Las Vegas, NV: Team Hummer's Chad Hall pulled out all the stops to win Best in the Desert Racing Association's Las Vegas 200 in the desert of Southern Nevada earlier today [December 1st]. The final race of BitD's 2001 Silver State Series turned out to be the long anticipated confrontation between last year's class points champion Hall, in the #8101 Team Hummer Pick-up and Jeremy Spirkoff in the #8103 "Big Block" Ford pick-up, who would eventually lose the race to Hall by just under two minutes.
Both sons of legendary off-road racers, Hall and Spirkoff led a field of two Hummers and eight Fords off the start and held those positions during the entire 216 mile event on a day when temperatures dipped near the freezing point. Although there were 10 very capable trucks in the full-stock class starting grid the focus of this event would be the battle between Hall and Spirkoff to win the race.
The BitD Las Vegas 200 was laid out to be run three times around a 72 mile loop and Hall was first in class to leave the starting line. Spirkoff, who was scheduled to start just 30 seconds behind Hall, arrived late and lost about three minutes at the start. The diesel powered Hummer held the lead throughout the first 72 miles and went through the main pit about four minutes ahead of Spirkoff, who had worked his way back into second position. Shortly after starting out on the second lap, Hall lost fourth gear on the pick-up which limited his top speed to about 80 MPH, allowing Spirkoff to make up some time on him. This was a very technical course which didn't offer many high speed opportunities, however there were some areas where the trucks could run wide open throttle and those were the times when Hall was losing ground.
At Pit "A", around race mile 95, Hall's lead had been cut to less than a minute and a few miles later, on a high speed power line road, he was forced to let Spirkoff get around him and take the lead. The Hummer caught up to him in a sand-wash, however and started pushing Spirkoff who began "fishtailing" in the sand and hit a boulder which flattened a tire. This allowed Hall to retake the lead and put a few minutes on him which Spirkoff eventually shortened to under two minutes as they passed through the final lap at Pit "B", with just twelve miles left in the race.
Suddenly, Spirkoff got stuck in the silt just beyond the final pit and his co-driver jumped out and quickly got him unstuck and back into the dash to the checkered flag. Knowing the race was too tight to allow him the precious seconds necessary to get back into the truck and buckle up, he yelled at Spirkoff to abandon him and get on with the chase. So he left him there, alone in the cold Nevada afternoon and gave it everything he had but this day belonged to Chad Hall and Team Hummer as they crossed the finish line with just over 90 seconds to spare.
At the end they were spent, sitting motionless behind the wheels of the great machines like two surviving gladiators of an epic battle. This was off-road racing at it's finest with no quarter asked and none given. It was an important victory for Chad Hall and a great way to carry Team Hummer into the 2002 season which begins at Best in the Desert's Terrible's Town 250, April 5-7, 2002 in Pahrump, Nevada.