Oceanside, CA –Ricky James, the 20-year old paraplegic from Murrieta, CA capped-off an amazing 2008 by taking the overall points and championship in the West Coast Pro Trucks series.
In his rookie year, James recorded an amazing “hat trick”, clinching the 2008 Rookie of the Year award, the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale Championship and the overall West Coast Pro Truck Championship for 2008. Ricky accomplished this by putting his truck on pole in 10 of 12 races, recording 3 wins, nine top-3 finishes and 2 track records in qualifying (Blythe and Lake Havasu).
The delay on announcing the Overall Championship comes after an infraction occurred during the last race of the season from the driver closest in points to James in the overall championship chase. After numerous hearings, the driver was charged with an infraction, sewing up the series for Ricky.
“I can’t think of a better way to top-off all the amazing opportunities and experiences I had in 2008”said James. “With everything I’ve achieved since my accident, racing cars is my biggest passion and I hope to make a career out of it”. I can’t thank all the people surrounding me enough in helping me achieve everything I did this year. I couldn’t of done it without the help of my parents, my trainer David Bailey, my Crew (Dean Kuhn, Steve Durler and Kenny Pariza), Bill Vukanovich and Casey Coughlin at SoCal SuperTrucks, Metal Mulisha Energy Drinks, Oakley, Alpinestars, Shoei Helmets, Shift MX, Motul Lubricants, ZLT, Total Power Batteries, Certified Transmissions, J & M Auto Body, PPG Paints, Ironman, NBC Sports, NXTagency, Colours Wheelchairs, Brad Meinzer at ParaPro’s Racing, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Road 2 Recovery Foundation, KTM motorcycles, Fasstco, Sports, Sports Quest, RacingPlus.com and Xterra Wetsuits.
For 2009, Ricky will take his racing career to the next level by competing in the NASCAR Whelen Late-Model Series at Irwindale Speedway. 2009 will be spent developing a new style of hand control and getting some seat time with his eye on a full 2010 racing season in the Late Model division.
Ricky James was well on his way to fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a Supercross champion, when life took a drastic turn. Four years ago, at just 16 years old, he was injured in a Motocross accident on the track at one of the largest Amateur National races in the country. The blow to his T7 vertebrae left him paralyzed from his sternum down. Today at 20, he’s deftly navigating the new terrain of his life.
Mere days after the accident, James declared that he would ride again. In 2007 he competed in the SCORE International Baja 500 in Ensenada Mexico. Completing his grueling 120 mile leg in 4 hours made him the first paraplegic to ever attempt this race on a 2 wheeled dirt bike.
Then came 2008... Besides his amazing achievements in stock car racing, he earned a Silver Medal at the 2008 X Games 14 and competed in the 2008 Ironman World Triathlon Championship in Kona, HI., the most demanding and prestigious sporting event known to mankind , where he was documented by NBC Sports and completed in 12 hours and 44 minutes in his first attempt. A month later, he won the Overall Half Ironman World Championship in Clearwater, FL.
Ricky continues to be a spokesperson for the Life Rolls On Foundation and Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) where he has participated in numerous National commercials, speaking engagements and Public Service Announcements. James is a true inspiration to all he touches and continues to spread his belief and testimony that, through Perseverance, anything is possible.