Wednesday, April 23, 2008
ROD HALL RACING - MEET THE TEAM
Of course, Rod Hall is synonymous with the off-road team Rod Hall Racing - Team HUMMER. And most are familiar with his winning sons - Chad and Josh. But I want to dedicate today’s entry to giving fans and friends a closer look at the entire crew. Rod Hall Racing competes ten times each year, therefore, our team members dedicate a significant amount of free time traveling to destinations across the southwest and Baja. The races range in duration between travel, set up, racing and tear down. For example, the previous Primm race required five days of time away and Chad’s group (the H3 Alpha team) spent six due to an additional day of testing at Parker. However, a Baja 1000 adds up to seven+ days not including pre-running. Add in testing, prep and pre-running and it is staggering the number of man-hours.
Geographically, our crew members primarily live in either Reno or the greater Phoenix area - home of the General Motors Desert Proving Grounds (DPG). For 2008, the H2 SUT is housed and prepped in Reno at SamCo Fabrication, and the H3 and H3 Alpha reside at the DPG. Two members attend from Detroit - Nick Richards from HUMMER Communications and Dwight Woodbridge from GM Racing. On any given race weekend, we have approximately 30 people working specific roles. To sum it up, the tasks include pit crew/chase, communications, timing and scoring, driving/co-riding and media. (A listing of our team members and their general responsibilities are listed on the DRIVER page at rodhallracing.com.) Additionally, media guests often accompany the team at various races. Under the right circumstances, we are able to provide journalists a particularly unique opportunity to race in one of the co-riders’ seats or Josh’s third seat. Rod believes there is no better way to demonstrate the capabilities of a stock truck than experiencing the performance in race conditions.
Off-road racing is a seriously tough sport - almost difficult to put in to words. At any given race, there are 3-10 pits in various (and often remote) locations requiring multiple teams of mechanics and support people to staff each pit and attempt to tackle any problem that may arise during a race. Additionally, we run three trucks in each race, making it much more taxing to the entire crew. The photograph posted above is a portion of team at the finish line of the 2007 Baja 1000. At the time this shot was taken (approximately 4 a.m.), most of the team had been awake for two full days, missing two straight nights of sleep while racing, chasing, fueling and repairing all the way from Ensenada to Cabo. I am always amazed at the skill level of our team. Each person seems to channel MacGuyver - solving problems in the wide-open desert with limited tools and the race clock ticking. So for the next couple months, our team blog will include entries highlighting our different team members - because without them, we can’t win.
Posted by E. Miller