jeepspeed_bitd_5-13-13Alamo, NV – After the pounding everyone took at the brutally tough Mint 400, Jeepspeed racers headed north for the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. The Silver State race uses a point to point course through the hills and valleys of Northern Nevada. Held mostly on fast fire roads, there is hardly a whoop the entire way. It gave competitors a chance to open up their Jeepspeeds for some high speed running. When the course is rough and technical truck set-up and a driver’s ability to push the limits without breaking determine the winner. When the course is fast, everyone is fast. With higher speeds, any mistake is amplified. An excursion off course put you in rocks and trees or off a cliff on a majority of the 300 miles run. Thick dust caused by trucks running nose to tail at full speed hung over the course making it difficult to overtake. Jeeps that made it through the mountains, the river crossings and the long flat valleys still had to navigate miles of deep powdered silt that can swallow a truck in seconds.

14 Jeeps lined up for the General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge presented by ATX Series Wheels, (6 cylinder Jeep SUVs with limited modifications). In the General Tire Jeepspeed Cup presented by ATX Series Wheels, (open class for Jeep, Dodge, & Mopar SUVs/Trucks) it was a dogfight between Brandon Berge and Bob Mamer. Bob was off the line first followed by Brandon 30 seconds later. Bob Mamer has had a lock on the competition in the Jeepspeed Cup winning the first two races of the season. Brandon was 4th at the season opener then 3rd at the Mint; he was looking forward to his duel with the points leader Mr. Mamer.

Freitas Motorsports wrapped up the 2012 season with a strong showing at the Best in the Desert, Henderson 250 off road race outside Henderson, Nevada. The team ran up front all day finishing sixth overall, third in the unlimited, 1500 class. The team was in striking distance of the season long championship crown but had a tough hill to climb in order to take it from leader Robby Gordon. “It wasn’t really ours to win, it was Robby’s to lose,” said driver Garrick Freitas, “Regardless of what we did, Robby only had to finish the race to take the championship. We were more concerned with Chuck Hovey who was third in points behind us. We had to run well and beat Chuck to maintain our second place in the standings which we did.”

For a moment, the championship looked to be attainable when Robby Gordon’s car came to a stop due to an electrical issue on the first lap. He was lapped by the entire field but made repairs; continuing to the finish. The Freitas Motorsports, General Tire Jimco did not finish unscathed either. “We started eighth and made up a few spots when the cars in front had flat tires or other mechanical issues,” said Garrick, “We had several long stretches of clean air running up front. The dust is a huge issue on a silty course like this.

Different race courses have different challenges. San Felipe is known for miles and miles of brutal whoops. The old Mint 400 course is rough and rocky. The Best in the Desert, Silver State 300 course is mostly flat but that does not mean it’s easy. The long straight stretches of flat terrain have their own set of challenges. Most of the course is wide-open, high speed running with tight technical sections and deep silt beds mixed in. You need plenty of damping control but precise handling is also critical. The course is narrow and when the corners come up, you can’t afford to lose time slowing way down to get around them.

During the Silver State race, BJ Baldwin was racing at the front with Robby Gordon and Rob Mac. After over five hours of flat-out racing he was able to take the overall victory by a mere 14 seconds. When the racing is that tight, you need to be confident in the handling of your vehicle. “We spent time fine-tuning our King shocks in San Felipe to the point where the truck isn’t just super fast, it’s comfortable to drive” said BJ, ” The truck is now better than it has ever been. I can run wide open with total confidence.”

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.