Friday, May 30, 2008
ROD HALL RACES FOR RECORD WIN AT BAJA 500
ROD HALL GOES FOR RECORD 18th BAJA 500 WIN
In a sport where a dozen major wins can define a successful racing career, no one even comes close to Rod H[Photo]all. Ten-time winner of the internationally recognized Mint 400, ten-time winner of the Parker 400, 12-time winner of the Fireworks 250, 17-time winner of the Baja 500 and the only 19-time winner of the Baja 1000. Over the course of his racing career, Hall has won 16 major class points championships in production 4-Wheel Drive vehicles and well over 160 major events. While many of these records may never be equaled, it is also unlikely that anyone will break his record of 37 consecutive race victories anytime soon.
The defending 2006-07 SCORE Mini-Stock Points Champion, Rod Hall has come to the 40th Annual Tecate/SCORE Baja 500 tied with Ivan “Ironman” Stewart for the most Baja 500 class wins at 17. When the dust settles, after this year’s event, the 70 year-old Hall hopes to stand alone as the only 18-time champion by winning the Baja 500 for the third consecutive year. “I won this race for the first time in 1970, when NORRA was putting it on,” said Hall. “Jim Fricker was my co-driver in those days and I was driving for Bill Stroppe in a Bronco. The next year we won in a factory backed Ford Maverick and I beat all the buggies.”
From 1970-1993 Hall won the Baja 500 fourteen times, mostly in a 4WD Dodge truck. In late 1993, Rod Hall Racing teamed up with HUMMER and the big 6.5-liter diesel powered Full-Stock 4WD Pickup won the race in 1994 giving Hall Baja 500 win number fifteen. His new HUMMER dealership in Reno and other business commitments caused Hall to limit the team’s racing in Mexico to one yearly appearance at the Baja 1000, so Team HUMMER sat out the Baja 500 for the next ten years. When Rod Hall Racing and Team HUMMER rejoined the SCORE Desert Series in 2006, Hall won back-to-back Baja 500 titles in the Mini-Stock Class with his son, six-time Baja 1000 winner, Chad Hall along as co-driver in the new H3 Team HUMMER SUV. Currently, Chad drives an H3 Alpha in the Full-Stock Class and Rod’s oldest son and four-time Baja 1000 winner, Josh Hall drives an H2 SUT, also in the Full-Stock Class.
With 19 Baja 1000 wins and 17 Baja 500 wins, Rod Hall had this to say about his unprecedented success in Baja and his plans for the future: “I think the reason for my success in Mexico is that I know it’s a long race, I understand how much the truck will take and I don’t make mistakes. I’m not fast but I just keep moving and I don’t have to stop and work on my truck. As for the future, my goals for 2008 are to win another championship, the True Grit Award and become the winningest driver in Baja 500 history. Can I do that? Well, probably not but you have to have goals and those are my goals for this year. In 2009 I want to have the option to drive when I want or just be a team owner and chase my team around the desert. I just want to pick and choose and not be as obligated to get behind the wheel as I am now. I want to keep racing but change my focus a bit and maybe go down and help Sal look for new trails or contribute in some way, but I’m going to stay totally involved because this is my life.”
And a great life it is for the legendary Rod Hall; ‘The King of Baja’…
posted on 5/21 by George R. Thompson
Photo by John Pappenfort
Labels: RH Baja 500