July 15, 2024

Hall Brothers, Dodge keep trucking after 20 years

The partnership between Dodge RAM and Hall Brothers Racing Team has been one of the longest in U.S. motorsports. Dodge representatives approached Champaign County brothers Tim and Mark Hall in 2001 about sponsoring their two monster trucks, Raminator and Rammunition.

THOMASBORO, Ill. — One of the longest-running sponsorships in U.S. motorsports is also one of the largest.

Hall Brothers Racing, headquartered in central Illinois, has been sponsored by the Dodge brand since 2001.

Their business has grown from the two street trucks that brothers Tim and Mark Hall raced in local mud bog races and mud drags, then drove back home, to eight monster trucks.

The Hall Brothers Dodge RAM team includes names famous to generations of monster truck race fans, names that also celebrate the team’s sponsor — Raminator and Rammunition.

“The monster truck stuff was just taking off, so we thought, well, if we could get a job doing that, we could put off the real world for a few more years. It’s 40 years later and we’re still doing it,” Tim Hall said.

The partnership between the Hall Brothers Racing team and Dodge dates back more than two decades. The Hall Brothers were doing monster truck racing with their first two trucks, mainly at county fairs and at some arenas and stadiums.

“We built our first couple of trucks and went from there,” Tim Hall said.

In 2001, Chrysler called. The major automaker previously sponsored a monster truck, but had gotten out of the sport.

The Hall Brothers’ Dodge monster trucks had gotten the attention of Chrysler’s motorsports team.

“We sat down with them and pretty soon we had a contract to work with what was then Dodge and Dodge Motorsports,” Tim Hall said.

That new sponsorship grew the brothers’ relatively small motorsports team almost overnight.

“We expanded from a ‘Tim and Mark operation’ with one and sometimes two trucks to having eight trucks. We had to get employees and semis,” Hall said.

The relationship with Dodge and Dodge Motorsports has remained strong and steady. The team now includes the two brothers and 10 employees.

“It is one of the longest-running motorsports sponsorships. We’ve been very fortunate that our program works well with them and we get to do so many cool events,” Hall said.

The racing, show and appearance schedule keeps the team busy all year. In the winter, the trucks race with the Monster Jam Circuit.

During the rest of the year, it is fairs, shows and the Four Wheel Jamboree Series, as well as various events for Ram, including dealership open houses, farm and trade shows, NASCAR races, fishing tournaments and college football games.

Even now, Hall said he still is amazed when he sees where the team has been.

“With Monster Jam, we go to different stadiums and arenas and then I’ll watch a football game or a basketball game on TV and I’ll think, ‘Oh, yeah, I changed a transmission right in that corner,’” he said.

Along with the popularity of the monster trucks and monster truck racing, the trucks themselves have grown.

“The first monster truck we built had 500 horsepower and about six inches of wheel travel. Today’s truck has 2000 horsepower and 30 inches of wheel travel,” Hall said.

While the trucks may resemble Dodge trucks, in the Dodge emblems, body shape and grill, that is about all that is “stock” about these monster machines.

“They are custom-built racing vehicles. They have a tubular chassis. We jokingly say they are part farm equipment, part dragster and part off-road Baja truck,” Hall said.

“They are very highly-refined racing machines. They are not anything close to a stock pickup truck, but they do have the emblems, those are stock Dodge parts.

“It’s mostly drag racing parts. The axles are all custom built, everything we make in house here. Our relationship to a stock Dodge Ram pickup truck would be like a modified pulling tractor to a stock John Deere farm tractor.”

Those big tires will look familiar to farmers and those in the ag spraying sector — they are floater tires, 66 inches tall and 43 inches wide.

“Those tires allow us to do so many things, including the car crushing that monster trucks are famous for,” Hall said.

Some parts that are groundbreaking for these groundbreaker trucks are not parts at all — but a laptop computer.

“In January, we went to electronic fuel injection. When we started with monster trucks, if you would have told me that we would have computer screens in the monster trucks and backup cameras and that we were tuning them by hooking them up to a laptop computer, I would have thought you were crazy. But that is exactly what we are doing,” Hall said.

“We hook up computers to tune them and set the performance parameters for the engines. We run on methanol fuel, but we do have electronic fuel injection and computers that control that.”

The trucks and the Hall Brothers Racing Team have traveled far and wide. The trucks have raced and performed in every state in the continental United States, as well as eight Canadian provinces. The trucks also have raced in Puerto Rico and Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean islands.

The driver behind the wheel of the Hall team is Tim’s brother, Mark.

“The guys that drive these trucks are remarkable. What they have learned to do with them over the years, sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully, is incredible,” Tim Hall said.

“The trucks have front and rear steering, a whole lot of power and a whole lot of suspension travel. All of those things allow the drivers to do some amazing things that you couldn’t do with an ordinary street truck.”

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor