Team HUMMER continued it’s dominance in production class off-road racing last weekend in the San Felipe 250. Lead by off-road racing legend Rod Hall, Team HUMMER took first and third in the stock-full class, and first in the stock-mini class.
The #861 HUMMER H2 SUT raced without competition most of the race, and only had to stop once for fuel, and once to remove needles from driver Josh Hall’s person and race suit. Josh drifted into some kind of dreadful-sounding Mexican spiny bush mid-race, and still managed to take first place. Not bad!
Team HUMMER’s complete release below:
TEAM HUMMER TAKES TWO VICTORIES AT TECATE/SCORE ‘SAN FELIPE 250’
San Felipe, Mex – March 15, 2008: On a wind-swept Baja California day, Team HUMMER’s three entries ran a virtually trouble-free race at the Tecate/SCORE ‘San Felipe 250’, finishing first and third in the Stock-Full production class and also winning in the Stock-Mini production class. After taking an early lead in the Stock-Full class, Josh Hall led the race all day in the #861 Team HUMMER H2 SUT with chief mechanic Sam Cothrun in the navigator’s seat. Hall gradually extended his lead over the competition throughout the afternoon and was out in front by eight miles when he passed through Checker Pit #1 at race-mile 55. Other than a brief stop to take on fuel at RM 109, the only time he stopped came after he had drifted into a spiny bush which had, as it’s defense mechanism, golf ball sized clusters of needles on the tips of it’s branches, several of which became embedded in Josh and his driver’s suit. This called for an immediate stop to carefully remove the offending pin cushions, left behind in the wake of the impact,
before getting on with his race.
About ten miles back, Chad Hall and Thad Stump, in the #863 Team HUMMER H3 Alpha, were locked in a drag race with the #860 Ford F-350 driven by John Griffin and the #878 Dodge Ram 2500 driven by Kent Kroeker, both worthy adversaries. About ten miles into the race, the #863 H3 Alpha developed an electrical problem, causing many of the truck’s electronic and fuel systems to behave erratically. Thad Stump seemed to think it had to do with the onboard computer so they pulled over and briefly disconnected the battery, allowing the systems to re-boot. After a short time, Chad re-started the truck, which ran perfectly from that moment on and got back in the race. By Pit #1 (RM 55), the #863 H3 Alpha had caught up with the pack and was running in fourth place. The battle here was for second place since Josh, in the H2 SUT, had an eight-mile lead and was in apparent control of the Stock-Full race. The #860 Ford, the #878 Dodge and the #863 H3 Alpha were all within a mile of each other and seemed evenly matched on this particular day. At the BFG pit (RM 109) the #860 Ford pulled in for fuel and a driver change but had some problem taking on fuel and the extra time they spent in the pit allowed the Dodge and the H3 Alpha to get by him. Chad had moved into third and was running in the dust of the big Hemi powered Dodge but the Alpha had broken a leaf on his rear spring-pak early in the race and was having trouble getting by him in the miles of sandy, rolling terrain that made up most of the course between RM 55 and RM 149. Chad stayed right on the Dodge’s bumper and both trucks were dueling it out until RM 136 when Spirkoff, now driving the #860 Ford, caught up and passed them both. Shortly after making his move into second place, the driveline on the big Ford F-350 broke, relegating him back to fourth place while he repaired the damage. The #861 H2 SUT remained in the lead and had extended his lead to 12 miles over the second place truck while all this was taking place.
At this point, Rod Hall, with Damien Michelin in the second seat, was running about 20 miles behind the #861 Team HUMMER H2 in his #760 H3 Mini-Stock truck. The 2006/07 SCORE Mini-Stock Class Champion was running in the class lead and only had to finish for the win given that his competition had all sustained damage in an effort to keep up with the veteran Hall. The H3 pitted at RM 149 for a driver change and Mike Winkel got behind the wheel for a trouble-free race to the finish with Jake Povey in as navigator. This is the second consecutive SCORE Mini-Stock victory for the H3 and team owner Rod Hall, this year, and puts him firmly in the lead for his third consecutive SCORE Mini-Stock points championship.
In the Full-Stock class, the #861 Team HUMMER H2 SUT was holding a steady pace about 12-15 miles in front of the pack and Josh seemed content to push the truck only as hard as he needed to win the race. Chad continued to run well and passed the #878 Dodge for the final time at race-mile 172. Spirkoff had the #860 Ford back in the race, after his brief driveline repair, and by RM 200 passed the #878 Dodge to move into third place. A few minutes later he moved by Chad in the #863 H3 Alpha but could not seem to make up any time on the #861 H2 SUT as Josh Hall and Sam Cothrun crossed the finish line to win the 22nd Annual Tecate/SCORE ‘San Felipe 250’ at 5:34 PM, twelve miles and 21 minutes ahead of Jeremy Spirkoff in the #860 Ford F-350.
Chad Hall in the #863 Team HUMMER H3 Alpha SUV was able to hold off Kent Kroeker in the #878 Dodge Ram 2500 for third place, finishing seven minutes behind the #860 Ford and two minutes in front of the #878 Dodge. The third place finish was enough to keep Chad on top of the race for the Full- Stock class points championship by two points.
The next race for Team HUMMER is the Best in the Desert Racing Association’s ‘Terrible’s 250’ at Primm, Nevada, April 18-20.