Best in the Desert Race Preview: Silver State 300

Images via Harlen Foley

The 2022 Best in the Desert season continues this weekend with the Jimco Racing Silver State 300 presented by Maxxis Tires, the second event of the season for BITD’s car and truck classes, the third for its UTVs, motorcycles, and quads, and the first where all divisions have competed together on the same weekend. One of the series’ premier events over the past few seasons, this year’s Silver State 300 will feature a 301.5-mile point-to-point course that should prove a make-or-break obstacle for those looking to claim class titles.

207 teams are signed up for this weekend’s action, with UTVs making up the largest group of them all with a count of 102 across five divisions. Headlining the premier UTV Pro Turbo class is Phil Blurton, who won this race last year and is two for two to start the 2022 campaign. But while his early returns have been strong, Blurton will still need to stare down other top racers like Dustin Jones, Ryan Piplic, Seth Quintero, Justin Lambert, Vito Ranuio, and Matt Burroughs, among numerous others, to keep the momentum rolling.


It’s been a terrific past few months for defending BITD Trick Truck champion Kyle Jergensen, who not only wrapped up the series title last December in Cal City but also scored a win in the Mint 400 last month. He’ll be joined this weekend by Mint 400 third place finisher and 2022 Parker 425 winner BJ Baldwin, as the duo resumes what looks to be this year’s headlining title battle. Jergensen will have a teammate in the class in Jonathan Brenthel, while fellow Parker podium finishers Nic Whetstone and Alex Wacker will also be looking for more this weekend.


In the always competitive 6100 class, Conner McMullen enters as the racer to beat after his Parker victory, but expect Brent Fox to be looking for more after finishing in second last time out. After third place finishes in both last year’s Silver State 300 and Parker, Justin Blower will have his sights set on yet another podium run, while names like Burt Jenner and Sheriff Joe Lombardo add some extra star power to the entry list.


In the UTV Pro NA class, Josh Row kicked off his title defense with a third place finish in Parker and a win at the UTV Legends Championship in Laughlin, putting him in prime position to score another great result at Silver State. In the Trophy Unlimited class, Chris Blais enters the weekend as both the defending race winner and most recent class winner in Laughlin, making him a favorite to become the first two-time podium finisher in the division this year.


The Jimco Racing Silver State 300 will feature time trials for the top car and truck classes on Friday starting at 9AM. On Saturday, the first motorcycle rolls off the line at 6AM, while the top Trick Truck qualifier will hit the course at 11AM. Following Silver State, the 2022 Best in the Desert season resumes on August 10-13 with the Method Race Wheels Casey Folks Vegas to Reno, where all BITD divisions will compete together once again.

Chris Leone

A veteran of the motorsports industry (both physical and digital), Chris Leone contributes coverage of race events of all types to Off-Road Racer. Elsewhere, he is the marketing/communications manager at iRacing, media director of Jim Beaver's Down & Dirty Show, and a frequent contributor to UTV Underground.