Van Voorhis Remembers O’Brien

Paul Carruthers | March 21, 2003
The following is from former Cycle News associate editor Gary Van Voorhis, the current director of events at Daytona International Speedway…

Having had the honor of covering the dirt track scene during much of Harley’s reign it is with great sadness that I note the passing of Dick O’Brien. “O. B.” was an individual who made covering the sport totally interesting. With his retirement, he became a good friend when he moved to Palm Coast – some 30 miles north of Daytona.

What sticks in my mind most about O.B. – aside from the fact that the nickname derived from the “spiritual master” in ‘Starwars” suited him perfectly – is what he told me about being the H-D racing director. I asked either how or why he had the job. His answer: “They can hire anybody to lose, they hired me to win.” And win he did. Dick O’Brien was a true champion in every sense of the word. The racing world has lost a true icon of the sport.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.