|Aggressive Bryan Freeman goes airborne in Laughlin en route to his second Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts points championship. (Eric Record photography)
You might say that 2010 Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts champion and Class 12 competitor Bryan Freeman is keeping his latest honor in the family considering past experiences.
The 31 year-old Freeman captured his second SNORE title this year after winning the crown in 2007. Further back in the family, father Kenny took the championship in 1979; and grandfather Ken, Sr. powered his way to the title in 1980.
Solidifying the fact that the Freeman family certainly knows what it’s doing in the sport of off-road racing, Kenny’s wife, Kerry, took the Power Puff championship in 1980; and Ken Sr.’s wife, Mariane, won the Powder Puff crown three years in a row in the 1970s.
Throw in the fact that his Aunt Bekki Wik won the 1-2 1600 class of the Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts (SCORE) points titles in 1998 and 2000, and it’s easy to say that the Freemans rock in the sport.
The youngest Freeman to win the championship did so amassing 4,092 points to better Class 1 driver TJ Flores (3,928); Class 16 competitor Jason Coleman (3,776); Class 18 charger Chuck Harvey (3,626) and Class 7 kingpin Travis Bozzano (3,579).
The top ten included Class 1 driver Terry Householder (3,577); Class 7 competitor Richard Blunk (3,552); Unlimited entry Todd Wyllie (3,551); Class 18 driver Mark Bass (3,548) and Class 16 competitor Darin Anderson (3,444).
“All of our grand kids started racing at a young age,” said their Grandpa Ken Freeman, Sr. “Bryan and Cody (brother) have been running desert motorcycles since they were very young. Then, their cousin Day Gang has been a real star in off-roading and go-karts.
“Bryan just loves to run off-road, and he knows his business. Rob MacCachren was his mentor. In fact, Rob even had Bryan run half of his races in Baja, Mexico for about two or three years. And when Rob MacCachren selects someone to drive with him, you know that his teammate has certain standards to meet.”
Mr. Freeman added that his grandson’s multi-faceted talent was evidenced by the fact that he drove trucks for MacCachren.
Ken Freeman, now 79, explained that his grandson is a very intense driver who actually studies a race course long before competing on it.
“He will walk a race course every race,” explained Mr. Freeman. “He walks the areas that he’s concerned about. So many off-road races nowadays don’t allow for pre-running, so you might say that Bryan offsets the new rules by pre-walking.”
Bryan’s dad, Kenny, said his son is meticulous to the end.
“He is the Jimmie Johnson of off-road racing,” said the elder Freeman. “He knows just how hard he has to push a car to win an event.
“During the next year, Bryan is going to team up with his younger brother, Cody. They will race the SNORE season. Bryan told Cody that since all the other men in the Freeman have titles, he needs one, too.”
Former off-road racer Joe McDonough, now 74, ran several classes with his family from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. His two sons, David and John, also competed on motorcycles early.
“If these kids start riding motorcycles when they are young like Bryan did, they learn to read the desert and survive the sport,” explained McDonough. “They know when to get on it and when to get off it. Rick Mears was one helluva off-road driver before he ever got into Indy cars where he won four Indy 500s. Off-road racing teaches the driver so much.”
Flores, 33, who won the 2009 Best in the Desert title, lauded Freeman for his efforts.
“I just had to place in the last race,” said Flores. “I was leading on Saturday and ran out of gas three miles short of the finish. We went into the last race with a 48-point lead over Bryan, but the bottom line was that he got the job done. He did his homework and his victory was well-earned. I blew a motor the week before, and the gas mileage on the new motor wasn’t what I expected. Normally, I get four miles to the gallon, but his time I got three.
“Bryan ran a good season and it was good right until the end.”
Freeman will officially be honored Saturday at the SNORE awards banquet at the South Point Casino. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner scheduled for 6:15 p.m.