BITD’s Silverstate 300

It’s Friday, 8:00am and time for the tech inspection. We are starting early to avoid the high temperatures in the afternoon, around 105 degrees. I took lots of pictures, check them out in the gallery. We are using the old black truck.

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This truck should tech easily, it’s already been done 19 times before. Registration is in the big Span building with air conditioning and no lines. The Oasis is very nice. It has a water park, mini golf, skeet shooting, and a slick track for the kids.

Saturday, 6:30am. Time to meet the pit crew at Starbucks for coffee. Everyone is ready now. Derek is the co-driver, Jeff is the crew chief, Kurt keeps an eye on us all, Eric and his dad, Glen are checking out desert racing, and Ruben needed a weekend away. We are going to drive 90 miles to Alamo, the start line. We pre-stage behind the gas station and line up.

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We are off and running around 10:30am. Within 5 minutes we know the 2nd set of triples we installed are working. The truck feels controllable. As we continue we feel like this track is built for us. I don’t think anyone passed us until mile marker 30, not bad for a stock truck with deavers running in the unlimited class, 5 speed and all. The track looks like any other course at the start, but something is different. The whoops are spaced differently or not at all. We are able to maintain speed. Our first flat is after we tackle a cattle guard. There is a class 10 stuck on one side and ours is stuck on the other. I thought there was at least 8′ open. We are in deep silt and cannot see anything as we back up we notice that the class 10 is gone so we just aim the truck and try again. We are on our way now but our notorious fuel problem is back again… no fuel pressure. We run a Bosch fuel pump and have replaced it every year. The problem starts in 1st and 2nd gear but goes away in 3rd. Ten minutes later the fuel pressure goes to 0. I pulled over checked the fuel line for pressure and volume. It runs for 10 seconds and shuts off. I then replaced the fuel lines and start the engine again. It sounds fine. So I start racing again and everything is working perfectly once again. Anyone know what’s wrong? Send us an email if you do.

They have even marked the silt beds for us. They are well-marked with lots of stuck trucks everywhere. Don’t go there, can’t go that way either, let’s try this way… and we’re moving again. The pit crew is working out fine and we’re got around 7 miles per gallon.

Around mile marker 200 we are driving through the old silver mines. And after a trip through the ghost towns we’re off to the water crossing. Then over some 19th century train trussles (I hope someone has pictures of this.)

One more silt bed to go but we didn’t make it… stuck down to the axles. Here’s how to get out the easy way, draw a big target on your rear bumper, take the truck out of gear but leave the engine running, hold on, and do not look back. This is just like racket ball… if you do look back you’re going to get a black eye. After “assistance” from a class 1 and your eyes are able to focus again, you’re back in the race. The whole process should take about 30 seconds. Drawback: rear bumper is now history.

It’s getting dark now and there’s 100 miles to go. It’s starting to rain, making the our helmet shields muddy so we decide to finish the race with the visors open so we can see. We made a small mistake here. I thought we could finish the race in the daylight so we didn’t change the HID’s over. We are using (2) 6″ KC’s and they are not working properly. We are running down fire roads around 60 mph in the dark using only our GPS. Derek did an excellent job navigating us through the GPS. Did you know cattle guards are not shown on GPS? We had a near miss there.

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We were 14 minutes behind 2nd place but didn’t know this during the race. I don’t think we could have drove much faster anyway. We completed 296 miles in just over 8 hours and came in 3rd place. Best in the Desert has gone all out for this race. New course. New location. New roads. New challenges. And lots of fun.

Who said you can’t teach an old truck new tricks. A bit of advice: Don’t sell your old truck until the new one wins a race. If you did not participate this year, make sure you mark your calendar for next year. We had lots of fun racing here.

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