To say that off-road racing is a rough sport would be an extreme understatement. Having spent over four hours in the truck with Team HUMMER’s Josh Hall during the Terrible’s Town 250, I assure you it’s not for the faint of heart. Some sections were so rough it was incomprehensible to me that any human could maintain control over their appendages long enough to operate the gas pedal and the steering wheel at all let alone in unison.
“People told me not to take it too seriously; that starting at 40, I wouldn’t have the endurance to compete,” Miller told Prevention Magazine last year. Now with several successful finishes under her belt, she’s proving her critics wrong.
Weighing in at 100 pounds and standing at 5 feet tall, Miller doesn’t look like your typical off-road race truck driver – add being a woman to the mix and you’re bound to get some mixed reactions.
“When I get introduced as a driver, usually the men either don’t believe it or don’t understand at first – then do a double take. One immediate assumption is that I am not tough enough — I actually find that pretty funny. However, when women hear it, they get excited. There are many women out there who would love to be doing the same. I hope I can serve as motivation for women to get out there and chase their goals – that is very fulfilling to me.”
Miller saw that motivation first hand at her inaugural race at the 2006 Baja 1000, when a man and his daughter approached her just before the race. The father had driven several hours from a small village south of Ensenada, Mexico with his little girl so she could meet all the female drivers in the event. “He said he wanted her to know that she could do and be whatever she wanted when she grew up.”
When she’s not racing, Miller can be found skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, surfing, and oh yea – running her own sports marketing company. Miller and Team HUMMER patriarch Rod Hall met each other during a meeting at the National Automobile Museum and got to talking.
“Rod asked me to get involved on a couple projects – the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and some off-road event production for HUMMER dealers….I really liked what I saw, and after a couple years, Rod asked if I would be interested in driving for the team. I thought that meant he wanted me to drive a HUMMER for promotions. It took me a few minutes to process the fact he meant racing for the team! I have a long way to go and so much to learn, but already the experience has been incredible and a real honor to be trained by Rod.”
Working with team as a driver and as their Marketing and PR director, Miller has become very familiar with the HUMMER brand – both the upside and the downside. “My attitude toward the brand has definitely evolved as I have experienced the capabilities of the trucks firsthand…these trucks are incredible off-road,” Miller says, who when not racing prefers a bicycle for running errands. Though, when she does drive for work, her time is split between a HUMMER H3 and an Audi A4. “They get the exact same fuel economy, and often the HUMMER exceeds (the Audi) by 1-2 mpg…The more I have learned about the auto industry and the various SUVs, the more I believe the poor image painted of the brand has been unfairly given.”
Be sure to check out Team HUMMER’s website for more on Emily Miller’s history making run – and stay tuned for the results of the Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno run later this month.
Photos: HummerGuy.net, Rod Hall Racing