Fort Mill, SC – Team GT is preparing for their next desert adventure as they take to the Las Vegas desert for the Canidae Tap It Silver State 300 Saturday, May 5. Cupertino, California-resident Jason Voss is looking to put his Trick Truck back on the podium and improve upon a disappointing General Tire Mint 400 race, when he returns to the desert this weekend. Voss has battled mechanical issues and even rolled his truck during Mint 400 qualifying, but that’s not enough to keep him on the sidelines. He and his team have been working hard to overcome their demons and drive to the top of the podium. We sat down with Voss this week and asked a few questions about the upcoming race and here’s what he had to say:
Q: You’ve had several challenges the last couple races with mechanical issues. What kind of preparations are you making to help ensure a strong finish at Silver State this weekend?
A: Yes, mechanical issues having been haunting us for about the last year and a half. We have been spending a lot of time out in the desert testing the race truck to ensure we are ready for the Silver State race. We are taking each mechanical setback one step at a time, to ensure we have a real able truck come race day.
Q: The North Las Vegas desert is notoriously rocky and difficult, can you talk about what to expect from the course including some of the more difficult portions and where you might be able to make up some time.
A: The Silver State 300 is different from all other desert races. It is a very fast “rally” style race course. There are a lot of windy gravel roads that are super fun to race on. Qualifying is very important due to the limited areas to pass on this course, in order to pass another truck you have to catch them in the dust and bump them. There are also a few areas with alternative lines.
Q: Did you pre-run Silver State? If so, how did it go?
A: We pre-ran the race last week and it is very similar to the course in the years past. I feel that my co-pilot James East and I did a very thorough job marking the course on our GPS. The race course is very fast and if not marked correctly there are some sharp turns that can sneak up on you after a fast straightaway.
Q: How do you prepare mentally and physically for an off-road race?
A: I don’t really get worked up before the race. I tend to stay very calm before qualifying and before the start of a race. I hydrate as much as possible the week leading up to the race and I like to watch videos of the race from the year before. If I get the chance I like to drive the race truck the week of the race just to get back into the rhythm of things. We will usually do a shake-down of the truck out in the desert somewhere.
Q: What are some of the keys to being on the podium at the end of Silver State?
A: I believe qualifying is number one when it comes to being on the podium due to the “single lane” race course. The second most important key to succeeding at this race is patience. If you do have a bad qualifying time you are going to have to be patient while charging towards the front of the pack. It is very dusty and there are a lot of big rocks right on the edge of the race course.
Q: For the person who doesn’t know much about off-road racing, what type of supplies do you take with you for a race like Silver State?
A: We always have water in the truck. Both the driver and co-pilot have camel packs filled with drinking water that we can sip on during the race. We also carry snacks just in case we are stranded out in the desert due to a mechanical failure. I usually pack some kind of power bar and some candy.
We also carry an assortment of tools, a tow strap, and a General tire – which we don’t often need because the tires consistently do a great job for us but sometimes you are in an extreme situation so we need to be prepared. We have enough tools to change a tire, a driveline, or even a transmission.
Q: How would you describe off-road racing to a new fan?
A: Off-road racing is always an adventure. You never know what is around the next turn or what will happen next. There is definitely never a dull moment.