Rod Hall began his racing career in 1964 by winning the Afton Canyon Jeep Junket in the desert outside of Riverside, California. Although this was perhaps the first organized off-road race in the US, it was 1967 before desert racing was to begin on a regular basis in Baja California and Rod Hall was on hand to win the historic Mexican 1000 in his Jeep CJ-5. In 1969 he was hired as a driver for Bill Stroppe and won the event co-driving with Larry Minor in a Ford Bronco. After 32 years, he remains the only driver to ever win the Baja 1000 overall in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
In 1975, Stroppe entered into an agreement with Dodge to manage their off-road program. Hall, along with co-rider and friend, Jim Fricker, was assigned to the production 4WD Dodge. The team had moderate success during the first year, but in 1977, Hall began a winning streak that lasted into the next decade driving the Class 4 Dodge to an unbroken string of 37 consecutive Score and HDRA victories, a record which stand to this day. In 1982 Hall gained international recognition when he finished second in the Marlboro Safari Rally, in Kenya, Africa. Two years later he won the marathon 12,500-mile Repco Reliability Trials across Australia and returned in 1985 to win the Australian Production 4WD Class Championship. In 1993, Hall switched from Dodge to HUMMER after some preliminary testing in Moab, Utah convinced him that the HUMMER is indeed the ‘Ultimate Four-Wheel Drive’ vehicle. In their first race, Hall and his youngest son Chad, finished 1st and 2nd in the Full-Stock Production Class at the Baja 1000, beating the competition not by minutes, but by hours. In 1996, Rod and Chad organized the first all-American team to ever finish the torturous 4700-mile Dakar Rally, finishing fourth and fifth in class driving specially prepared Rod Hall HUMMERs. That same year the Hall’s began racing with Nevada’s new Best in the Desert Racing Association, which has since blossomed into the premier off-road racing series for production vehicles. In typical Hall tradition he has won the 1999 and 2002 BitD Series Full-Stock SUV Championship for Team HUMMER while Chad was the 2000 BitD Champion in Full-Stock Pick-up.
In a sport where a dozen major wins can define a successful racing career, no one even comes close to Rod Hall. Ten-time winner of the internationally recognized Mint 400, ten-time winner of the Parker 400, 12-time winner of the Fireworks 250, 12-time winner of the Baja 500 and the only 17-time winner of the Baja 1000. Over the course of his racing career, Hall has won 14 major class points championships in production 4-Wheel Drive vehicles and well over 150 major events. While many of these records may never be equaled, it is also unlikely that anyone will break his record for consecutive race victories anytime soon.
After a life of such accomplishment, another man might consider retirement or switching to a less demanding form of competition, but Rod Hall is simply not like other men. He’s up at 4:00 AM doing a daily regimen of exercise that includes weight training and fifty push-ups to greet the day as he readies himself for a host of early phone calls to Detroit and South Bend. By the time most people are getting to work, Hall has already been in the office for three hours.
Rod still oversees the operation of Team HUMMER and devotes about twenty weeks each year to BFG Tire Seminars and various specialized product introductions. Before each seminar a dozen vehicles must have new tires installed, based on the requirements of the client. Rod changes every one of those tires himself, not because he has to, but because he wants to.
Rod Hall is a unique blend of competitor and involved businessman. He is a leader tempered by an easy going manner and down to earth sense of humor that makes this popular champion a favorite among fans and competitors alike.
In 2017, Rod Hall capped a remarkable career, by competing in his 50th Baja 1000, just shy of his 80th birthday. Rod is the only competitor to compete in all 50 events. He has an impressive 25 class wins and is the only racer to win the Baja 1000 overall in a four wheel drive vehicle.