Compton, California (October 27, 2016) – Transamerican Auto Parts has announced the expert panel of judges who will select the winner of the 2016 “Life is Better Off-Road™” SEMA builder award in addition to naming the host for the award presentation. The highly respected collection of industry professionals selected, represent multiple facets of the off-road industry while including many of the most notable names in off-road vehicle engineering and development, fabrication, journalism and off-road motorsports.
To be presented for its second year at the 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.
Hosting the award presentation will be legendary Motocross, Supercross and off-road racing champion, Ricky Johnson. As one of the most honored Motocross and Supercross athletes of all time, Johnson has made his mark in the deserts of North America and Baja with victories in the Baja 500, Baja 1000 along with multiple voctories championships in both Pro 2 and Pro 4 divisions in short course off-road racing. Today, Johnson remains active in the sport along with his duties as television host of TORC off-road racing and select Red Bull Signature Series events.
As one of the most recognizable names in action sports, Brian Deegan kicked in the door of the highly competitive world of short course off-road racing to collect championships in the Pro Lite and Pro 2 Divisions while establishing one of the leading teams in the sport as an owner. Deegan also has collected numerous victories in the Global Rally Cross Series with the support of Ford as part of the Chip Ganassi Racing team while also directing the motorsports careers of his children who compete on both two and four wheels. As he returns to the panel for the second year, Deegan brings a wealth of experience that comes with being a multi-discipline competitor who has parlayed his experience into a successful off-road aftermarket brand.
Renowned as a true innovator, Rick Geiser and his brother Jeff have collected more off-road overall victories than all other vehicle builders combined. Together with their company, Geiser Brothers Design and Development, they have cornered the market on the elaborate, technically advanced, seven figure Trophy Trucks designed to fly across the desert at speed. Joining the panel for his second year, Rick Geiser brings an unparalleled level of expertise in the analysis of off-road capable vehicle builds.
New to the panel this year is Bill Caswell. In 2010, Caswell rose to internet fame as he purchased a $500 vehicle on Craig’s list and competed in an FIA-sanctioned WRC event, taking a podium finish in class. In the midst of the economic downturn, Caswell left his lucrative career in finance to fabricate and race in multiple disciplines on a realistic, do-it-yourself budget including rally events and competing in the Baja 1000 in a vehicle he constructed in just 14 days. He will be returning to the Baja 1000 in 2016 in a home-built BMW racecar under the auspices of his DIY Baja program.
Completing the panel experts are noted truck, Jeep and off-road journalists Sean P. Holman and Craig Perronne. In Holman’s role as Content Director, Truck & Off-Road Group at TEN: The Enthusiast Network, he oversees the editorial content, production and strategy for the group’s seven brands while Perronne, who has had an extensive career as an off-road journalist, is Editor and Publisher for 4 Wheel Parts’ Off-Road Adventures magazine.
The group will be selecting 10 semi-finalists from among previously submitted entries based on such criteria as off-road reliability and capability, real-world functionality, quality of craftsmanship and overall vehicle presentation. From these contenders, one Jeep and one truck or 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.
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 3 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).
As part of the award package, the winner will receive a cover feature and multi-page vehicle spotlight in ORA Magazine, 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 and Truck & Jeep Fests, along with the benefits of extensive partner media coverage of the award. The 10 semi-finalists will also be mentioned in the full media campaign as well as receiving ribbons in recognition of the achievement.
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™
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 Transamerican Auto 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 75 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. 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
Life is Better Off-Road Award Host and Judges
Ricky Johnson – Host
Ricky Johnson is a legend, plain and simple. The man has met U.S. presidents, is an inductee of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame of America and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and is one of the most honored Motocross and Supercross athletes of all time. Ricky made a name for himself in the ’80s as one of the great motocross racers of all time and his record speaks for itself: 61 AMA national wins, seven of which were national championships. In 1991, at the age of 26, Ricky announced his retirement after suffering a career-ending broken wrist. Instead of leaving competition, Ricky shifted gears into auto racing. He worked closely with NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson and started competing in SCORE events. Once again the titles started rolling in. He was awarded SCORE Rookie of the Year in 1993 and from ’93 to ’95 won the Baja 500 racing in Class 8.
In 1997, Ricky took home his first Baja 1000 victory, which he repeated in 2003. Early in 2008, Ricky signed on with long-time friend and Pro-4 Truck driver Steve Barlow and the Barlow Motorsports/Team Red Bull off-road team. The team has more wins than any other group in CORR history with nearly 20 total podiums and eight first-place finishes. Ricky came into the 2008 season with 11 podium finishes, including one first-place win in 2007 and finished his first season fourth overall in the CORR Pro-2 Truck points standings.
Ricky Johnson won the TORC Series Pro2wd Championship in 2010. In 2012, Johnson won the Pro 4×4 World Championship at Crandon’s, as well as the 2012 AMSOIL Cup.
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.
Bill Caswell is a self-taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator, who rose to internet fame by taking a $500 Craigslist BMW to a World Rally Championship event in Mexico in March of 2010. His exploits have featured in places like ESPN Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, NPR Radio, Wired.com and Jalopnik.com. Caswell graduated with an MBA from University of Chicago in 2004 and spent several years working in finance. The economic downturn gave him the opportunity to follow his dreams and after constructing a car for pennies in his mom’s garage, he entered the world of rally in 2009. The next fifteen months saw Caswell embark on his rally adventure culminating at WRC Mexico 2010. With no team, no budget, and only a co-driver for help, he achieved a podium finish in one of the sport’s most grueling events. Bill typically competes with Rally America and NASA Rallysport in the U.S. and has competed in the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, built his own BAJA 1000 racer in less than 14 days and drove it in the race, and has developed an international following.
Caswell currently writes for Jalopnik.com and RoadandTrack.com. Paramount Pictures recently announced the development of a major motion picture based on his life’s story starring Academy-Award-nominated actor Jeremy Renner. A lifelong fan of rally and motorsport, Caswell famously believes nothing to be impossible.