September 24, 2001 - Reno, NV: The distance is 526 miles, the date is September 27-30 and the event is Best in the Desert's Vegas to Reno race, the longest off-road race in America. The third event on BitD's 2001 Silver State Series schedule...
September 24, 2001 - Reno, NV: The distance is 526 miles, the date is September 27-30 and the event is Best in the Desert's Vegas to Reno race, the longest off-road race in America. The third event on BitD's 2001 Silver State Series schedule figures to be a pivotal race for Team HUMMER in their quest for a third consecutive series championship. Team owner Rod Hall, who shares driving duties with Roy Davidson in the #4112 "Flag" HUMMER SUV, appreciates the importance of this event and likes his chances.
"We've spent the past three months building and installing a new racing engine for the SUV and it delivers twice the power that we got from the previous motor", said the veteran Hall. "We just came back from a four-hour test in the desert east of Silver Springs and the truck is `brutally fast'. Not only is the engine more responsive but the additional power gives us the control we need to make things happen".
Engineer Dennis Sweeney is the man responsible for the power plants in both Team HUMMER race vehicles. "Although both engines produce similar amounts of horsepower we've achieved those results differently in each case since the demands placed on the motor is unique to each vehicle", said Sweeney. "We've also overcome the ongoing problems with our injection pumps by building new ones specifically tailored for the fuel requirements of each vehicle and that program has produced dramatic results in the way both HUMMERs perform".
Last run in 1999, the Vegas to Reno takes place every other year and alternates with the Nevada 1000, which grew out of last year's millennium edition Nevada 2000. At the wheel of Team HUMMER's #8101 Full-Stock Pick-up, defending class points champion, Chad Hall, finished a close second in the previous running of this event and is looking forward to a good finish this year. Currently fourth place in the BitD points standings, the team of Hall and (Cort) Stoskoph are hoping to put their earlier problems behind them and move up in this season's points standings.
"A long race like this isn't going to be won in the first hundred miles", commented the younger Hall. "Our strategy will be to drive a consistent race up to the half-way point and save the truck so we can push hard during the last half of the race. The final four or five hours will be run in the dark and that's where many of the other drivers will make mistakes. We have been working with LightForce to install the lighting system we need for this race and are counting on our LightForce system to make a big difference for us once the sun goes down".
And when the sun comes up on Saturday morning, in the Reno, Nevada home of Rod Hall's Team HUMMER, this crew fully expects to be celebrating the outcome of this race in the winner's circle.