IN THE DESERT
Silver State 150
September 23, 2017
BITD Silver State 150 UTV Race
Caliente, NV (9/30/2017) - Sven
Ellstrom and Russell Griffin drove their Polaris
RZRs to victory in the Pro UTV classes during the
Polaris RZR Silver State 150. The event was round
five of the Best in the Desert Series. Ellstrom
won the Pro Turbo class, while Griffin finished
first in Pro Production.
Sven Ellstrom Takes
the Best in the Desert Pro Turbo UTV Win
Held in the high desert, the track utilized portions
of the old Silver State 300 course. The course
was 150 miles long with 60 miles on narrow trails
with rocks and off-camber turns. The technical
nature of the track caused several competitors
to flip over, while others had tire and axle issues.
There were also some open desert sections that
allowed for high speeds on desert roads and silt
racers lined up in rows of four for the
start of the BITD Silver State 150 start
Temperatures were just below freezing at the
start of the race due to track’s 6,000-foot elevation.
The race was a cold one with temperatures in the
40s for most of the day, allowing the turbo cars
a few more horsepower. A steady breeze helped
moved out some of the dust.
Unlike the normal two wide live engine start,
the Silver State 150 had four cars starting together
with a dead engine start, which something new
for many of the racers.
Phil Blurton &
Beau Judge grabbed the holeshot on the front
In the Pro Turbo Class, Ellstrom teamed up with
his car builder Mark Holz in the co-driver seat.
Starting on the first row, Ellstrom fell into
a steady pace early and went “hammer down” in
the second half of the even to score the runaway
victory, his first in BITD competition. Phil Blurton
finished second in his Can-Am, padding his points
lead in the class, ahead of Ryan Piplic’s Polaris.
The Can-Am of Dan Fisher and Justin Lambert’s
Sven Ellstrom & Mark Holz once again
teamed up for the second straight race &
they took over the lead before pit two
“We didn’t get the holeshot, but we kept our
pace and stayed with the leaders,” said Ellstrom.
“As soon as got to the second pit, the two in
front of us pulled aside and we only had 80 or
so miles to go so we had to hammer on it.”
Ellstrom, who made his BITD debut last year,
has run an abbreviated schedule this season, but
has shown promise in every race in which he’s
competed. He was third in the Mint 400 and second
in the last round, the Vegas to Reno race. He
has spent the season developing the car with an
eye on a 2018 title run.
Racing's Sven Ellstrom secured the Pro Turbo
“We haven’t hit every round because we’re still
dialing in the car because it’s a new build,”
said Ellstrom. “Next year, we plan on going for
the championship. This is the best the car has
ever felt. We have some minor issues, but the
car is really rock solid.”
Blurton, with co-driver Beau Judge, came out
of start in second, but broke a belt early in
the event. After losing several positions, he
and Judge went on a tear, rebounding to finish
Limit's Phil Blurton & Beau Judge maintained
their points lead by claiming yet another
podium finish in the 2nd spot
“We’re excited to be back on the podium because
it keeps us first in points,” said Blurton. “That’s
what we’re going for. The course was awesome.
It was super narrow and we kept having to push
in the mirrors to keep from hitting trees.”