A fan favorite event officially returns to the Best in the Desert schedule today, as the VT Construction Silver State 300 marks the return of cars and trucks to competition for the first time since the Mint 400. It’s been three years since the last edition of this race, and with a solid entry list in many of the sport’s top classes, fans should expect plenty of close competition in today’s action.
The motorcycles and quads took off earlier this morning, but cars, trucks, and UTVs get underway at 12:30PM local time. With that in mind, we take a look at some of the biggest questions we’re looking to answer about today’s action:
Does anyone have what it takes to beat Jason Voss in Trick Truck?
Voss, the winner of the two most recent Silver State 300s, qualified on pole in Thursday’s time trials, just over four seconds ahead of second-place Justin Lofton. Behind Voss’ blistering run, the rest of the field is grouped together a little more tightly, and top names like Steve Olliges, Jerry Zaiden, and points leader Brett Sourapas qualified towards the middle of the pack. Last time BITD ran this race, Voss qualified on pole and never looked back, winning by two minutes and 24 seconds over Rob MacCachren.
Can Phil Blurton add yet another win to his impressive resume?
Blurton stormed onto the BITD scene as a rookie last year, wrapping up the season with the UTV Turbo championship after wins at the UTV World Championship and Vegas to Reno rounds. He successfully defended the UTVWC victory this year, and enters today’s event only five points behind class leader Jason Murray. Silver State is one of only two events this year where drivers can earn double position points, and Blurton drew the first starting spot—will that be a recipe for success later today?
Will the 1500 class see its first repeat winner of the season?
CJ Hutchins, winner of the Parker 425 at the start of the season, and Harley Letner, who took the top spot in the Mint 400, are both in this race. But they ranked on opposite ends of the field in combined qualifying with Trick Truck on Thursday: Hutchins placed first in class and sixth overall, while Letner’s seventh-place time in 1500 was only good for 24th place in the combined standings. With two of the top three drivers in points (Sam Berri and Pat Dean) between them, Hutchins is the more likely bet on this.