Best in the Desert reported, “Phil Blurton’s strong start to the 2020 Best in the Desert season continued with his second win in three rounds in Saturday’s (June 27) VT Construction Silver State 300 presented by Polaris.”
Blurton’s time of 4:14:18.133 gave him the top spot in UTV Turbo action by just under a minute over Dustin Jones of Shreveport, La., while Mint 400 winner Branden Sims of Prescott Valley, Ariz., completed the podium.
More than 90 UTVs showed up to run the largest Silver State 300 ever, with UTV Turbo comprising the largest class with 46 entries. UTV Production drew 24 racers, UTV Unlimited had a healthy 20-car field and UTV Sportsman added three more. The postponement of the SCORE season-opening Baja 500, which had previously been scheduled to run in July, enticed SCORE regulars like Wayne and Kristen Matlock and defending Baja 1000 winner Justin Lambert, among others, to add Silver State to their 2020 schedules.
The Friday evening Twin wildfire in the mountains to the west of the planned starting area forced organizers to move the race starting point 20 miles east to what is known as the Delamar landing strip.
Race officials said later, “Holding a 300-mile point-to-point in the midst of a pandemic took a thorough amount of planning, but add in a wildfire that caused last minute race course re-routes, and organizers had their work cut out for them.”
The official Silver State 300 press release noted Blurton, of Auburn, CA, scored a back-to-back victory “after a season-opening triumph in the Parker 250 and runner-up finish in February’s Baja Designs UTV Night Race from Laughlin. The same went for defending UTV Production race winner and series champion Seth Quintero, from San Marcos, Calif., who beat last year’s SCORE champion Kaden Wells by more than six minutes. Dominick Gaglione came home third in class.
“In UTV Unlimited, the top three cars were separated by just under two minutes, with Robert VanBeekum of Queen Creek, Arizona, topping the podium over Randy Raschein and Michael Isom. All three pro classes boasted high finishing rates, with only 15 combined DNFs among 90 entries, while all three Sportsman entries made it to the finish as well. The race was cut short at the sixth pit due to the spread of wildfires in the area.”