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While you were standing in the hot sun slacker Roll Eyes Jerry Mall ran his Viper off the road and caught fire after his engine grenaded. And yea, Jerry is SAFE and even showed up at the Banquet dinner last night but sheeeit also happens.

Its easy to find fault for the SNAFU delays. I lost my rear decklid when a hinge pin worked its way lose so I got to commune with nature until after the road re-opened but these kind of delays are pretty rare. If you go back to '89 you will not find many delays.

Yea, it was a long wait for many but let me add just two positives here.

1. When I had to stop after the decklid came off my emergency radio worked and I was able to communicate with both course stations that I was okay and could drive the car to the finish line after the road re-opened......and yea it was a long wait for those at the starting line too or for those who were 'red-flagged' after Jerry's accident or for those who broke on the side of the, not fun at all but allot of VOLUNTEERS worked their butts off to support the event and I am sure there are lessons-learned out of this event that will benefit all.

2. I thought Blue's Driver's Meeting Saturday night was the best we have seen or heard since Gary Patterson was at the helm. Remember we also don't get to do these events unless the local radio and course volunteers are on the scene and this weekend they were doing their jobs.

There was allot going on after Jerry's accident and the debris field and oil from the accident had to be cleared by NDOT as well.

Agreed it was not a speedy recovery but these are grass roots efforts, they don't always go as smooth or as quick as we'd like but I appreciate most of all that Jerry is okay and no one got seriously injured.
Thank you for the post. Most appreciated.
Yes, Jerry had what could have been the worst. I am sorry for your time out as well.I am at the final finish line in pits. We heard you were fine as well as Jerry. NDOT had the comuncation problem. They didn't want to listen. NDOT held up the race first thing in the morning saying our road closure signs were not in place. Officer Davis let NDOT know that it was NDOT that had not placed their signs; SSCC were in place. Seems they were after us all day. They caused the bigger part of the delay. They failed to communicate.I was by the Ham all day because of announcing being another volunteer job of mine. NDOT was a mile and a half away from Steve and chose to drive all the way down to meet with Frank and drive all the way back to finish line. We are right their and she (NDOT makes the call to go north) instead of coming the easy way.Might I add she drives about 55mph if lucky, even with closure in place. NDOT put more miles on the course then we did.
I love the people and the event and am sorry people don't realize there are some things that are out of our control when it come to NDOT. I am hoping everyone will rest a few days before they are critial and say things with out all the facts.
This race doesn't just happen it takes lots of time and volunteers to put together as more challanges and rules come into play.There is a protocol to follow and that's the way it is. It is there way or the HWY!
Hope a little more of the focus is put on fact rather than rumor.
Hey Mad Dawg,
Yes the most important thing is Jerry and everyone is OK! It was sad to see his Viper as it was when we went past.
MY proublem was all the rumors and no facts.We only wanted to know what was happning.We was told that you crashed and your car was on fire.
We had no real facts on anything from race officials and did not know if the race would be restarted or not.
Thay have always done a great job but we just wanted to know what the h**l was going on.
I feel sorry for all the pepole that did not get to race after all they went through to race!
I know all the volunteers have a hard job and I do applaud them for the job they do!
I love racing the Silver State and just hope that they communicate with everyone to defuse any proublems.
I think what John is saying is a common problem with these type of events promotors.I know that BB did a great job at informing the racers of the status of the start time.Which I greatly appreciated and I feel the others did to.Took the rumour out of why and if nothing else reassured all the particapants that race control was making for a safe event.MKM is 1000x better at it to,than in the earlier years.From what I am hearing now SSCC needs to follow suit.

I know that if I were one of the particapants that did not get to run I would atleast appreciated the reason[s] why I am still waiting.Would make ME[I know that is not the case for all] alittle more relieved.I still would be upset and would be expecting some sort of compensation.Sounds like many of the rookies did not get to run either.another black eye for the sport!Stan
Let's see..

Late roll cage caused last minute re-assembly of the car at Ely. Got teched at 2:30 Saturday.

Trailer had a blowout on the way up, and again on the way back. (all new HD tires by the way before leaving)

My muffler came off the hangar before getting to pre-grid, had to wire it up. (Thank you Jim Weeks for the wire)

My navigator leaves his neck roll in the trailer (Thank you Jim Weeks for loaning his)

The GearZ crew rides in my truck, and leaves their laptop behind. The poor guy needs it right away, so had to trek to a UPS store and overnight it to Nashville. Got there 10 minutes before the 5:00 pickup yesterday.

My navigator started acting funny at the start grid. Got some yogurt bars, a banana, some water and gatorade in him, but it was to late. He started meandering around an not making any sense. Threw him in the car and ran to the start line. The paramedics pulled him from the car and treated him for heat stroke. His blood pressure was 168 over 108 going in. They got him to 145 over 89 in about an hour.

Due to a bicycle security guard on a mission to be important at the Sam's town parking lot, I was distracted enough to plow over a sign with my trailer.

5K$ in parts. 1K$ in registration. 1K$ in truck/trailer fuel....(bank account drained)

I should be very very disappointed, but I guess I am just numb. We worked so hard to make it. A heck of a lot of sacrifice for nothing.
First off, I am very sorry that not everyone got to run. That is most unfortunate. Many people, like Paul, worked very hard and spent a lot of money to be there and never got to turn a wheel in competition.

I think it was lucky that anyone got to run at all after the incident with Jerry's Viper. From what I heard, NDOT was not going to let us continue. It took some dedicated effort to negotiate a re-start.

It is a testament to the safety gear and requirements that we check for in tech that Jerry was able to be at the banquet Sunday evening.

It is also unfortunate that NDOT didn't extend the road closure time by the delay time that they contributed to at the start by not having the correct signage in place.

Mine was the first car waiting in line to start when the red flag fell. We didn't know if the delay was going to be 3 minutes, 30 minutes or 3 hours. We sat in the car in with our gear on for almost an hour before it became clear that we wouldn't be able to restart very soon,if at all. We didn't want to be the holdup when the race restarted, so we had tobe ready to go when the word came down.

When word came that we would indeed be restarting, we again got suited up and sat in the car again for another 30 minutes.

Yes, it was hot. Thanks very much to Gayle's for going to get fluids and passing them out to all the waiting drivers and navigators. :bowdown:

Once we started, my front lip spoiler fell off within the first 3 miles of the event. That was the "big black thing" that was laying in the middle of the road for all the cars that followed me. My profound apologies to all the other drivers that had to deal with that, and any delay that that caused. I have run with that lip spoiler in at least 6 other open road races, and it was securely attached at 8 points (4 bolts and 4 screws). I am still at a loss as to how it came off. I have yet to get under the car and see what happened, though I already noticed that it also tore off the bottom of my bumper on the sides. When it came off, I ran over it, and it did some damage to my rear diffuser.

Immediately after the lip spoiler came off, the car began to overheat. (The spoiler directs air into the nose of the car in addition to generating downforce). I have never had an overheating problem in any open road race until Sunday. We ended up having to put the heater on in the car full blast and run at around 4500rpm (~137mph) just to finish. No way to maintain our 145mph target speed. I drove by "temperature" rather than by stop watch. It got so hot in the car that our stop watches went black. And a back-up timer that I use on the dash actually melted. I hope that I didn't do any permanent engine damage, but I am hopeful, since oil temp didn't go above about 215F.

Hats off and many thanks to my navigator, Bob Holman, for never losing his cool (even at 150F inside the car!) and maintaining his infectious positive attitude throughout the entire event.

Kudos to Blue for his excellent command of the driver's meeting.

Let's learn from this one and apply the lessons to future events.

I am in agreement with Mad Dog. Very well put. Yes, there was a little kink in the armor, but you must agree that the situation was handled as best as it could be under the circumstances. Ya, there has been a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking and "coulda-shoulda-woulda." I did hear a lot of speculation and negative comments at the banquet about what happened, but when I questioned those meatheads, none had ever put on an event of this scope or magnitude. Just think of the logistics involved. My hat is off to Steve, Gail and the crew for doing a yoeman's job under very difficult conditions and all of the volunteers who kept their hats on while everyone waited for NDOT to get off their duffs. This is my tenth year with SSCC and this is the only real hiccup I've experienced, except for some contrived BS some bench racers came up with. With twenty plus years in the public sector (State of California) I can tell you to rest assured that NDOT will be monitoring your posts. So be civil and constructive or you could blow it for all of us speed freaks! All the best to everybody and keep the sunny side up. :burnout:
Your engine should be fine. My oil temp leveled out at at 260. And I missed your spoiler in the middle of the road. Did you go back and get it?

Just to give credit where credit is due. Jeff Sinn Jr. a rookie navigator for his dad car #337 paid some guys on the other side of the fence $100 out of his own pocket to go get all the water they could buy and pass out at the start line. Kudos to these guys.

It was definitely hot that day and I felt like I lost some of my edge by 2:00 when we left the start line.

Here's my story of woe the night before the race. My last run at the shootout apparently blew the axle boot on the passenger side. Moly grease all over the exhaust, smoke, terrible mess. After trailering it up and hauling it down to Lanes for the night, I crawled under the trailer to inspect the situation and discovered the metal band that holds the boot in place on the axle housing was totally missing. Now I need a BIG hose clamp. I cleaned all the moly grease off my exhaust and everything else on that side and go looking for a hose clamp. Of course none to be had....until we happened to spot one on a light pole by the gas station. Turned out there were two of them and one was just the right size. The manager of Lanes loaned it to me until next a gal. I crawled back under the trailer and monkey'd with it until I got it all buttoned back up and tightened up so we could run the race Sunday morning. Now I'll replace the whole assembly and hope that never happens again. This was my first race where I reached speeds up to 165 and I gotta say that's really fast, but the vette handled great. Thanks to all the course workers who spent their day in the hot sun to make sure we were safe. This is racing and sometimes bad things happen, but the best part is all the really great people we got to meet along the way. See ya all next time on 318.
Well you are all being very low key but the only people being that way are the ones that got to run. I am holding judgement to see what SSCC will do for those that did not get to run, but still pay the highest fees to play. It would of been nice to have been informed on what was happening now and then the day of the race. It would be nice if we were told even now what happened. But 60 hrs later and no offical statement from SSCC.

"Race promoters accuse NDOT of unnecessary cancellation"

Two Photos with caption: "Above, this 1996 Dodge Viper flipped and burned in Nye County 44 miles south of the starting line early in the race resulting in a delay of more than four hours. Driver jerry Moll was not injured. Below is pictured a similar, undamaged Viper from September's Silver State Classic Challenge.

By John Plestina
Ely Times Reporter

Backers of the Nevada Open Road Challenge are blaming the Nevada Department of Transportation for more than five hours of race delays Sunday and the cancellation of parts of the 21st running of the race, resulting in 41 drivers never leaving the starting line.

Several drivers said they spent thousands of dollars bringing cars and crews to Ely from other parts of the United States and one crew and car that did not race came from Europe to compete in the Silver State Clasic Challenge-sanctioned speed event that runs about 90 miles along Nevada 318 from a starting line south of Lund to Hiko.

The SSCC and others re saying that NDOT officials made decisions about delaying the race after a ctash and the continuation of the race was in jeopardy. NDOT's role was to close the highway and keep it closed until the race was completed. Just 19 of the 143 cars that entered the event had started the race when the crash occurred.

"I got there yesterday afternoon and I was pretty shocked at what a fiasco it was." Ed Spear, White Pine County Tourism Director, said Monday.

"It appears from what I have seen that NDOT made the errors," Spear said.

Those errors included a failure by NDOT to post signs in the Alamo area alerting motorists of the Highway 318 road closure. That caused a 56-minute delay in starting the race. He also chided NDOT for mistakes that led to a four and a half hour delay following a crash and not allowing the race to be completed.

Spear said NDOT's mistakes in handling the event delayed portions of the race, and reflect badly on Ely and White Pine County. Those mistakes have a negative impact on tourism in White Pine, Lincoln and Nye counties and the state.

The Nevada Department o Transoportation needs to issue the permit and let the promoter run the race," Spear said.

He took it a step further. "I believe from the day one the NDOT has not liked this race," Spear said.

"If they take two hours they should have to give two hours. I think the state has no business taking up five and half hours of race time and not giving back any time." Spear said.

"The worst thing is there are no repercussions. The state is held harmless. NDOT is never held accountable for a bad decision..If they made a bad decision they should be able to be held responsible," he said.

"The racers know there is an inherent risk in racing," Spear said, adding that the SSCC does an increible job with safety.

He said both sides should discuss the issues. Spear said if it becomes necessary, legislation could resolve future problems with NDOT related to the race.

SSCC President Steve Waldman, driving in the 150 mph class, was the fourth driver starting the race. He was behind the ill-fated Dodge Viper driven by Jerry Moll, a sponsor of the event.

About 40 miles from the starting line south of Lund, Waldman saw smoke in the distance, "I realized it was Jerry Moll. I could not stop. I was not allowed to stop> We immediately red flagged the event," Waldman said.

Moll escaped the crash with no reported injuries.

Waldman explained that he started early so that if he was needed during the race he would be a the finish line for most of the event.

He said Kathleen Weaver NDOT's assistant district engineer in the Ely Office and Randy Hesterly of NDOT in Elko were in charge for the NDOT at the event.

The race organizer said NDOT didn't like the response to the crash by race personnel. "They told the race director that they were going to stop the race," Waldman said. "They could have discussed it with me" but did not. He said NDOT claimed race communications were not running well. That is a claim Waldman said was not true.

"Then they proceeded to tell me it took too long for us to get to the cars (crashed vehicle and two others that had broken down). They have no idea how to run an event and they proceeded to tell us how to run an event." Waldman said. "We have been running it for 21 years and very safely."

The delay following the crash lasted just over four and one-half hours. "They held up over 500 people from 9:39 (a.m.) until 2:10 in the afternoon when the event resumed," he said.

NDOT officials drove back and forth between the starting line south of Lund and the finish line at Hiko and between other locations along the 90 mile race course while the delay continued.

"We lost over four and a half hours because of all of this driving back and fourth. Where was the thinking that there was over 500 people out there and they took their time driving back and fourth?" Waldman asked.

"In the mean time it was getting extremely hot---very very hot," Waldman said.

The race resumed with starts for less than a half hour. The NDOT stopped any further drivers from starting the race to complete it by the 4 p.m., road closure time limit. NDOT did not agree to any additional road closure time.

"NDOT never, never communicated with us," Waldman said.

"Fort-one cars did not start. People who came from Texas, people who came from Norway, Pennsylvania nd on and on did not start the event," Waldman said.

"It cost us thousands of dollars extra," he said of costs for hourly employees and to keep ambulances stationed along the race course.

We don't want incidents. If the car breaks down that's fine. If the car flips that's fine. We are interested in the person inside of the car," Waldman said of safety taking a high priority.

Weaver did not return two telephone calls from the Ely times Monday.


As I must leave for work, I will make only a small comment regarding the repsonse efforts by the course workers.

The gate worker reported the crash via the SSCC radio system the exact second it happened. The communications Network Control Operator immediately sent Air One to survey the accident. The gate workers were at the drivers side in less than one minute. The gate workers were both deputies with the Lincoln County Sheriffs Department's Search and Rescue. Both are trained rescue personel with one being a fully licensed Physicians Assistant. This is almost like having a doctor on the scene. The PA checked Jerry Moll for injuries and gave him a clean bill of health.

The safety equipment, response by volunteers, road clean-up, ect. was performed in a timely manner as the events un-folded.

I will add a couple comments this evening, must leave for work now.
My View of the water issue.

As a presenter at the drivers meeting until I retired last year, I know we always pointed out that we were in the desert and it could be hot and dry. As a result we would point out the fact that, if you had a problem, you may be broken down in that environment for maybe 8 hours. The point was made that one must have enough water to last that long, based on heat and personal needs. I know the need for water in that situation was repeated again this year.

I think we need to spend more time in the presentations on that point and make sure everyone understands. Many clearly did not, as I was approached about 10 AM with the message that many participants had used all of their water and wanted the race officials to fix it. Many in the slower class where rookies were more prevalent. What would they have done if they were down the course somewhere with no possibility of more water. From personal experience, I know it is miserable to be parked out there somewhere but it could be real serious without water.

I hope this is addressed in the Drivers meeting in September.

Dale Foust
Life #101
Orange Thunder/Black Hammer
We were in the 170 class, unlimited tech. We were 3rd from the last to run. Had 2 large 44 oz. bottles of water taped to the roll cage.

That wasn't nearly enough.

We figured that even if we broke down, the race was going to be over 2 cars later.

This was far beyond what we could've imagined or logically prepared for.

The end result was my navigator in the ambulance for heat stroke.
Originally posted by John Bigley:
About 40 miles from the starting line south of Lund, Waldman saw smoke in the distance, "I realized it was Jerry Moll. I could not stop. I was not allowed to stop> We immediately red flagged the event," Waldman said.

I am kind of curious.......WHY couldnt he stop? Roll Eyes Is there a rule I missed somewhere that says you can not stop to offer assistance to another racer that is clearly in need of help?

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