BJ Baldwin Wins BITD Silver State 300
The BITD (Best in the Desert) Canidae Tap-It Silver State 300 is the third race of the six-race off-road desert-racing series. This race started out with a bang at time trials on Thursday with the title-sponsored Canidae Trick Truck airing out a little too big and lawn-darting the truck into the ground, flipping it nose first and landing on the roof. The driver and co-driver were okay, but the truck had some rear damage. The team decided to head back to Norco that day and spent the next 15 hours working around the clock to fix the truck and make it back to Las Vegas in time to take the truck through tech inspection and start the race the following morning.
Thursday after time trials were over and the results were official, it was Robby Gordon who took first place with a time of 4:09:832. Now all the talk amongst the racers was whether RG take the overall win to earn his third win in a row after first overall at the BITD Parker 425 and Mint 400. So the pressure was on Gordon to make it three in a row.
Second place at time trials went to Steve Sourapas with a time of 4:13.674, and BJ Baldwin finished in a super-close third, only one second behind with a time of 4:14:852. Fourth place went to Sam Berri and fifth was Mikey Childress.
Friday was tech inspection and contingency for all the racers at the Aliante Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas. This year, since Tap-It Brewing was one of the title sponsors, they made a limited-edition Desert Ale that was given out to all the race participants, BITD workers and volunteers that were of the legal age to drink. This was the first beer bottle I’ve ever seen with a desert race truck on it (not bad since I took the photo - MWilsonPhoto.com).
The Silver State 300 race is one of the most scenic races around. With the course winding through the mountains, forest, crossing bridges and it even runs through two small rivers. As the race started, it was Gordon off the line first and he got a pretty good lead on the rest of the racers because to the clean air and him just being RG. About half way through the race it was clear BJ Baldwin and Steve Saurapas were gaining on Gordon, and it was a three-way battle to the finish line.
In the end, Gordon was the first across the finish line and Baldwin crossed second, but BJ beat RG on time to earn the overall and Class 1400 win with a time of 5:25:56.272.
“It was a very fast course and I always have fun battling with my best friend-enemy,” Baldwin said after the race of his battle with Gordon.
Fourteen seconds behind Baldwin on corrected time was Steve Sourapas, who earned second place in Class 1400 and 2nd Overall with a time 5:26:10.462. Gordon took third overall and first in Class 1500 with a time of 5:26:22.204. This makes it three wins in a row for Gordon in Class 1500.
“I needed to change a tire at pit six but I knew BJ was really close to me on time, so I decided to run the tire and not waste time changing it and it barely held to the finish,” Gordon said.
Gordon’s rear right tire had absolutely no tread at all on it! It was worn down to the steel threads , I could not believe it was still holding air! Chuck Hovey placed fourth overall and second in Class 1500. Jason Voss placed fifth overall and third in Class 1500. Justin Davis placed sixth overall and third in Class 1500. At the last race (Mint 400), Eduardo Laguna Placed first but then got DQ’ed, so now he once again finished in first place but he gets to keep the Trophy this time! Troy Vest placed first in ProTrucks with a time of 6:01:45.522. Cody Freedman placed first in Class 1000 with a time of 6:03:38.272.
The Canidae Tap It Silver State 300 was a fantastic scenic race, and we hope to see you all the next BITD race, the General Tire Vegas to Reno, August 16-18.
Full race results at BITD.com.