Reigning world champion and Utah native Hall ready for Nitro Jam’s return to home state
When the International Hot Rod Association first traveled to Salt Lake City in the spring of 2010 with its Nitro Jam professional drag racing series, Chris Hall was just another racer.
Sure he was well known among the local contingent of Utah competitors for his abilities on the track, but to everyone else, he was just another car on the path to victory.
It is safe to say that is no longer the case anymore.
Today, exactly eight months and one wild ride later, Hall is a local celebrity and is known around the drag racing world after attending and winning the Summit SuperSeries No Box World Championship at the IHRA World Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park in October of last year. Not only did Hall claim the title of World Champion, he also banked over $10,000 in cash and prizes, took home a brand new racing trailer and earned the distinction as the farthest west a driver has ever come from to win the Summit SuperSeries crown.
Now Hall, a native of Brigham City, is gearing up for his first major IHRA Nitro Jam event since winning the richest prize in grassroots racing at his home track of Rocky Mountain Raceways this weekend at the Salt Lake Nitro Jam this Friday and Saturday in West Valley City.
“It has been an unbelievable year. It has been neat to talk to everyone about that weekend and what it means to travel all the way out there and accomplish what we did,” Hall said. “But the important thing to remember is that this wasn’t just for me, it was for everyone at Rocky Mountain Raceways. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”
Hall began his quest for a championship last season like any other year, rolling his 1970 Chevrolet Camaro out of the garage and hitting the track in the weekly Summit SuperSeries at Rocky Mountain Raceways. Founded in 2002, the Summit SuperSeries was designed by the IHRA to reward grassroots bracket racers with an opportunity to compete for a world championship from their home track.
With that in mind, Hall went to work last year grinding away throughout the season in an effort to be crowned track champion by season’s end. And after a tough battle with several tough competitors, Hall emerged victorious at the end of the year as Rocky Mountain Raceway’s top dog.
“I really have to thank everyone at RMR, especially the competitors, because if it wasn’t for them pushing me every week and providing such great competition I would have never been as ready as I was for competing against the best in Virginia,” Hall said.
With the win Hall eventually earned a spot as one of the eight finalists in the No Box category at the IHRA World Finals in Virginia to compete for over $10,000 in cash and prizes and the title of Summit SuperSeries world champion.
With a long trip ahead of him, Hall received quite a bit of encouragement from his racing family at RMR as drag strip manager Ron Krafft and several RMR officials accompanied their driver in his trek across the country to Richmond for the finals.
Finally, with plenty of support and nothing to lose, Hall went to work eliminating one participant after another, eventually meeting up with North Carolina’s Steve Alford in the final. And in that final round Hall did everything he needed to do and 10.30 seconds later Hall crossed the finish line a champion.
“It was a night I will never forget. It was such an honor just to be here and to actually win and return home a champion was something that I will never forget,” Hall said. “It has been an incredible ride.”
Since that cool evening in October Hall has enjoyed every minute of life as a champion. Stories in the local papers, television appearances and more, overnight Hall was transformed from a local racer into a drag racing celebrity and now he gets to showcase his talents once again on the national stage at the IHRA Salt Lake Nitro Jam this weekend at Rocky Mountain Raceways.
“I won’t lie, I am a bit nervous. When you win big like that it puts a target on your back and everyone wants to do their best to beat you,” Hall said. “But I am certainly excited about the weekend. We have been enjoying all of the cool equipment from the IHRA and Summit Racing Equipment, we have a new paint scheme and I recently put in a new motor which we are still trying to get a handle on.
“But more than anything else we are excited to go back out there in front of a huge crowd this weekend and put on a show. It should be a great time.”
From small-town racer to national champion, Chris Hall is one of the many faces of the Summit SuperSeries championship program. Entering this weekend’s Salt Lake Nitro Jam Hall is actually third in his class at RMR as he looks to once again try and earn a spot in the finals beginning this weekend.
Don’t miss Hall and all of the stars of the IHRA Nitro Jam series this weekend at the Salt Lake Nitro Jam at Rocky Mountain Raceways.