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Best in the Desert Silver State 300: Race Preview

It’s been multiple months since Best in the Desert has unleashed its racers in competition, with the January and February rounds in Parker, Arizona marking the most recent rounds thanks to the postponement of the All Terrain Concepts UTV Legends Championship until September. But with COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada eased, this weekend’s JIMCO Racing Silver State 300 will run as scheduled, getting the season back on track with one of the series’ most familiar events.

ORR SilverState

278 race miles lay ahead of the hundreds of racers on hand, with seven pits breaking up the action for the hundreds of entries taking part. Time trials for the top classes were cancelled last week, meaning the start order will go back primarily to point standings, or essentially the finishing orders from Parker. The cancellation means that UTV Pro Turbo teams will need to wait to stage their first-ever BITD time trial session.

ORR SilverState

Last year’s Silver State 300 received a major entry boost as one of the first desert racing events run after the global pandemic shutdown, and saw Luke McMillin take the overall victory by just over three minutes on top Trick Truck foe Bryce Menzies. Phil Blurton and Seth Quintero took the UTV Pro Turbo and NA victories, respectively, as most of the premier car, truck, and UTV classes were decided by less than ten minutes on corrected time.

ORR SilverState

Concrete Motorsports’ Kevin Thompson and Harley Letner kicked off their Trick Truck title defense with a win in the season-opening Parker 425, and they’ll lead a field of 13 trucks into this weekend’s action. Defending 1500 champion Michael Frye will attempt to do the same in that division, while Dustin Grabowski looks to go back to back as the leader of the 6100 field. Nick Carolan’s 6200 buggy that surprised with the fourth overall time at Parker is also back on the entry list.

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The UTV Pro classes, meanwhile, are booming, with more than 20 entries in each of the Turbo, NA, and Unlimited fields. The Turbo class continues to pace that count with 38, and Parker 250 podium finishers Mitch Guthrie Jr., Bruce Binnquist, and Dustin Jones will take on a stacked entry that includes Blurton, Quintero, Branden Sims, Justin Lambert, and more. Not to be outdone, Parker 250 winner Carson Wernimont leads the 29 NA entries on hand, while Michael Isom’s title defense continues with him looking to win his second straight Unlimited race against a field of 22.

After Friday tech and contingency, staging for the JIMCO Racing Silver State 300 begins at 5:15AM north of Alamo. The first motorcycle racer will leave the finish line at 6AM, while cars and trucks will begin their entry onto the course at 10AM. Following this weekend, the Best in the Desert season continues with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Hare and Hound World Championship for motorcycles on May 21-23, and Maxxis Tires Casey Folks Vegas to Reno on August 11-15.

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.