Reno, NV - Feb. 4, 2004: The Crew is busy putting the final touches on the race trucks as Team HUMMER prepares to head to Parker, Arizona and Best in the Desert Racing Association's season opener, the Blue Water Resort & Casino `Parker 425',...
Reno, NV - Feb. 4, 2004: The Crew is busy putting the final touches on the race trucks as Team HUMMER prepares to head to Parker, Arizona and Best in the Desert Racing Association's season opener, the Blue Water Resort & Casino `Parker 425', Feb. 5-8. This loop race will be run three times over a demanding 135 mile course that will finish in the shadow of the Blue Water Resort, on the banks of the historic Colorado River. A new twist to this year's event will be the "Parker Python", which is basically a motocross course set up in the main pit area. At the "Parker Python" spectators will be able to watch the race vehicles as they wind their way through a series of seven jumps carved out by BitD President, Casey Folks, who is always thinking of new ways to make his events more interesting for racers and spectators alike.
The Team HUMMER Crew has not been idle during the past two months. Indeed, the team has been busy preparing the #8106 H1 HUMMER Pickup and the #4106 H2 HUMMER SUV for the 2004 racing season. The H1 has been completely rewired after AMGeneral technicians, John Klatte and Carl Giefing, came out from the factory and spent 9 days replacing all the old wiring with new redundant systems. The shocks have been re-valved, new shock hoses installed and a Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) has been added to the pickup which will allow real time adjustment to tire pressures at each wheel, independent of the other three. "I think the truck is handling better than it ever has," said H1 driver, Chad Hall. "Parker is one of the most demanding races on the schedule. Last year, the suspension was too stiff contributing to several broken half-shafts which cost us the win. This year, we have a much better setup and with a little luck, the Team HUMMER H1 Pickup should have a good chance of being there at the finish."
Josh Hall will start the race in the #4106 Team HUMMER H2 SUV with chief mechanic, Sam Cothrun in the second seat. "After leading most of the way at the last race, only to be sidelined by a broken bolt, we learned a few things," said Cothrun. "Besides a very thorough prep, we put larger diameter bolts in the front differential hanger and added an additional 11 gallons to the capacity of our fuel cell. Installing a new set of Edelbrock Headers and a free-flowing AFE Filter gave us a bit more power, particularly at the bottom end where we need it most and the addition of a stiffer torsion bar and springs should bring a considerable improvement to the handling characteristics of the H2." Josh Hall can't say enough good things about the H2 and the crew that works on it. "After each event we learn more about this truck", commented Hall. "Sam (Cothrun) and Don (Ohnstad) go back to the shop and apply that knowledge toward making the truck perform at a higher level every time I get behind the wheel. We're down to the short list now and after the most recent test, I'm think it's safe to say that the H2 may be the best race truck I have ever driven".
The `Parker 425' is a unique blend of tough, technical terrain and long high speed sections where you have to push the race vehicle as fast as it will go over long distances. This sort of varied landscape is very demanding on drivers, crews and vehicles alike and it's not uncommon to see the course littered with cars and trucks whose drivers have simply run out of talent. Experience is the key to winning this event and Team HUMMER certainly has the edge in this area since team owner, Rod Hall has been racing in Parker since 1970.
At GM's HUMMER Division, they call what we do "High Energy Field Testing". Call it what you will but the object of any test is to get a passing grade. At the end of this High Energy Field Test, don't be surprised to find Team HUMMER, once again at the head of the class, with the highest score.
- grt -