Dustball Rally 1500 Recap – Preface – Team and Event Background

9 09 2009

Preface – Team and Event Background

The Team – Team Hall & Nass is an open road racing and rally team based in the Southwestern United States. Up until this event, we raced under our legal, parent-given names. After this event, we have created “stage names” for reasons that will become apparent within the story. Let’s just say that some things you do in this life you want credit for, but there are some that are better left off the books … at least until the statute of limitations expires! 😉

Driver Johnny Hall and Co-Driver/Navigator Taylor Nass, known for their crazy open road antics and other such foolishness in the world of speed, this year decided to tackle one of the toughest gimmick road rally challenges in the world, the Dustball Rally 1500.

This is the story of what really went on out there on the road … from our view.

The Event – The Dustball Rally 1500 (DustballRally.com or @DustballRally on Twitter) is NOT your typical road rally. It is billed as a 100% legal “gimmick rally” and as “a rally, not a race.” In reality, it is a 1,500 mile test of: intelligence (or a glaring realization of a personal lack thereof) in solving riddles/math problems/clues to find gimmicks; personal driving capability; and endurance of man/woman and machine! As an added bonus, it is the least expensive/best organized time you can have in a fast car on the open road. Think Bullrun or Gumball but with more mental challenges. In a word, it is “INSANE!!!” Team Hall & Nass LOVES automotive insanity, so this is the perfect event for us!

The Car – 2009 C6 Z51 Corvette Convertible ZHZ, 6-Speed Automatic, Top Speed 190 MPH (167 MPH with convertible top up). Yes, it’s a rental, and no, Hertz doesn’t know!

The Gear – Garmin Nuvi 885t Voice Activated 3D GPS w/Trapster Police Location Tracking Software, Hertz Magellan GPS, Valentine One V1 Radar/Laser Detector, Escort Passport Radar Detector, Uniden Bearcat 200 Police Scanner, IBM ThinkPad Laptops (2) w/extra batteries (running Trapster Live, Google, Twitter, Rand McNally Maps, Weather.com and iTunes), iGo Laptop Power Solution, Sony HDD 60GB Camcorder w/extra batts, Olympus Digital Camera w/extra batts, Windows Media Smart Phone w/extra batteries (tethered to Verizon High Speed EvDO wireless access for laptop internet access), LG EnV Verizon Wireless Phone (for calls and backup tweeting), 2GB iPod Shuffles (2), Maui Jim Polarized Sunglasses (2 pairs each), California Creations  Collapsible Coolers (2), Refreezable Ice Packs (3), Gatorade, AMP Lightening Energy Drinks, Bottled Water, PB&J Sandwiches!


The Plan – Get to the lead quick, figure out what it takes to win the gimmick portion of the rally, stay out front, and arrive first at each checkpoint … or as close as possible!

The Goal – To Win! Secondly, to finish the rally in one piece, not die trying, and to stay out of jail along the way. Last (but certainly not least), to use this initial run as a learning tool for being competitive in future Dustball Rally and other like rally events.

The Hamthrax – You will hear us refer to something called “Hamthrax” throughout the story. Hamthrax is our tongue-in-cheek name we came up with for law enforcement. To contract Hamthrax is to be caught by law enforcement of some variety while driving, usually at an accelerated rate. We thought about referring to them as “Swine Flu” but decided that might not be so nice. Believe it or not, Team Hall & Nass respects law enforcement and we appreciate that they have a tough job to do. We just try to avoid contact with them at all cost so they can focus their time and efforts on solving real crime. We like to think of it as offering yet another valuable public service! 🙂

The Hamthrax Avoidance Tips (HATs) – Team Hall & Nass cares about everyone on the roads! Therefore, we issue HATs from time to time (usually via Twitter, but may start issuing them via this blog too). HATs are friendly tips we put out there to help our fellow enthusiasts and fans avoid contracting Hamthrax!

The Pirate Pig – Pirate Pig is our loveable mascot and our good luck charm. He adorns our ride via many custom decals. He wears a skull cap with skull and crossbones on it, an eye patch (obtained thru previous Hamthrax battles) and sticks his tongue out at his conventional swine brethren. Pirate Pig has been called a rebel, a menace and an outlaw, but we know and love him as our faithful teammate. He exists as a reminder of the dangers we face on the open roads and to put a friendly face on providing Hamthrax protection for all! GO PIRATE PIG! :@)~

The Foolishness – As you’ll read, the only thing Team Hall & Nass is serious about is safety. We drive fast, but we always drive safe. If you’re not aware, you are a danger. That goes to everyone out there paying no attention in the left lanes around the world! Wake up and drive smart! Everything else about this is pure 100% foolishness and we love every minute of it!

The Result – You’ll just have to keep reading to find out how we ultimately did in the 2009 Dustball Rally 1500!



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