Voss Wins 2014 BITD Silver State 300

May. 06, 2014 By Art Eugenio, GETSOMEphotos.com

By far one of scenic and picturesque off-road events of the year the Silver State 300 returns to the high deserts of eastern Nevada. Known for being a “drivers” race, the course spans through winding mountain roads, single-track paths stitched together with switchback turns and of course, the infamous Nevada silt.

Qualifying for the 300 had set the field with Dale Dondale first off the line, with Trick Truck Champion Jason Voss following close behind. But the order wouldn't stay that way for long, as Voss managed to get out front and maintain the lead until the finish line – even if they weren’t quite sure where they stood.

Jason Voss

“We started second off the line behind Dale (Dondale), and we pretty much had planned to pace Dale and see how the day went,” said race winner Voss. “Dale hasn’t proven to be consistent so we felt that if we stayed in striking distance we’d be good. Around mile 100 we caught Dale and it looked like he either had a flat or something going on, but from there we just held our pace to the finish.

“For awhile there we weren't sure where we stood because our radios weren't working well so we weren't getting time splits, so that made things difficult to set a pace and we knew Shawn (Croll) was right there on time. Luckily it looks like he caught a flat and that sealed the win for us. But we were wide open on that last 40 miles or so just to make sure. We weren't letting it go without a fight.”

Jason Voss earned the Silver State 300 win.

Starting sixth off the line and making a near clean run for a second overall was Shawn Croll.

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“We qualified sixth and we were catching people all day,” Croll said after the race. “But we were stuck in their dust, and that really is all you can do here, it’s so dusty. Each one of the guys in front of us just fell off here and there. (Mike) Childress looked like he made a mistake and was off, we caught Conlon and we found out later he lost a trans, then Dondale was off with a broken wheel, so they all kind of came to us throughout the day.

Shawn Croll

Then Croll had his sights on Voss and the overall win, and while he stayed close but a flat cost them the chance at the win.

“From about race mile 150 we were second on the road behind Voss the rest of the day, and on time we were right there within seconds for a win,” Croll said. “I think the two of us kinda checked out at that point. I think it was around race mile 250 we got a flat and that’s where we lost the race. With 50 miles to go there’s no way you're going to catch Jason unless he has a major problem. So other than that flat we didn't have any problems. I think we finally got this truck sorted out so hopefully we’ll have a win here in the near future.”

Justin Lofton

Justin Lofton came charging from the back of the pack and flirted with the overall on time, but a few flats slowed him down and kept him just off the pace for the overall win.

“Our weekend didn't start out as we planned,” said 1500 Class winner Lofton. “We hit a cone in qualifying which had us starting 24th. We were very fortunate to have a bunch of class 1500s starting in front of us rather than trucks. We worked our way through them pretty quickly. We had a few other issues on the track and had to stop and get out and that’s what got us with Voss on the overall, but we won the 1500.

Lofton was sure to thank his crew, who kept the car in contention all day.

“My crew did a great job,” Lofton said. “We kept changing our strategy as the day went on and those guys were amazing. I can’t thank them enough.”

Cory Keysar and Harley Letner battled it out for the two remaining spots on the podium for class 1500, with Keysar holding off Letner to earn second place in class.

Cory Keysar

“Our day overall went pretty good,” Keysar said. “We got stuck trying to pass Stroble for a bit and again behind Sam Berri, but for the most part it was an uneventful day which was good. Obviously really dusty, which is a trademark of this race, but no mechanical issues or flats and only blew a corner or two. Pretty much a clean race.”

Letner finished in third place in spite of a rough starting position after quafliying.

“We started 34th today,” Letner said. “I had a rock stick in the throttle during qualifying on Thursday, and they wouldn’t let me jump out and fix it so we started pretty far back there. So for the most part I was just trying to play it cool here through the whole thing, you know, dust is a major factor here big time. I caught a few cars by mile 50 and then I had a big gap for and was able to run clean for a while. So just tried to be cool and not slide off any hills, hit trees or get flats. I could've ran a little bit harder but we just wanted to get to the finish let it all sort out from there. Either way a top three finish is good.”

Harley Letner

Next up in the Best in the Desert season the Vegas to Reno, known for being the longest off-road race in the United States. For more information on the BITD schedule, visit BITD.com.

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