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Primm, Nevada:
Shelby Hall, of Reno, Nevada, achieved a podium finish in the 2017 Mint 400, her first off-road first race as the Driver of Record; she paired with 4WD rally driver Amy Lerner, of Bergen, NJ. The third-generation racer is the granddaughter of legendary off-roader, Rod Hall; her father, Josh Hall, and uncle, Chad Hall, are also accomplished desert racers. It was her first competition without any members of her famed family on her team, although her husband Alex Baker, the team’s chief mechanic, was the co-driver/navigator for both Hall and Lerner. Rod Hall cheered her off the starting line in the restored ’68 Bronco that carried him to a victory in the 1969 Mexican 1000 and is the only 4WD vehicle to have won the world-renowned Baja 1000 overall. Owned by Hall, the history-making Bronco is on loan from the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame’s heritage display.

“The best part of the race was that I drove the hardest I’ve ever driven and drove the Bronco at 100 percent– it performed flawlessly with its Ford Racing engine and BF Goodrich tires,” said Hall, at the finish of the historical event that drew 379 teams, with more than 100 on the waiting list. “All of the work done by Samco Fabrication and all of the sponsor upgrades made it a great desert-running machine to carry us to this victory in a restored vehicle that is nearly five decades old and has motored a lot of hard miles. We were 11 seconds out of 2nd place in our class!”

“I am thrilled and honored to have competed in the 2017 Mint 400 and to have come in third in our class and 17th overall is such an accomplishment,” said Lerner who drove one of the two 116-mile-laps on the course known for its rocky and rugged track and high-speed dry lake bed dubbed “The Rocket”. “I feel humbled that I was given this chance by Shelby and Rod and proud of doing my part for the team. The Bronco was incredible to drive, considering that the course was very rough and hard on a lot of the race vehicles; in our 2-lap contingent, only 31 of the 79 vehicles that started crossed the finish. We are grateful to all the sponsors who were a part of the Bronco renovation and a part of our race.”

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Shelby is a desert-racing fanatic that has turned her passion into a career, competing with her family on the Rod Hall Racing Team since 2012. She has proven her skills by competing in endurance races like the famed Baja 1000 and successfully piloting a diverse mixture of vehicles to podium finishes, ranging from a vintage ’68 Bronco and ‘81 Dodge D50 to a Hummer H1 and Hummer H3, and a nearly-stock Jeep Wrangler. She and Lerner recently placed 4th in the country’s first, all-female navigation rally, the 7-day-long 2016 Rebelle Rally. Lerner is an accomplished international 4WD racer, with podium finishes in Morocco’s Gazelle Rally and the Australian Safari Rally.

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“My love for the Bronco began in 2015, when we pulled it out of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame display to restore it to compete in the NORRA Mexican 1000,” said Shelby. “Thanks to SamCo Fabrication, Ford Racing, BF Goodrich and an impressive collection of supporters, the Bronco is not only fast, dependable, and fun-to-drive, but it holds an emotional place in my heart, as it was an integral part of my grandfather’s career. His mantra “to finish first, you must first finish” is ingrained in my mind, and worked well especially for a race like the Mint 400.”

“I met Rod while learning how to drive off-road for a 4WD rally in Morocco, seven years ago. He’s given me a tremendous amount of advice and guidance that has helped as I competed in races and rallies. I got up-close-and-personal with the Bronco while filming Rod and Shelby racing in the 2016 NORRA Mexican 1000, for my documentary film on Rod’s racing career.”

The 2017 Mint 400 attracted tens of thousands of fans for the 4-day-long event that included a parade to showcase the millions-of dollars of race vehicles on the streets of Las Vegas. The Mint 400 Off-Road Rally was organized by Norm Johnson in 1967 to promote Vegas’ Mint Hotel. His initial effort garnered national media coverage and drew a following from race teams and enthusiasts and it became known as The Great American Off-Road Race. It has a rich and storied history-like the Hall family-and has drawn an impressive roster of industry greats and entrants from around the globe, as well as film and television stars. It is one of the most significant and widely-watched off-road races in the world, with television coverage on NBC to over 80 million homes and part of Red Bull’s Signature Series on NBC prime time that reaches an additional 140 million homes, with an online and social media impact that spans 100 million impressions, making it the most visible and documented 4 x 4 event on the planet.

“I am very proud of Shelby and Amy’s third-place finish. I have been training Shelby since she was 4 and it was time for me to turn over the reins,” said Rod Hall. “She is ready now to do her own racing and can stand out above the crowd. She is very important to my racing legacy.”

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