Saturday, September 27, 2008

Race Post #7

Wrap Up -
"That was the most fun race I have had. Period. It was a fast course, but also technical through beautiful country I had not seen before," noted Mike Winkel. Winkel had no problems after passing Falkowsky and ran hard for the last ninety-five miles - where he crossed the finish line in first place, furthering Rod's class lead in the Silver State Points Championships. Co-driver Jake Povey also commented that it was one of his favorite races, with "minimal rough sections, yet plenty of silt."

Although a few minor problems arose for Josh, he clearly dominated the entire race. "Starting ahead of the 1100, 2000 and 7100 classes was definitely beneficial. We had one flat and hit a ditch that cocked the steering wheel 180 degrees, but other than that, it was a fun, fast course for us - perfect for the H2."

Chad just crossed the finish line and secured the second place finish in the 4100 class. So as our timing and scoring guru, Rick Grabowsky calculates, all three Halls are still leading the championships as the team heads to the final race - the Fabtech Desert Classic - December 5-7 in Henderson, Nevada.

Thanks for your support and good night from Mesquite.

Race Post #6

#4111 Update -
Thad just reported that Chad left Pit 6. The chase crew assessed the damage and pulled the half shaft and prop shaft. He is now stuck in low range for the remainder of the race with a top speed limit just under 70 miles per hour! At this point he is just focused on driving it to the finish. At this point in the championship, it is critical for Chad to cross the finish line and secure finishing points.

Race Post #5

5:30 - CONGRATULATIONS TO JOSH HALL AND SAM COTHRUN! Josh just crossed the finish line and captured the 8100 class win.

Chad Hall became hung up at approximately RM 204 in what some reports cited as a water crossing or ditch. Unfortunately, the front differential was blown so Chad limped in to Pit 6 for an assessment. Sunderland has gained significant time and is closing in on RM 280. Apparently, Chad has left the pit and is back up to speed. We'll be getting an update momentarily from the pit boss.

Mike Winkel and Jake Povey in #3111 had been closing the gap between #3101 but passed Falkowsky when he got stuck in the same location as Chad. At this point, Falkowsky is moving again, but Winkel has a substantial lead!

Race Post #4

3:40 - We have an update from Thad Stump regarding Josh. He is approximately ten miles out of Pit 6 and has a substantial lead. Josh made an unexpected stop at Pit 3 with a repair to the stabilizer bar link. So his crew shortened his stop at Pit 4. Co-Driver Sam Cothrun has requested a quick stop at Pit 6 to look the rear suspension over due to a suspicious noise. The #8111's lead is large enough they feel comfortable taking the stop.

At Pit 5, Chad was two minutes ahead of Sunderland. He will be stopping for fuel at Pit 6. Currently, the team is calculating just how much fuel is needed to finish while paying special attention to the shortest stop possible to ensure Chad doesn't give up the lead.

Mike Winkel in #3111 encountered a deep silt bed shortly after Pit 3. Currently, Falkowsky is in the lead by approximately 10 miles, but Winkel is a fast, smooth driver and I'm sure he's completely focused on reeling him in.

Race Post #3

Josh just left Pit 4 and picked up a load of fuel. His Iritrack is still down, but the Rick G. just reported that he has an approximate fifteen minute lead. Chad is still running hard with Sunderland and appears to be leading. In terms of the overall race, Josh is currently the first production truck and Chad is running in second. Rod pulled in to Pit 3 - thirty seconds behind Falkowsky, picked up a load of fuel and switched drivers with Mike Winkel. We just got word that Rod's truck is at mile 140 and in the lead.

Rod noted the silt was much worse than he expected and had to go to low range 4-wheel drive to get around a group of stuck vehicles. From the start to Pit 3, the course was "fast but the dust was so bad that it was difficult to pass." Mike is currently on a section of course headed to Pit 4 that climbs a mountain through a tight pine forest, littered with tight turns and big cliffs.

Race Post #2

12:15 pm - All HUMMERs have cleared Pit 1 and the racing in all three classes is tight! Josh was the through the pit first with Merritt three minutes back. Chad came through one minute behind Sunderland and Rod 30 seconds behind Falkowsky. The course through Pit 2 is generally fast graded road. At this point, Josh and Chad are both about 20 miles out of Pit 2. Josh's Iritrack unit is not updating, so we will get a visual and time splits at the next pit.

Silver State 300 - Race Post #1

We're fifteen minutes from the first truck taking off and the team is ready to go. Josh and Chad in classes 8100 and 4100 have moved up in the starting order. Best In The Desert determined that their trucks should start in front of 1100, 2000 and 7100 classes. In terms of competition and championship points, Josh will be watching out for Foutz's #8102, Rod is ahead of Falkowsky by four points and Chad ahead of Sunderland by thirteen points. So today is a key race for the team to hold and boost their class leads. The HUMMERs should be off the line around 10:30 am. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

John Pappenfort's Vegas to Reno Action Photos

John Pappenfort is Rod Hall Racing's team photographer. He logs many hours on the trails - pre-running with Rod, supporting the team and capturing fantastic photos at the races. John snapped a collection of the most stunning photos at this year's TSCO Vegas to Reno including one amazing sequence of Greg Foutz's endo at Pit 1. Check the carnage and action out at

Monday, September 15, 2008

Team Profile - Sam Cothrun of SamCo Fabrication

Sam Cothrun has been passionate about off-roading and off-road racing since he bought his 1972 Bronco at the age of 14.  Honing his skills in welding, he rebuilt the vehicle and went on to work at Complete Truck and Four-Wheel Drive in 1997.  Shortly thereafter, he went to work at Rod Hall International in repair, design and fabrication.  He began co-driving with Rod in 2002.

Also in 2002, Sam stepped up and started SamCo Fabrication.  Operating out of a 1,800 sq. foot shop, his first customer was Rod Hall Racing.  Today, the new shop - located in Sparks, Nevada - is an impressive 11,000 sq. feet.  Sam and his crew race prep the H2 SUT and H2 and he co-drives for Josh Hall.  Cothrun is always professional and meticulous - but keeps it fun. When not working, we're sure Sam spends his time pumping his four-year old daughter up to race trophy trucks when she is old enough to see over the steering wheel.

For more info on SamCo - log on to

Posted by E. Miller

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Race Post #3

It was a short day - 144 miles of fast, ROUGH course.   In off-road racing, this would be considered a sprint distance.  Both H3s took third in Stock Full and Stock Mini.  The competition was running strong in both classes and it was critical for both trucks to get to the finish to maintain their points championship lead in the SCORE series.  Rod is also one of only six drivers to still be in the race for the Toyota Milestone award - which is awarded to the drivers that complete every mile of every race for the year.  We are gathering all the times and data from the drivers now and will have a full race recap available tomorrow.
Thanks fans and friends!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Race Post #2

It's 9:00 pm and the team has wrapped it up.  The wake up call in the morning is set for 4:00 a.m. Paige Hall will be taking the navigator's seat in Chad's truck for both laps.  She's incredibly solid and rode 400 miles with Chad at the 2007 Vegas to Reno.  Rod is driving the first lap with Jake Povey and will turn it over to Emily for the second lap.   A smaller, yet uber-capable crew will be manning the three pits. 
It's getting late so we will call it a night.  Thanks for tuning in.

SCORE Terrible's Primm 300 - Race Blog #1

It is a HOT day in Primm, Nevada - the stateline town at the Nevada-California border.  This is the location for the SCORE Terrible's Primm 300 race.  The race trucks just cleared tech and everyone is taking some time to escape from the blazing sun.  
Rod Hall Racing is running two trucks at this race.  Rod's blue H3 will run in the Stock Mini class and Chad's H3 Alpha in the Stock Full.  These two teams are leading the SCORE Points Championship, so it is key both trucks start and finish.  Josh is sitting this one out, but will be racing the H2 SUT at the end of the month at the Bilek 300.
The race course is a 72-mile loop - starting and finishing at Buffalo Bills.  The race starts at 6:00 am and each truck will run two laps for a total of 144 miles.  Both classes have some strong competitors including John Griffin and Jeremy Spirkoff driving the Ford in Stock Full and Gavin Skilton in the Stock Mini Honda Ridgeline.  However, the course is extremely rough and will be well suited for both H3s.
We'll be posting again after the evening meetings - so check back.  Online vehicle tracking is available by logging on to

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Team Member Profile - Mike Winkel

I want to profile an extremely important member of Rod Hall Racing. Mike Winkel joined the race team in 2002, co-driving with Rod, Josh and Chad for several races. (Winkel is pictured above in the black shirt - at the 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Awards). Soft spoken and incredibly humble, Winkel is an accomplished pilot, former ski racer and all-around athlete. No wonder Rod determined Mike to be the right fit as a team driver. Debuting in the H1 at the 2004 Baja 1000, Mike helped Chad capture the class win. Since that race, he has continued to rack up victories in both the H1 and Rod’s H3 Stock Mini. Mike is incredibly fast and smooth and has become an important driver on the team.

“I am incredibly honored to race as Rod’s driving partner. Being a part of this team has been personally rewarding.” When asked about his favorite moment in racing, Winkel responded, “I have many stories, but Rod’s 40th Anniversary Baja 1000 win was the best. It was a big moment and a very exciting race. I think it was meaningful and rewarding to everyone on the team.” This year, Mike's successful share of the racing has been a key factor in the points championships - which Rod currently leads in both SCORE and Best in the Desert.

A dedicated businessman, Mike owns and operates Winkel Motors (a team sponsor), Sport Haus (featuring imports and exotic automobiles) as well as other successful endeavors. He splits his time between Lake Tahoe and the Palm Desert area.