2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup: A Trip to Remember
November 16, 2009
A handful of friends got together this past weekend to remember Howard Rayon, a good friend who lost his battle with cancer a couple of weeks ago.
Howard was an amazing guy who could not sit still: he was a firefighter who rose to the level of Deputy Chief of the Santee, California fire department, a lawyer who practiced labor law, he sat on the board of his local credit union, he was part of an arson investigationstrike force andhe played a key role on atravelling management team that coordinated the response to large-scale brush fires and other disasters all over the country.
I knew him as an SCCA member whoraced a Formula Veeand worked as a volunteer course marshall at small club events and large professional races alike.That eventually grew into a 9-year stintas atravelling member of the CART/Champ Car/Indy Car safety team, the on-track rescue squad that helped get driverswith names you'd recognize safely out of their wrecked racecars at tracks around the globe.
Borrego Springs was one ofthe quiet places he liked to visit on those rare occasions when heallowed himself somedowntime, so atight-knit groupof his racing friends piled into off-road vehicles and headed for a remote overlook in the Borrego Badlands to watch the sun set and tell Howard stories.
Five of us climbed into the 2009 Dodge Ram truck for the trip. Everyone had plenty of spacein the new Crew Cab andthe RamBox storage compartments proved a handy place to keep the coats and jackets we'd need after sunset dust free. Out back, the RamBox's bed divider kept the all-important cooler and folding chairs from slamming about on the dusty track.
The route wasn't particularly challenging, but the coil spring rear suspension proved its worth once more by providing an admirable combination of good ride and good articulation over the bumps and dips. My passengers did grumble about the lack of roof-mounted grab handles a time or two as we lurched along the rougher sections, however.
Adios, my friend.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing