BITD: Team Hummer Vegas to Reno preview

Vegas to Reno Next Event For Team Hummer® June 21, 2004 - Reno, Nevada: Team HUMMER closes out the first half of the current racing season this weekend at Best in the Desert's TSCO `Vegas to Reno' race scheduled for June 24 - 26, 2004. The ...

Vegas to Reno Next Event For Team Hummer®

June 21, 2004 - Reno, Nevada: Team HUMMER closes out the first half of the current racing season this weekend at Best in the Desert's TSCO `Vegas to Reno' race scheduled for June 24 - 26, 2004. The race, which starts on Friday morning in the desert west of Las Vegas, will travel 500 miles north through the historic mining towns of southern and central Nevada to the finish, just east of Reno, NV. This is the longest desert race in the U.S. and will take the two Team HUMMER entries approximately 14 hours to complete provided things go according to plan.

The #4106 H2 SUV was very competitive at the `Terrible's Town 250' in April, spending most of the day locked in a tight race for the lead until the front shocks faded away about 60 miles from the finish. Shortly after the race, H2 Project Engineer, Thad Stump came to Reno from the GM Proving Ground and along with Team HUMMER mechanics, Sam Cothrun and Brad Falin, spent several days testing the shocks with a variety of very high-tech equipment. Armed with the data from this test session, Cothrun went back to the shop and built a new set of shocks, using shock body and reservoir components manufactured by Team HUMMER's Brad Falin, and external bypass components supplied by John Marking of Fox Racing Shox. After more than 100 miles of subsequent testing, the collaboration between GM Engineering, Team HUMMER and Fox Shox has clearly resulted in a better handling, more adjustable and cooler running shock. Of course the ultimate test will take place on Friday, June 25th, when the #4106 Team HUMMER H2 takes the green flag at the BitD `Vegas to Reno' race.

After the April race, H1 Chief Mechanic, Brad Falin returned to the shop with an ambitious lists of projects and upgrades to carry out on the #8106 Team HUMMER Pickup and wasted no time in getting to work. During the race it became obvious that the fuel injection pump was not working properly, resulting in high exhaust gas temperatures (EGT), decreased engine performance and above average water temps. The injection pump is a complex unit requir- ing it to be rebuilt by an outside specialist who then tests it on a dyno and adjusts for proper fuel flow. Since we had to wait for the pump to come back, the turbocharger was also sent out for a maintenance rebuild, as we have been running the same unit for almost two years. For some time, Chad has wanted to get some more top end out of first gear, which is geared so low that it winds out at about 15 M.P.H., making it almost useless for racing. The crew replaced the existing 2:56 gear ratio in both differentials with a higher 2:23 which added 8-10 M.P.H. to first gear and increased the top end speed. The crew also made some modifications to the cooling system to help bring the water temps down and put everything back together. After testing the H1, the various modifications produced a significant increase in performance and the EGR and water temps were operating in their normal range.

Josh Hall & Sam Cothrun will start the race in the #4106 Team HUMMER H2 SUV with Rod Hall & Thad Stump taking over at Hawthorne for the dash to the finish. Chad Hall will take the #8106 Team HUMMER H1 Pickup the entire distance with Cort Stoskoph at his side. By any standard, a 500 mile race is demanding on both man and machine. One of the elements found in the `Vegas to Reno' race which adds to the degree of difficulty over most courses are the changes in elevation. The altitude will range from 2000' to 8000' as the course stretches from the lower elevations of the Mojave Desert in the south, through the Silver Peak mountains and into the thinner air of the Great Basin to the north. As the elevation varies, so does the terrain and the demands placed on the setup of the trucks. What may be a perfect setup for the lower elevations on the course, may be completely wrong as you get into the higher altitudes so it becomes important to find that "sweet spot" when preparing the race truck for this event.

The Team HUMMER crew has a great deal of experience when it comes to endurance racing and for the 2004 `Vegas to Reno' race, we think our trucks have what it takes to be there at the finish!

-grt-

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Series Offroad
Drivers Rod Hall