Images via Harlen Foley
It was a resurgence for the Unlimited Car class in Saturday’s Best in the Desert Silver State 300, as not one, but two 1500 division entries managed to outpace the top Trick Truck in the 301.5-mile point-to-point event. Cole Barbieri took top honors in his Racer Engineering car with a total time of 5:22:56, while Mitch Guthrie Jr.—running his Polaris RZR Pro R against the fastest car classes instead of in a UTV division—was just 12 seconds behind in second overall.
BJ Baldwin was third-fastest on four wheels as he topped the Trick Truck class for the second event in a row, posting a time of 5:25:51. He beat Steve Olliges for the class win by over 12 minutes, while Sterling Miller came in third at just 13 seconds ahead of Robert Johnston as second through fourth were split by just half a minute.
The top overall time in the event went to Dakar Rally veteran Skyler Howes, whose winning Open Pro motorcycle time of 5:12:45 beat Jeremy Newton by just over five minutes. In the 6100 class for spec trucks, Justin “Bean” Smith took the victory by 3:30 over Brent Fox, with Miles Miller completing the podium. Preston Brigman earned top honors in Class 1000 by seven minutes over Peter Hajas.
The surprises weren’t limited to the car and truck results, though. In UTV Turbo Pro, Vito Ranuio would earn his first victory of the season over Joe Terrana and Dustin Jones as incoming points leader and defending race winner Phil Blurton took a DNF in his bid for a third straight win to start the year. Teenagers Seth Quintero and Cameron Meister would complete the top five in class, which was separated by under 10 minutes at race’s end.
Blurton wasn’t the only big name in the UTVs not to make it to the finish, though, as former UTV World Champion Ryan Piplic and Parker 250 winner Mike Deley took DNFs in the Trophy Unlimited class. Chris Blais would return to the top of the box there for his second victory in a row, with Dan Fisher scoring his second podium of the year in second and Trey Gibbs scoring his first in third. In UTV NA Pro, Max Eddy would head up defending class champion Josh Row and Ethan Groom on the podium.
The 2022 Best in the Desert season will resume in August with the return of the Method Race Wheels Casey Folks Vegas to Reno, which will feature all BITD classes in action together just as Silver State did. Ryan Arciero (Trick Truck), Austin Weiland (UTV Turbo), and Dalton Shirey (Open Pro Motorcycle) headline the defending winners from last year’s event.