To the casual observer, creating a cover probably seems like a fairly easy process. Throw a cool photograph on it, splash on some clever wording and voila, a cover is born. If it was only that simple we would have not have lost so many sleepless nights agonizing about how to come up with the “perfect” cover. For any magazine with a place on the modern day mess called the newsstand, the cover is the most analyzed of all its pages. While at times the huge focus on the cover may seem over the top, it is all for good reason, as it is the very first page seen and often compels one to pick up a magazine. In the crowded world that is the newsstand, that can be the difference between an all-important sale or not. Even in the days before we were on the newsstand though, we still put a great deal of thought and work into our covers. After all it is still the very first page of the magazine anyone sees, and that makes it an extremely important one. And, like all the pages in Dirt Sports, we try to make it look as eye-pleasing as possible, helping to set the tone for the rest of the magazine.
With this landmark issue celebrating our 100th time going to press, we now have over 100 covers under our belts as well. While all of them are special to us, some favorites have emerged over our nine years of existence. What follows is a look back at what we think are some of our most memorable covers. Here’s to 100 more.
The Birth Of Nation Issue #1 // August 2004 In the very beginning of the magazine, we actually had two covers for each issue, a West Coast version and an East Coast version. Editor Craig Perronne snapped this photograph (on film!) for our East Coast cover of Dan VandenHeuvel at Crandon. It became one our most important covers ever as it was our very first and marked the launch of Dirt Sports.
THE PROTÉGÉ ISSUE #25 // JANUARY 2007 Andy McMillin is still a young man today, but back in 2006 he was only a spritely 19 years old. The young protégé teamed up with the master, Robby Gordon, to make an amazing and historic run down to La Paz taking the overall win at the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Much like Robby’s overall win in 1989 at just 20 years of age, McMillin’s win cemented his reputation as a very skilled driver and propelled him to even more victories.
The Birth Of Nation WE CAN DO IT ISSUE #22 // OCTOBER 2006 Our 22nd issue was a very special one as we saluted the many talented women of off-road motorsports. To create the unique cover image, photographer Tim Mantoani and some of the top women in our sport converged at the very cool Planes of Fame museum in Chino, California. After a long day of photography, make up, vintage WWII planes and costumes we finally had our cover shot.
Triumph And Tragedy Issue #4 // February 2005 Our fourth issue marked another milestone for us as we came up with the concept of having a Dirt Sports Driver Of The Year. Jason Baldwin graced our February 2005 cover as our very first selection. Tragically, Jason would be killed later that same year in a plane accident returning from the SCORE Baja 1000—a moment that shook the Dirt Sports Nation.
Das Germans Issue #32 // August 2007 In a historical moment and interesting experiment, Volkswagen decided to bring over two of its Race Touareg 2s to take on the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Built for the Dakar Rally and to an entirely different set of rules, many wondered about how wise a move it would be. In the end, Mark Miller and co-driver Ralph Pitchford crossed the line with a time good enough for 10th in Trophy-Truck and second in Class 1.
Legends Live Forever Issue #72 // February 2011 Named as our 2010 Driver Of The Year, Rick Huseman was masterfully photographed by Boyd Jaynes for our February 2011 issue. His talent behind the wheel, no-holds-barred driving and amazingly hard-charging style were the stuff of legend. Huseman’s untimely death later in 2011 was a shock to the Dirt Sports Nation and he is still deeply missed by all.
40 Years Of Baja Issue #35 // November 2007 The debate about the right image to use for our special Baja 1000 40th anniversary cover was a long one. After all, what single photograph could sum up 40 years of racing in Baja? In the end, Art Director Eddie Melendreras ended the conversation by creating this super cool logo that was absolutely perfect for the occasion.
No Longer A PROTÉGÉ Issue #60 // February 2010 Andy McMillin was featured in our premier issue in our On The Edge profiles, a section reserved for up and coming talent. Sixty issues later, the third-generation McMillin was named our 2009 Driver Of The Year. His amazing streak of wins that year, including the SCORE Baja 1000, not only made him an easy choice but also showed he is proudly carrying on the McMillin family name and was no longer a rookie.
Remembrance Issue #78 // August 2011 August 14, 2010 was a day that tragically took and changed many people’s lives forever at the California 200 race. Taking a look back at the tragedy and its affect on the future, this stoic image of the hand-built California 200 memorial was carefully selected as the right image for our August 2011 cover.
40 YEARS OF CRANDON ISSUE #55 // SEPTEMBER 2009 Just under two years after Baja’s 40th, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of legendary short-course facility Crandon International Raceway. The look at the birthplace of short-course racing was special, but it also marked Dirt Sports’ five-year anniversary as well. We celebrated with a complete redesign of the magazine to freshen up its look, and while the task almost killed its staff members, it was worth the results.
Dueling Deegans Issue #69 // November 2011 Brian Deegan has made his mark on the Dirt Sports Nation and proven that he is an extremely talented wheelman. In our November 2011 issue we took a look at how he is moving from his motorcycle past to a short-course future. Photographer Boyd Jaynes captured the images of the two “dueling” Deegans that perfectly conveyed the gist of the story.