BITD: Las Vegas: Team Hummer race summary

Team Hummer® wins `Silver State Series' Points Championship Las Vegas, NV - Dec. 7, 2002: After a tight race that lasted almost the entire distance of Best in the Desert's Las Vegas 200, Team HUMMER's Rod Hall overcame some early downtime to...

Team Hummer® wins `Silver State Series' Points Championship

Las Vegas, NV - Dec. 7, 2002: After a tight race that lasted almost the entire distance of Best in the Desert's Las Vegas 200, Team HUMMER's Rod Hall overcame some early downtime to win the 2002 BitD `Silver State Series' Points Championship in Class 4100 (Full-stock Production SUV division). Chad Hall finished the 225 mile race just moments behind his father in the #8103 Team HUMMER Pick-up to clinch second place in the Class 8100 Points (Full-stock Production Pick-up division). The HUMMERs came into the final race of the season leading the Class 8100 points race by a slight margin over Ford's Manny Esquerra. Rod Hall was in the middle of a 3- way battle for the Class 4100 points championship with the Fords of Mark Stein and John Sunderland. It was clear that both HUMMERs needed to have a good race and probably a winning day to take the points Championship in either class.

The Class 8100 Full-Stock HUMMER Pick-up, driven by Chad Hall had just returned from the Baja 1000 where we had taken the class win by almost 4 hours. Unfortunately the truck was stuck in third gear, a condition which had existed throughout almost the entire run to La Paz, and we didn't get this problem sorted out until the night before leaving for Las Vegas. This diverted our attention from some other problems, which followed us home from Mexico.

Rod Hall's Class 4100 SUV was prepped and ready to go and so was Rod! At Pit A, about 20 miles into the race, both HUMMERs came through looking good with Chad about 32 seconds in front of Manny and Rodney's class passing through about 20 minutes later with our #4103 SUV holding it's position. Somewhere in the rocks after the first pit, however, Both HUMMERs were thrown off the pace with flat tires. This dropped Chad into second at the 60-mile mark, about 5 minutes behind Manny. Rod moved to fourth when he came in to pit B to get a spare, behind Sunderland, Stein and Douglas.

Chad was having trouble with the shock valving and coil bind from the springs which died somewhere during the Baja 1000. He picked up his second flat about forty miles into Lap #2 when he pulled out to pass Scott Douglas, who was leading the 4100 class. Rod was having a good drive and was catching up to the leader in the rough stuff but losing time in the faster terrain. By the time he got to pit B, 60 miles into lap #2, he was 15 minutes down to Douglas, who was having one of those perfect days, and about 8 minutes down to Sunderland. Stein, the current points leader, was seen with his hood up prior to the pit and was never to be a factor in the race again.

At the main pit, with only a lap to go, Chad had to stop for two new spares and a nitrogen charge on the shocks. He left the pit on his final lap 32 minutes down to Manny and the hoped for HUMMER Class 8100 points championship was steadily fading from view. Rod stopped for some fuel and headed out, passing through the first pit on lap three still eight minutes down to Sunderland.

At this point the battle for the Class 4100 Championship was between Sunderland and Hall because a blown engine earlier in the year had taken Douglas out of contention for the year-end points, although he was having a great day and remained in first. There had been no radio communication with the #4103 SUV since the first lap of the race, so after both HUMMERs had passed through Pit A on the final lap the entire crew gathered at pit B to see what had happened during the 40 miles of bad road that separated the two areas. Sunderland passed through first in the #4102 Bronco with Hall closely behind having cut 8 minutes off the big Ford's lead. On corrected time it stood as a dead heat for the year-end points championship with less than 15 miles to go to the finish.

About a minute later, Sunderland's Bronco went down with a flat tire. Rod took the lead and had a trouble-free ride to the finish where he took a second in the event and won the 2002 Class 4100 Points Title. Chad finished within 10 seconds of Rod, third in class 8100 but second in the points championship bringing down the curtain on a highly successful year for Team HUMMER.

1st at Terrible's Town
1st at the Nevada 1000
1st at the Baja 1000
1st place Class 4100 Silver State Points Series
2nd place Class 8100 Silver State Points Series

HUMMER.....Like Nothing Else!

- grt -

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About this article
Series Offroad
Drivers Scott Douglas , Mark Stein , Rod Hall