Friday, November 30, 2007

2009 Hummer H3T Spotted at Baja 1000
ooks like the 2009 Hummer H3T is a step closer to production, ditching the mule-bed it was sporting out at the General's Proving Grounds and stepping into the quasi-light of day. Also taking one step forward was the General's PR arm, making the smart move of showing off the new quasi-pickup at the Baja 1000. But we digress -- the pickup "bed," if you can call it that, will offer a cargo area of roughly 4-feet wide by 4½ to 5-feet long and the H3T will supposedly have a front locker and drivetrain options that mimic the H3. Expect the H3T to be powered by the new 295 HP V8 first shown in the H3 Alpha, as well a 242-horsepower 3.7-liter I5 powerplant. In addition, expect some truck-like accessories like optional cargo boxes including a small lunchbox/toolbox with the ability to easily lift-off and take to your worksite. Other boxes are likely to include cargo boxes that the whole length of the bed, as well as one which will run the width. Full spy report from Brenda Priddy after the jump.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Schumi to Return?

Former champ tips Schu to race again
Thursday, 29, November, 2007, 13:53
Click to enlarge

Former world champion Alan Jones believes Michael Schumacher’s return to the cockpit of a Formula 1 Ferrari in testing may whet his appetite for a full-time racing comeback.

The 38-year-old German retired from F1 competition at the end of 2006 but showed he had lost none of his peerless skills when he took part in the post-season Barcelona test earlier this month and set the fastest time on both days he ran.

Schumacher is set to test the Ferrari again at Jerez next week, but has ruled out a race return, insisting his decision to retire is “irrevocable”.

But Jones, who retired from F1 in 1981 and subsequently reversed his decision, reckons Schumacher may find the temptation to race again too difficult to resist.

“After nearly a year out of the saddle, I can image him thinking, ‘Maybe I’d like to have another go,’” Jones told this week’s Autosport magazine.

“It must be just like coming back from an extended Christmas break.

“He used to take a couple of months off at the end of each season, so another few months won't make a big difference. Two or three years might have done.

“It’s a win-win situation: Ferrari gains from his expertise and he enjoys it.

“And you can never rule out a comeback – he might be thinking, ‘I’m really enjoying this!’

“Money won't be his motivation; it will be to prove a point.

“Niki Lauda was out for several seasons and came back and won the title. Michael could do the same.”

Jones doesn’t think Schumacher’s age or the fact that he has been out of F1 for a year will prevent him being fully competitive.

“You don’t stop being a good racing driver in just 10 months,” he said.

“Michael didn’t go to bed one night and forget to drive a Formula 1 car – the only thing he might have lost is motivation, not ability.”

Schumacher’s former rival Mika Hakkinen says the seven-time champion will have been buoyed by his undiminished pace.

“Is he missing racing? The answer is probably yes,” said Hakkinen.

“Doing competitive lap times probably satisfies his feeling and he’s happy he is still competitive.”

Totally Offroad Radio at Speedway in Phoenix!

TORR show live in phoenix at speedway next wednesday dec 5th, race specials for all dezert people wearing their favorite offroad gear, free pizza, prizes for fast laps.

Pavment and Dirt Racers welcome.

Former F1 man to help design California race track

Derek Daly, a regular Formula 1 driver in the early 1980s, has worked in recent years as a TV pundit and racing school owner, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He decided last year to launch a new business called Derek Daly Design, to design race tracks for customers across the United States, in partnership with Paxton Waters Architecture. Daly is already involved in two projects: the Riverside Motorsports Park which is planned in Merced, about 100 miles to the south-east of San Francisco, in California. Daly will work on the design of a 3.2-mile road course, which will be based on the layout of the original Riverside International Raceway, a track near Los Angeles which closed in 1988. Work is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2008 and will include an oval speedway for stock car and open wheel racing, a drag strip, kart course, motocross course, dirt oval, two high-banked short-track ovals and an off-road course, in addition there will be a motorsport business park. Daly is also working on the development of a track at the Bluegrass Motorsports Club, which is to be built on 500-acres of land in northern Kentucky, one of a number of motorsport country clubs that are being built in the United States at the moment.


Baja in Canada

Rough and rumble in mighty Baja

Mexico's unforgiving terrain attracts racers to gruelling 2,085-km race through the desert

Lawrence Hacking

Special to the Star

Nov 24, 2007

ENSENADA, MEXICO–This month I co-drove in the Baja 1000 off-road race in Mexico, the 40th anniversary of this spectacular desert challenge.

The course started in Ensenada in the north of the Baja Peninsula and struck out due south for 2,085 kilometres, or 1,296 miles, to Cabo San Lucas.

The Baja 1000 is notorious for being rugged and relentless, the terrain is without a doubt one of the most unforgiving on the planet.

Most entries have more than one team of drivers. I was slotted into the night shift in our team with my motorcycle-riding buddy Peter Weiss in a Protruck.

He and I go way back, having ridden off-road bikes elbow to elbow under the most arduous conditions for years. Teamwork is essential in any endeavour, and knowing your teammate is key. Peter and I know each other's capabilities better than our own.

The Protruck is a "specification" class, purpose-built vehicle developed by the legendary off-road race veteran Ivan "The Ironman" Stewart. Stewart probably has more off-road race wins than anyone else.

Our Protruck (number 253) has a 5.8-litre Ford engine that, in its modified state, develops 430 horsepower. The rules are very strict in Protruck. Each vehicle must conform to specifications mandated by the organizer: all sponsor brand name parts, such as 35-inch tires, shock absorbers and identical seats. Engine size must not exceed 360 cubic inches (5.9 L) and all teams must use the same gasoline.

Because Protruck rules level the playing field, the competition is close. The Baja 1000 is an endurance race and patience is the key to success.

Our team had 18 members including three driver/co-driver combinations and six support vehicles. The fuel range in a Protruck is 160 km; the 151-litre tank is the same for each team. We calculated that we would use 2081 litres of race fuel. At $8.95 (U.S.) per gallon, the fuel bill alone was significant.

This year 424 entries set out on 30-second intervals toward the finish – the Baja 1000 waits for no one. Typically, 50 per cent of participants don't finish.

Ken Losch, an Indy Pro Series team owner and driver, and his son, Sebastian, drove the first section. They left the start at 11:34 a.m. – 835 km later, they handed the truck over to us in the small fishing village of Bahia de Los Angeles, situated on the eastern side of the peninsula.

It was 3 a.m. on the hand-off. Ken and Seb were behind schedule, having struggled to extract the truck from a mud hole. But we were in fifth or sixth place at that point and they deserved a well-earned rest in the beds we just vacated.

Peter Weiss and I drove south in darkness, the truck's roof-mounted row of massive HID headlights shooting beams of light into the inky desert. Our plan was to run a conservative pace and hand the truck over to the next team in good shape for the final run into Cabo.

The Baja peninsula is mountainous; the roads are dusty and extremely hazardous. We were often snaking along narrow rocky roads with 30-metre drop-offs to the side.

On the flat desert floor, the road straightened out. Tall Saguaro cacti loomed above us as we hit speeds of 130 km/h. Because of the open cockpit, a chilling blast of wind hit our faces. Protrucks don't have windshields.

As the sun rose, spectator camps became visible. We were never far from local people watching along the racecourse.

In fact, sometimes the locals build "booby traps" that launch the vehicles in the air. The general rule is, if you see a large group of people, lift off the throttle until you're sure the coast is clear.

Halfway through our leg, we stopped at our pit area in San Ignacio for more fuel, new rear tires and an air filter change. Our crew worked quickly and got us on the road in a flash.

The course turned west toward the Pacific coast along a wide-open smooth gravel road. This is where we hit our top speed of 138 km/h, according to the GPS.

My job as co-driver was to stay glued to the GPS screen and let Peter know of any turns or dangers we were approaching on the course. Even though we had helmet intercoms, it wasn't long before my voice turned hoarse from shouting over the staccato bark of the exhaust.

Near a beach, we tore through some low dunes, onto a tidal plain and along a narrow road filled with metre-high sand whoop-dee-doos.

A Protruck has about 60 cm of suspension travel front and rear. We used all the suspension we had as the truck soaked up the big bumps with aplomb.

Peter kept his foot on the gas pedal – the truck growled like a panther passing a kidney stone as the whoops passed under our wheels.

The last 160 km was the roughest our section had to offer.

There was one particularly steep and rocky climb, but we dispensed with it handily and were on our way into Race Mile 867 (1,395 kms), where the final driver change was to be made.

But on the way, a competitor bumped us from behind. It's customary in the Baja 1000, that if you want to pass someone, you merely tap the bumper to let them know you want to pass. We graciously let them go ahead and were rewarded with a shower of rocks and dust, as the number 215 Protruck pulled away under full throttle.

We later took smug delight as we cruised by them parked beside the road with mechanical problems.

We handed our truck over to Rob Martensen and his father-in-law Steve Stroud for the last 689 km to the finish line.

Rob and Steve had three previous runs in the Baja 1000 and were our most experienced drivers.

They fought hard working their way into third place before a slight miscue found them stuck in a riverbed for more than two hours, only 45 km before the finish.

Steve and Rob had to pull the fibreglass rear fenders off the truck and shove them under the rear wheels to get some traction and get out.

After 36 hours, 22 minutes and 11 seconds of racing, the number 253 finally crossed the finish in sixth place. The Protruck was looking worse for wear but still in good shape. We shook hands and swore to make it to the podium next year.

Viva Baja!

Source: Toronto Star

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Club Racing AZ at PIR Sunday 11-25 - Photo Jihad!!!!

All Sunday 11-25 photos have been posted to

A few highlights



Drivers race to Gordon McCaw Elementary School to sign autographs and take photos with students

WHAT: The countdown to the Henderson’s Terrible 400 Desert Race has officially begun. Soon race fans will have the opportunity to see the best of the best duke it out for the final bragging rights as the Best in the Desert six-race series ends.

Before the race gets the green flag, drivers will make a pit stop in Henderson. Drivers will scoot over with their race vehicles to Gordon McCaw Elementary School to meet and greet with over 600 students. Drivers will sign autographs and pose for photographs.

Considered the fastest course in the Best in the Desert race series, the Henderson’s Terrible 400 Desert Race is presented by Best in the Desert Racing Association, the City of Henderson, Herbst Gaming and the City of Boulder City. The race will take place on Saturday, December 1 in the Eldorado Valley located between Henderson and Boulder City. There will be two race courses – one for motorcycles and ATVs and one for cars, trucks and buggies – both over 80 miles. The start-finish line is positioned off Nevada Highway 95, near the Railroad Pass exit.

WHEN: Friday, November 30, 2007

1 – 2 p.m.

WHERE: Gordon McCaw Elementary School

57 Lynn Lane, Henderson, NV 89015

WHY: The event is one of many being held as a precursor to Saturday’s 6th annual Henderson’s Terrible 400 Desert Race, one of the premier desert races in the Southwest.

PHOTO OP: Race participants and their vehicles will be available for photos with students.


November, 2007 Las Vegas, Nevada
Casey Folks, Director of Best in the Desert Racing Association, announced today that Jeepspeed, the “Jeep Only” series,
has added an additional Best in the Desert event to their racing schedule for 2008. Jeepspeed is a Jeep owners
association for racing, rallying and adventures.
Folks said, “I am excited to announce this increased participation by the Jeepspeed team. The Best in the Desert Series,
with five Car and Truck races, is an ideal venue for Jeepspeed to take advantage of the opportunities the Best in the
Desert series offers. Jeepspeed will now be running the Bluewater Resort & Casino Parker “425”, Terrible’s “250” at
Primm; and Henderson’s Fabtech “400”.
Clive Skilton, owner of the Jeepspeed series, commented, “We are pleased to include yet another Best in the Desert
race to our exciting 2008 Jeepspeed Series. We are elevating our reputation in 2008 by increasing our commitment to
Casey’s Best in the Desert Series to three races. There are 80 registered teams for next season and we expect 40
starters at The Bluewater Resort & Casino Parker “425” in February. We are looking forward to our expanded
relationship with Casey and his well-run Best in the Desert racing series.”
Jeepspeed offers 2 Classes:
Jeepspeed Challenge, Best in the Desert Class 1700, for any 6 cylinder Jeep with limited
modifications. This is the largest Grass Roots starter class in off road racing today.
Jeepspeed Cup, Best in the Desert Class Class 3700, for any Jeep with any Jeep/Mopar power. For example,
V8 installations in existing Jeepspeed cars or the new 4 door Wrangler with Hemi V8. This class has been
created for Jeepspeed competitors that want to go faster.
Folks continued, “We are pleased to welcome Jeepspeed competitors for an additional race in 2008. We run some
tough events here in the U.S. deserts, and Jeepspeed vehicles have traditionally done well in this rugged environment.”
For full details on the Jeepspeed series, go to:
Off-Road Racing's Best-Run Series … Best In The Desert!
Further information is available from:
email:, phone: (702) 457-5775
Jeep is a registered trademark of Chrysler LLC.

Notes: 517 Luivan Voelker “Lula”

Luivan started the race and he broke a CV right off in wash at RM2,
before pavement; he did the repairs but after he recovered he was in
the middle of the 7s trucks and some Baja Challenge cars.

He got stuck in the helo crash traffic jam; they did OK to El Crucero
when his buddy and new car owner for 2008 season Carlos AlbaƱez took
the wheel the VW “new” beetle.

Carlos broke a front spindle and an upper arm before El Talon
(Vizcaino) and Luivan came in to make repairs, losing more than two
hours from the competition.

They ran with the BFG pit service … PLUS they also got the 2007 class
points championship.

Moss Brothers Racing 2007 Baja 1000

Moss Brothers Racing 2007 Baja 1000
The 2007 Baja 1000 was the 40th anniversary for the event, and SCORE set up an extra
long 1296 mile course that started in Ensenada and finished in Cabo San Lucas. They
had some additional parties and events prior to the event to celebrate as well, including
some vintage vehicles, celebrities, and legendary racers. The course looked like this,
courtesy of the official SCORE course map.
The preparations on the Moss Brothers Racing Bronco had started right after the Primm
300 race in September, but the big news for this race was a fully sponsored deal from KC
Hilights for HID lights for the Bronco, and halogen lights and light bars for the chase
trucks! We have been scrounging lights for the last 8 years to mount on the Bronco, and
had worked our way up to a couple of home built Hella HID lights, but we were still
getting comments from people in the pits when we would pull in and they would say,
“What is wrong with your lights?”. Well no more, we now have ten 8” HID lights on the
truck now! The problem was that we had received them less than 2 weeks before the
race, and we had to build two custom light bars and modify the wiring to operate them.
Thanks to Chris Reilly who fabricated the new bars, after a couple hundred e-mails and
numerous CAD drawings and a whole lot of measuring! The light bars worked perfectly,
and really changed the look of the truck.
In addition, we powder coated the new light bars, the radius arms, as well as the front
and rear bumpers. West Coast Broncos had sent us a new set of radius arms, and River
City Differential had set us up with a new alloy axle to replace the one that we had bent
in the Vegas to Reno race in August.
We got on the road, headed for Mexico on Sunday, November 11. Of course this meant
we missed most of the festivities that had already started, and it also meant that we would
not get a chance to pre-run any of the course. We drove straight through to Ensenada
from Sacramento, and arrived during a pretty good rain storm. Monday was bright and
sunny though for contingency and the tech inspection. We lined up about 9:30, and
finished about 4 pm! That makes for a long day. We did get a chance to talk to a lot of
people and take a look at a lot of vehicles. There were 9 entries in Class 3 this year,
matching the number we had in 2000, an excellent turnout. The Pike’s from Baker, had
built a new truck based on a Dodge Ramcharger, and this was a very serious looking race
truck. In addition there were three early Broncos, a Range Rover, a Cherokee, the Evans
FJ Toyota, and the Raffo Blazer.
Race day was Tuesday, and we had calculated that we would start at approximately 12:45
with the record number of overall entries. There were no Wal Mart grand openings this
year to compete with, so the process of getting to the starting area through a snarled
traffic jam in Ensenada seemed easier than in races past. Maybe we are just getting used
to it? Dan Thunborg was scheduled to start with me, and we pulled up next to Chris
Raffo, and had a chance to meet his son Pete who was starting with him. His satellite
phones arrived at about the same time, after a special delivery from a kitchen table in the
central valley of California.
This year the Canadian portion of our crew consisted of Don Crosson, his dad Dave
Crosson, and 16 year old Jake. Apparently Jake was standing too close to their vehicle
when they left BC and he was somehow sucked into the vortex heading south to Baja, or
stowed away, or ???? In any case, he had the time of his life! Last year Don had lost his
mother, and Dave his wife, to cancer during race week. Over the years we have had a
chance to meet Don’s entire family and numerous friends. Don is impossible to keep
with, however we learned that Don has spent his life just trying to keep up with his dad!
Here’s what the two of them have started as their summer project:
Just prior to the start of the race, Dave Crosson asked if he could tape his digital movie
camera to the light bar. I said “OK, but didn’t you just buy that camera like three days
ago?” He said yes, but wanted to see what would happen! So the duct tape came out and
the camera went on! We ended up with 3 hours of digital video.
We started 5th off the line at 12:38. The rain had filled the wash with water, but the
mayor of Ensenada can really get things done, and the course off the start was in
excellent shape. There was one slimy spot that we got into and nearly looped the truck,
all caught on the video of course! We caught and passed the Range Rover before we left
the wash. As we made the turn onto Ave Ruiz, which is the last street heading out of
town, I could see the Raffo Blazer catching up to us quickly in the rear view mirror. He
was nearly on us, when a huge cloud of blue smoke began following him, and he quickly
pulled over. I am curious to hear what that was all about, because we never saw him
again but he did continue in the race. We caught the Pike Ramcharger at the end of the
pavement and passed him shortly after. We caught the Wright Bronco a few miles later
and passed him. This section is typically very dusty and has some silt sections, however
the rain had settled things down a lot. There was still an appreciable amount of dust, but
no one was stuck. I believe there were 3 Class 9 cars that started in front of us, and we
passed them all in that first few miles. We could then see the Maine Cherokee ahead and
we began to follow him. They had talked to us at contingency, as this was their very first
off road race. Of course their truck was brand new as well. They had mentioned that
they had done a lot of circle track racing in Oregon, and that was evident! We finally
caught and passed them just before the first highway section at race mile 15, so now we
were in the lead and starting to catch the various stock class entries that start in front of
us. This race we had installed two horns to use while passing. I could hear the backup
horn had already stopped working, and the primary quit soon after, so we went the next
1250 miles without one!
The silt in the RM 50 to 55 section is legendary, and we saw our share of dust and
carnage in the June race in this section. The rain just 2 days before had made all the
difference in the world! You could have driven a Cadillac through there with ease! We
saw one of our C3R buddies from the Livermore area in this section, his Bronco safely up
away from the course! Glenn Long and crew had been shadowing us in this section, and
we saw them once again on the highway section. Nice to hear a friendly voice out there,
as the rest of the crew was steaming south towards San Quintin. He mentioned
something about a helicopter crash, as well as some problems on the course. Glenn met
us again at the BFG Pit 1, RM 121, before he headed back towards Ensenada and then
home. At the BFG pit, we did another one of those granola bar and Red Bull under-thehelmet
tricks, got a full load of fuel, and were on our way.
As soon as we made the turn onto the road to Mike’s Sky Ranch, we could see
emergency lights just ahead in the road. It turns out this was the helicopter crash, which
had occurred right on the road. There were some power lines involved, however this
story was only just started! You will have to read about that elsewhere. They had us
detour around through the fence and we were on our way. You can always depend on
lots of spectator traffic on this road, coming and going, and we were not disappointed.
Web Wheeler Cam was stationed at Mike’s Sky Ranch, and we had been in radio contact
with him. He was hiding behind a camera near the creek crossing, and Dan and I never
saw him! Here’s a picture he took there:
It was starting to get dark now, so we had some of the lights on. Even though we have
twice as many lights now, and probably 6 times as much light, the HID systems only use
35 watts per light. This is roughly the same power loading as we had with the old
system. We never had an electrical system problem for the entire race, and the KC lights
were flawless. This is the first time we have had lights on the top of the truck, and we
had been concerned about glare. We learned instead that alignment of the lower lights is
the key, and they had to be adjusted lower later in the race to work in the dust.
Dan and I arrived at the BFG Pit 2, RM 177, with a pretty good lead, but there were
several entries in the class running well. Ken and Dennis Dunn got in to run what we had
heard was the toughest section of the entire race. They had things like this in the picture
below to deal with in the dark. These are ditches dug by the military to discourage drug
smuggling airplanes from landing on remote air strips:
We had drilled into all the drivers and crew that we would be racing our own race,
regardless of whether it was fast or slow, and regardless of what the other entries were
doing. Our biggest competitor was the time limit and check point closing times. This has
served us well in the past and it turns out it did this time as well.
At the BFG Pit 3, RM 321, on the highway in Catavina, for the first time in Moss
Brothers Racing history, someone other than Ken or I got in to drive. Dave Grundman
made his driving debut with Gary Dunn co-driving. They had the long highway section
to do south of Catavina, and then the detour out to Coco’s Corner and the infamous
Calamajue wash. We had heard the wash was full of water, but Dave and Gary had no
problems whatsoever, and met up with us just south of El Crucero. Ken and Dennis had
complained of looseness in the front end in the prior section, and Dave had the same
comments. We found that the panard, or track bar, was loose at the axle, so we pulled in
and tightened it at each pit there after. Don Crosson and I got in for the run through the
Bay of LA. This was Don’s first ride in the truck, and I saw his dad throw the digital
camera in with him just before we took off. We typically hit this section at midnight, but
since SCORE had added an extra 140 miles in the upper section of the course, we started
at about 4 in the morning. Don and I got to see the sun come up as we passed through the
amazing cactus forest. Truly a spectacular part of the race for us both. This section
typically holds the dust on the course from racers in front of us, and of course there were
vehicles in front of us. We had been catching and passing the slower Baja Challenge
cars, and I could tell there was another in front of us as we began catching dust. On a
tight right hand turn, I got a little to close to the right side bank and smacked a loose rock
that I never saw with the right front tire. After about a quarter mile, it was apparent that
the tire was losing air, so we looked for a place to pull off. Don and I worked well
together and had the thing changed in a few minutes, even with the balky jack. The Hi
Lift jack rides in the back of the truck and typically gets coated with a heavy layer of
dried mud. Anyone that has ever used a Hi Lift jack knows that caked mud and the Hi
Lift jack mechanism do not mix well. Since it was light, and easy to see what was going
on, I was able to work the pins manually, and it went pretty quickly. This is the first BFG
tire I have changed on the course myself during a race since the 2000 race! That’s 8
years without changing a flat, not a bad record!
Don and I continued on, and since it was light, he began taking digital videos of our
progress. Since the camera was in his hand, it’s a little shaky, but he has shots of
everything he could reach from that seat. He got out the front, out the back, the gauges,
the GPS, and even me. We also had some fog in this section, and eventually caught and
passed the Baja Challenge car that we had been following when we got the flat. The fog
is so bad that you can’t wipe it off the visor fast enough, and have to run with the visor
open. The new upper light bar served as a collection funnel that caught the fog, and then
dripped it down on us.
We pulled into the BFG pit 5, RM 517, (we are now just over half way!) on the long
highway section just north of San Ignacio where Ken and Craig Laws got into the truck.
Everything on the truck looked good, for what was supposed to be the longest and most
remote section of the course. We had spent a large amount of time adding a second fuel
cell and fill pipe system just because of this section. Out around El Datil, on the beach
section, the rear ring and pinion gears exploded, snapping the ear off the driveshaft yoke
in the process. Since the truck is 4-wheel-drive, it is possible to drive it on front axle
drive only after removing the rear driveshaft, and we have done this in the past. It is just
that the front axle is many times more fragile than the rear, and much harder to repair, so
you try to limit the time doing this. Ken had decided it was no big deal, and would keep
going until the BFG Pit 6 at La Purisima, RM 829, however he chose to use the BFG
relay to let the rest of the crew know this. Unfortunately, the message that got to the rest
of the crew made absolutely no sense, partly because we were many miles from the relay
on the Sea of Cortez side, and partly because the message had gone through several
people. It sounded like the message was that “the truck was down and needed a rear
driveline”. Since they had the only spare driveline on the truck, and the truck was
capable of moving on the front axle, the message made no sense. All of the chase
vehicles pulled over at Olivia’s, south of Mulege to try and sort it out. The BFG relay
would not answer us back, but Dave finally decided to try the Weatherman relay. By
some miracle, they were not in the middle of an emergency, and took the call right away.
Our message to Ken was to stop the truck and whatever they were doing and call us on
the Satellite phone. This was done, and it was at that time that we finally learned that
they were indeed still moving, but needed the spare set of gears, and would meet us at the
BFG pit 7, RM 829, in La Purisima. The down side to this was that we were over 3 hours
of driving time away from that location with the parts. We got the parts transferred to
Dave’s truck and he took off with Gary, while Ken and Craig removed the old parts and
prepared for the installation of the new parts. This allowed us to keep our scheduled
driver and co-rider changes, however Dave and Gary would not get a lot of time to sleep.
In the picture below, the ring gear looks fine (for what it’s been through!), but all the
teeth on the pinion gear in one little section are gone:
During this whole episode, we were getting sporadic text messages from Chris Reilly
who was tracking several of the racers in our class over several different sources on his
computer in Reno. In addition, Pete in Iowa, and Rob in San Clemente were doing the
same and routing info to Chris as well. We knew the Toyota had been down for some
time at race mile 200, but was moving again. They had also seen the Bronco when it
stopped at El Datil. The rest of the chase caravan had moved to the next scheduled stop
at RM 875, on the highway above Loreto. We were able to get a little sleep, and watch
some other teams deal with problems on their vehicles, and met up with Ken Leavitt from
the Anger Issues team. Instead of racing, he and his team had come down to pre-run,
camp, fish and pit for another group of racers in several different classes. He offered any
assistance he could, just like a 100 other people do for other racers down there. It doesn’t
matter what team you are on, everyone’s goal is to get all the racers to the finish.
We watched the Toyota go by, and about the same time got the word from Dave that Ken
and Craig were on their way. About an hour and 45 minutes later, Cliff and I climbed in
the Bronco and headed out. It was now dark again, and I had recalled Ken mentioning
this section coming up was “kind of nasty” last year. What an understatement! There
were some enormous silt traps in here, the kind with thick bushes on both sides, or maybe
a barbed wire fence on one side, thick brush on the other. There were cars stuck all over
the place and heavy, heavy dust. They had not received the rain that the northern part of
Baja had a couple days prior, so it was dry, dry, dry! When the dust was really bad, I
would just try to pull over and wait for it to settle. I really did not want to plow into
another stuck racer, or blast into a bottomless silt pit when I could have picked a line
around it. Sometimes this meant that another vehicle would sneak by us, and then we had
to wait for their dust to settle. This turned out to be the best strategy, and we made it
through just fine. We even pulled up next to a Dodge truck sitting in the middle of the
trail, thinking he might have been doing the same, waiting for traffic to clear. When we
got up next to the door, the driver was not even in the truck! His co-rider was still
strapped in, and gave the hand motions that they might like to have a tow. Sorry guy, no
tow strap, and you aren’t even out to help? Not going to happen!
Going out of Loreto, there are some steep climbing switchbacks, and then the road goes
over the top and down into a canyon on the other side. Last year, this canyon had 30 or
40 rough water crossings, with deep water at each one. This year, the crossings had been
repaired, and the water was just a trickle, so it went easily. Cliff and I pulled into BFG
pit 8, RM 978, where Dave and Gary jumped in. Dave and Gary had an amazing run
over the next 120+ miles, averaging nearly 52 miles per hour, and actually caught and
started dicing with the Toyota. They also had a tough whoops section that I had done
several times before, and did not miss! As they were about to pull into the BFG pit 9,
RM 1106, they reported that they might need to change the panard bar, as the right coil
over spring was hitting the frame. I believe the panard bar had been damaged all the way
back in the Bay of LA section when I had hit the rock, but had been gradually getting
worse. When Ken took a look at it, he decided that it was not that bad, and that it was not
worth the time to change it. He and Jerry Ornellas jumped in for the next section.
Somewhere in this section they found a silt hill, and actually got the Bronco stuck. An
enterprising local farmer just happened to have his tractor in place, and $20 later; Ken
and Jerry were on their way. The Toyota apparently got by somewhere in this section
again, and the race was on again, with less than 150 miles to go! Ken and Jerry
continued on, sticking to the game plan of running our own pace, and continued south.
At the road crossing at Todos Santos, the Bronco and the Toyota were only minutes
apart, however our crew parked at the road crossing reported that Toyota was missing
and coughing severely. They had apparently picked up some trash in their fuel, and it
had plugged the inlet in the fuel tank. They had to pull it apart and clean it before
continuing on. We had planned on another rider change at the road crossing, but
Michelle Read decided it was too close a race to risk the stop, and told the crew to
continue on.
The Bronco pulled into the finish, at about 5:30 in the morning, with an elapsed time of
40 hours, 41 minutes, and 37 seconds over 1296.39 miles, with an average speed of
31.857 mph. Not any kind of record, but certainly not bad considering all the lost time
waiting for parts. Needless to say, the finish line was nearly empty, Sal Fish was not
there, and we didn’t even get our BFG Winners hats! We later heard that the Atkinson
BC Bronco made it nearly 1100 miles, the Raffo Blazer made it about 800 miles, and the
Maine Cherokee made it about 900 miles, all timing out on the course. The Pike
Ramcharger was on the scene of a wild wreck involving a class 8 truck that rolled off a
cliff, and they ended their race helping with the recovery. Thankfully (and miraculously)
the two guys in the truck that went off were not seriously hurt, although one was flown to
the hospital in San Diego. With no other entries finishing, the class had a pretty low
finishing rate. Given more time, we would have had some more make it. In the picture
below, you can see every mile that Ken has just driven etched on his face, and then there
is Jerry with the silliest grin ever on his:
We did get some great finish line and podium photos, and then waited for the Evans
Toyota to pull in. We congratulated them on their finish with a case of Tecate Light, and
got some photos with their team and their truck. That’s Kreg Donahoe in the driver’s
seat, and Dylan Evans just on the left edge of the picture:
With that, we all climbed into the handiest vehicle and headed out in search of some food
and our beach house, in that order. We found Mama’s breakfast place, home of the
stuffed French toast, and powered down the first solid meal in a couple of days. After
that, it was off to find the beach house. By this time, it was full on traffic and road
construction hour, and the house is at Punta Gorda, some 20 or 30 miles away, so it took
a little while to find, but well worth the search! Thanks to Dave Grundman for arranging
this one! The place is right on a quiet beach, with water that was in the 70’s or 80’s, all
self-contained with a solar electric system. The rest of the day consisted of showers,
sleep, and then dinner at Buzzard’s which is just down the road. Friday was the awards
ceremony back in Cabo, but first we did a little exploring, and found the beach a little
farther east was open to riding and wheeling. After airing down the tires on the Bronco,
we ran through another tank of fuel running up and down the beach giving rides, before
shutting down for apparently dusting some of the neighbor’s solar cells. (Whoops!)
Here’s the team at the awards ceremony, all in one or the other of the team’s newest KC
Apparently Jerry must have been taking the picture, because I don’t see him in the photo.
With the conclusion of a very long and drawn out awards ceremony, we all picked up and
headed off to find some dinner. After wandering the streets of Cabo for some time, we
decided on the Giggling Marlin, and as we are waiting for the table, the Donahoe/Evans
team pulls in. So heck, let’s get a table for 30! I had a chance to sit by Bob Bowers and
his wife and listened to a few of their stories, great people to know. Bob had been a corider
in the Toyota on the way down, something he is long time veteran of. After dinner,
a few drinks and some questionable photos, a couple of the single guys have decided that
their mission for 2008 will be to lure Sera from the Donahoe team over to the Moss
Brothers team. After sticking KC stickers to just about everything that did or did not
move, we moved on to El Squid Roe, and more KC stickers. From there it was one more
night of sleep, and then we had to do that 1300 miles backwards!
Michelle and Jerry had arranged flights from the Cabo airport, so they were dropped off
on the way out. We took highway 1 north from San Jose del Cabo, for something
different, and it was quite a drive. The road is a little narrow and windy for trailer
towing, but very pretty. The hills are covered with thick green brush and big cactus, with
large and colorful mountains.
We pulled into Olivia’s, south of Mulege, in time for dinner, and found several racers and
the Dusty Times crew there already eating. I was able to relay my story to Judy Smith,
but we left too early the next morning to get our BFG hats. We just threw our sleeping
bags out on the beach, and I think Dave mentioned that it should be against the law to
stay inside and not be out there to see the stars, with the water just a few feet away.
Thankfully Dave Crosson thought to get a picture before all of the crew was on the road.
From there we were able to make it all the way back to the house in Ensenada, finishing
up with a dinner in El Bufadora. We stopped on the way, for a couple of broken down
vehicles. One needed fuel, and we were able to send them back to a guy that was selling
some at the Bay of LA turn off. Another couple from Ensenada had broken down and
needed a ride back to El Rosario, and since we still had a couple of open seats, we were
able to help them out. They were very pleasant and she spoke very good English, and
had a lot of questions about the racing.
Monday morning it was back on the road again for the final leg of the trip, a full 8 days
after we started. The border still took a couple of hours to negotiate, but there were no
major problems. After a quick breakfast/lunch of good old Denny’s food in Chula Vista,
the various chase trucks split up for the rest of the trip. Eric McGill was dropped off at
the airport in San Diego for the plane ride back to Texas. Thanks Eric for coming out, we
will take you any time you can make it. The Canadians, Don, Dave, and Jake had a
number of places they wanted to see on the way back, however they got skunked on their
stop at Magic Mountain. None of us remembered that it is closed down during the week
this time of year. They did make it back to Sacramento late Tuesday night, and had
already peeled the stickers from Krista Crosson’s Yukon! As I have said before, these
are the finest people you would ever want to meet, and I look forward to the next excuse
that we can use to get them down here again.
I just wanted to give a huge thanks to everyone involved. It takes a team of many, many
people to make this happen. There are the 20 people that we took across the border, and
thankfully they were careful and they all made it back safely once again. There are the
many sponsors, including KC Highlights, BF Goodrich tires, American Racing ATX
Wheels, River City Differential, West Coast Broncos, Deaver Suspension, King Shocks,
and Bronco Driver Magazine. A big thanks to and Web Wheeler Cam
for promoting the class and helping to increase the number of entries. Michelle Read for
writing the press releases and working with KC for nearly a year to put together the
lighting sponsorship. All of those that helped with the preparations of the truck before
we left Sacramento. Chris Reilly for putting together the light bars in record time and
then staying up all night to monitor the computer and send us updates from home. Rob
Jones for covering the BFG meeting in San Diego the week before the race, and all the
families that took up the slack at home while we ran off to Mexico to take on and conquer
one of the most challenging races in the world. Thank you all!


For Information Contact:
George R. Thompson
Rod Hall Team HUMMER
Reno, NV - November 26, 2007: The ‘Henderson 400’, final race of Best in the Desert Racing
Association’s (BITD) 2007 Silver State Series, will be the “Swan Song” for Team HUMMER’s #8111
H1 Alpha Pickup, which will be replaced by a new Class 8100 H2 SUT in 2008. Driven by Chad Hall, the
H1 Alpha comes into the Henderson race leading the Class 8100 points chase by 50 points and needs only
to finish the race to clinch the class points championship. Powered by a Duramax Diesel engine with an
Allison transmission the H1 Alpha is easily the best of the H1 series of race trucks Team HUMMER has
entered in competition during our 14 year history of racing HUMMERs in the desert. Winning the Class
8100 Silver State Points Series in it’s final race would certainly be a fitting accomplishment for a vehicle
that, along the way, has redefined the way production vehicles are prepared for desert racing.
The ‘Henderson 400’, Nov. 30 - Dec.2, consists of multiple laps around an 80 mile course stretched
out across the El Dorado Valley, located between Henderson and Boulder City, NV. Unlimited classes are
scheduled to run four laps while limited and production classes will run three times around the course. This
is the sixth year that Best in the Desert has returned to Henderson for the final race of the season and the
course is a bit more forgiving than many of BitD’s other venues. Nonetheless, racers can expect plenty of
silt and rocks in various locations around the course making visibility a problem and sudden disaster a
possibility most of the time, particularly if we have a dry, windless course on raceday.
Chad Hall is looking forward to the final race at Henderson in the #8111 Team HUMMER H1
Alpha Pickup. Built and maintained by John Cumming in Mesa, Arizona, the H1 established it’s lead in
Class 8100 points this season with wins at the ‘Parker 425’ and ‘Vegas to Reno’ and 2nd place finishes at
the ‘Terrible’s Town 250’ and ‘Las Vegas 300’. “We broke a rear shock at the Vegas 300”, said Hall.
“Other than rebuilding the shocks, there wasn’t much the truck needed but a good prep to get ready for
Henderson.” Asked how he planned to approach the Henderson race, he replied, “Naturally I’d like to win
but I’m not going to risk damaging the truck when I have a points championship on the line. I’ll find a
competitive pace where it’s comfortable for the truck and concentrate on a good finish.”
2007 has been a successful year for Team HUMMER and for Chad Hall. In addition to his two wins
in the best in the Desert series, he has co-driven the Team HUMMER H3 Class 3100 SUV with his
father, Rod, recording Stock-Mini wins at the SCORE ‘Laughlin Desert Challenge’, the SCORE ‘Baja
500’ and the SCORE ‘Primm 300’. His most recent win came at last week’s SCORE ‘Baja 1000’ where
he teamed up with Sam Edgar to drive the new Team HUMMER H3 Alpha V-8 SUV to victory in the
Stock-Full production class, his 5th ‘Baja 1000’ victory in the past seven years. Chad will drive the new H3
Alpha SUV (Class 4100) in the Best in the Desert Silver State Series next season.
For the next few days we are keeping our focus on the upcoming BitD ‘Henderson 400’ before we
spend too much time celebrating 2007 or looking forward to 2008. As the famed New York Yankee catcher,
Yogi Berra, used to say, “It isn’t over til it’s over.”
- grt -
To learn more about Team HUMMER, visit us at To learn more about HUMMER vehicles go to



Season finale will determine class championships and 2007 Car/Truck Grand Champion

(Henderson, NV) – As the Best In The Desert series switches into high gear for its season-ending stretch to crown its champions, several racers are within striking distance of class championships entering the Henderson’s Terrible 400 Desert Race. Championship contenders will compete for the final trophy on Saturday, December 1 in the Eldorado Valley, located between Henderson and Boulder City. Points have been accumulated over a course of six races throughout the 2007 Best In The Desert racing season.







Erick Jacobs


Ridgecrest, CA


Alejandro Jimenez


Buckeye, AZ


Larry Job


Las Vegas, NV








Alan Levinson


Blue Diamond, NV


Ryan Staats


Valencia, CA


Jason Voss


Cupertino, CA








Steve Olliges


Las Vegas, NV


Ron Whitton


Maricopa, AZ


Mark Post


Foothill Ranch, CA








Chuck Hovey


Escondido, CA


Shawn Croll


Corona, CA


Sam Berri


Murphys, CA








Jim Hunt


Merced, CA


Ray Griffith


Downey, CA








Rick Waszkiewicz


Oak Hills, CA


Gary Stairs


Saugus, CA


Amy Perez


Laveen, AZ








Mike Falkosky


Ramona, CA


Jesse Herling


Yucaipa, CA








John Sunderland


Valley Center, CA


Marc Stein


San Diego, CA








Aaron Dixon


Lompoc, CA


Wayne Demonja


Peyton, CO


Tyler Henn


Walnut, CA








Daniel Bolton


Gardnerville, NV


Jerry Zaiden


Huntington Beach, CA


John Swift


Santa Ynez, CA








Carl Fitts


Park City, UT


Jerry Fisher


Morongo Valley, CA


Mike McCarthy


Wickenburg, AZ








Curt LeDuc


Cherry Valley, CA


Mike Kellogg


Tucson, AZ


Richard Maddux


Phoenix, AZ








Chad Hall


Reno, NV


Greg Foutz


Gilbert, AZ


Kreg Donahoe


Corona, CA


As the season comes to an end, the Henderson’s Terrible 400 Desert Race will also determine the 2007 Car/Truck Grand Champion. Three drivers from Class 1500 have been dominating the Best In the Desert six-race series. Leading the pack is Chuck Hovey with 422 points, followed by Shawn Croll with 389 points. Rounding out the top three drivers is Sam Berri with 379 points.

Considered the fastest course in the Best in the Desert race series, the Henderson’s Terrible 400 Desert Race is presented by Best in the Desert Racing Association, the City of Henderson, Herbst Gaming and the City of Boulder City. There will be two race courses – one for motorcycles and ATVs and one for cars, trucks and buggies – both over 80 miles. The start-finish line is positioned off Nevada Highway 95, near the Railroad Pass exit.

Additionally, race enthusiasts will enjoy free ancillary events taking place in the Water Street District in downtown Henderson and Boulder City from November 29 – December 2. Some events include a Street Party with vehicle displays on Thursday evening, live concert on Friday, race all day Saturday and an awards ceremony on Sunday morning.

For a complete list for the Best In The Desert points summary, visit

For additional information and a complete list of events, call (702) 267-2171 or visit

The City of Henderson supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Advanced notice may be necessary to ensure that appropriate accommodations will be provided. For full telephone, use Relay Nevada by dialing 7-1-1.

About the City of Henderson Department of Cultural Arts & Tourism

The Department of Cultural Arts and Tourism is dedicated to creating and promoting innovative and vibrant events that celebrate diverse cultural arts, involve and enrich the community and enhance tourism. The Department of Cultural Arts & Tourism provides a broad range of cultural and artistic opportunities for our community through the sponsorship of concerts, performances, visual arts exhibits, festivals and civic events at various locations throughout the city of Henderson.

The Henderson Pavilion, Henderson Convention Center, Henderson Amphitheatre and Henderson Events Plaza are all managed by the Department of Cultural Arts and Tourism.

For additional information on our programs and entertainment, please contact us directly at (702) 267-2171. Our office hours are Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.