he encountered, and he soon rode his way onto a Supercross Team. In an apocryphal 1997 appearance at the LA Coliseum, Brian pioneered what is known today as Freestyle Motocross by “ghost riding” his bike across the finish line – astonishing the crowd, stunning the AMA officials and unleashing a new breed of competition. As the most decorated Freestyle Motocross rider in the competition’s history, Brian has 13 X-Games medals to his name and holds the distinction of being the only rider to compete in every X Games competition since its inception. Over the past few years, Brian has been a dominant force in the off-road racing world, taking both Lucas Oil Pro 2 Unlimited and Pro Lite Unlimited Championships, being named Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year and taking home the Lucas Oil Driver of the Year in 2010 and 2011. Brian currently competes in Motocross, Freestyle Motocross, Rally Car, and Short Course Trucks as founder and owner of the Metal Mulisha.
Geiser Brothers Rick and Jeff are known as the Godfathers of Trophy Trucks for good reason. Their race trucks have garnered countless wins in the elite Trophy Truck arena of off-road desert racing and they only seem to be gaining momentum. Together, they’ve built over 70 off-road race vehicles including an astounding 50+ Trophy Trucks. As the most respected builders in desert racing, they hand-build each of their unlimited off-road race vehicles at their Phoenix headquarters. For almost 20 years, cutting edge fabrication and design have been the signature of the Geiser Brothers’ high quality, race-proven vehicles. Known as the builders of choice for legendary off-road racers including Robby Gordon, Bryce Menzies and Rob MacCachren, Geiser Brothers vehicles are unmatched in excellence and performance.
Sean P. Holman
As a longtime automotive enthusiast and journalist who has been with TEN: The Enthusiast Network since 2003, Sean P. Holman has held editorial staff positions at Truckin, Truckin’s SUV and Four Wheeler. Eventually, Sean took on the editor positions at 4×4 Garage – JK Edition and Diesel Power. Currently filling the role of Content Director for the Truck Trend Network, Sean oversees the editorial content production and strategy for the group’s seven brands. When he’s not busy chasing down all things trucks, Sean can be found enjoying life with his daughter, working on his ’67 F-100 project, or out on the trail with either his modified Jeep Wrangler or specialized mountain bike.
Craig Perronne has a long history in the dirt beginning at an early age with a love for dirt bikes. From there, his passion turned to four wheels and he found himself exploring the remote Baja Peninsula while participating in the SCORE International Desert Racing series. Once out of college, he quickly landed a job with Off-Road Magazine and has since worked for every major off-road magazine including 4 Wheel & Off-Road and Four Wheeler magazines. After a 10-year long stint at Dirt Sports Magazine, Perronne now serves as both Editor and Publisher for 4 Wheel Parts’ Off-Road Adventures magazine.
Life is Better Off-Road™
There are those among us who believe that pursuing life off-road means rock crawling, trail running, and mud bogging, or maybe storming across the open desert at speed. We agree. Setting off to conquer the earth is why you built your ultimate truck or Jeep. To others, the ultimate adventure is finding the wave, hiking a new trail, kayaking down a roaring river or skiing the impossible run. Your adventure could be loading the family into your truck and heading out to camp under the stars, pulling your boat to a lake, or carrying your dirt bike to a remote trail. Whatever your adventure, make the journey as exciting as the destination. Get outside. Explore, unplug, play in the dirt and go further. Because Life is Better Off-Road.™
About 4 Wheel Parts:
Transamerican Auto Parts is the world’s leading manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of aftermarket parts and accessories for trucks, Jeeps, SUVs and four wheel drive vehicles. Transamerican operations are comprised of 71 4 Wheel Parts retail locations in North America, Transamerican Wholesale sales and distribution, Dealer Services International and the Transamerican Manufacturing Group which includes Smittybilt, Rubicon Express, G2 Axle & Gear, Pro Comp, LRG Wheels and Poison Spyder Customs. We Sell It. We Own It. We Live It. For more information about Transamerican Auto Parts, Dealer Services International and Transamerican Manufacturing Group, please visit: transamericanautoparts.com.