Heading into the 10th Anniversary running of Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno race, Team HUMMER sought to extend its 13-race streak of placing a HUMMER on top of the podium. Josh Hall, along with co-riders Thad Stump, GM Racing development engineer and Sam Cothrun, achieved that goal and more as the No. 4101 H2 they piloted was the first production class vehicle across the finish line.
“The H2 is a natural performer in races like Vegas to Reno, where the course is marked with dangerously deep silt-beds, technical rocky sections and high-speed straight-aways,” said Hall. “Combine the H2’s performance with the support of the Team HUMMER crew, and the H2 is difficult to beat.”
Hall finished the 584-mile course in 12:09:40 hours, averaging a speed of nearly 49 mph. In addition to defeating every other production class vehicle by at least 50 minutes, Hall finished 23 of 119 car and truck entries, besting a number of modified trucks and buggies. The 2006 victory marks Hall’s third consecutive class victory at the Vegas to Reno race.
Billed as the longest off-road race in the United States, Vegas to Reno also proved to be a learning experience for Team HUMMERs’ other two vehicles.
The No. 3111 H3 entered the Vegas to Reno following its class victory at the SCORE Baja 500 and looking to extend its four-race winning streak in the pure stock mini SUV class. Unfortunately, the H3 experienced an engine failure at the 60-mile mark, ending the truck’s race and winning streak.
“We’d put the H3’s engine through the paces, running it to class victories at three other races, including the nearly 18-hour, 2006 Baja 500,” said Rod Hall, Team HUMMER owner and H3 pilot. “We’ll get a new engine in the H3, break it in at the upcoming Las Vegas 300 and be ready to defend our 2005 class victory at the Baja 1000.”
The No. 8102 Team HUMMER H1 Alpha also experienced difficulties in its second-ever race. After 315 miles, the H1’s radiator mounts broke, causing driver Chad Hall to exit the race.
“Unlike many of the other trucks in the stock full class, this is the first time anyone has built and raced an H1 Alpha, so we’re breaking new ground when it comes to this race truck,” said Chad Hall, six-time Baja 1000 winner. “It’s an extremely fast truck and will be difficult to beat once we get it fully tuned.”
Team HUMMER’s next stop is the Best in the Desert Racing Association “Las Vegas 300”, October 14, 2006.
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