By: Chris Blais & Jeremy Gray, 1st Pro Unlimited UTV!
Photos by @dirtnationmag
Round 2 of the Best In The Desert Series took us back to one of our favorite areas of Caliente, NV. The Silver State 300 event is a unique race as its up at higher elevation in the trees. This race has some awesome roads, valleys, mountains and sand washes. I was excited for this event as we have been testing our Alsup RD built car a lot lately getting it dialed in. Contingency went well on Friday and my co-driver Jeremy Gray and I were getting excited for race day! We had a chance to catch up with my old boss at KTM, Scot Harden, and do an interview. My teammate, Mitchell Alsup along with my brother as his co-driver, Nick Blais, were also ready for battle in the Pro Open UTV Class.
After sign-ups and Tech inspection, our teams headed out to Apex for a little testing and clutch setup. We both dialed in our KWI Clutches/ Gboost setups so we were ready for the higher elevations. After testing we headed up to Caliente, NV to stay the night closer to the start line. We went out to the start line early so we could set up and get the chase trucks organized. We would be the third Unlimited UTV off the start line and we had chased down 2nd place about 10 miles in. We made the pass and kept working through the Pro Turbo class.
Michael Isom of Mobbin Racing was putting down a good pace, but we would see him getting out of his car before Pit 2 for some repairs. After that, we were in the physical class lead and kept pushing forward. I was a little timid in the trees due to having a little less braking than I would have liked. Still trying to figure out my hand control leverage ratio on the brakes. We ended up off the road once in a tree but was able to pull it off without any damage. We got passed by a car after that, then a few miles later they missed a turn and were off in a ditch.
We fueled up at Pit 4 by our amazingly fast crew, Gilbert Davila and Gary Purtle, and kept on our way. A little after Pit 4, I could hear some noises coming from the drivetrain. It seemed like an axle as the CV temps were high but those were all good. It gradually kept getting worse so we put the car in 2wd and motored on. I had to change my driving style a bit in 2wd but the car was still working pretty well. After Pit 6, the 2nd place Tiger Lights car would catch us and use the push to pass button. We moved over and let them go ahead. We started right behind them off the start so I knew we just needed to stay under 30 seconds behind them to get the win. That was easier said than done as they knew the same thing and were hammering down. They made it past a couple slower cars that we got stuck behind for a little longer and they were getting away. After we passed the two slower cars we put the hammer down and started making up ground. We were railing through the silt beds using some dirt bike lines to get out of the deep stuff. Coming into Pit 7 just before the finish, we saw the Tiger Lights car pit for a splash of gas and we were able to get close to them. On the way to the finish it was an all out brawl! We would get close then have to back off in the thick dust. The last few miles the course turned into a better direction and the wind was clearing the path. The last update my wife received from the tracker was 94mph. We stayed on it and finished physically 2nd within 20 seconds of the first car, giving us the win by an official time difference of only :15 seconds for the Unlimited UTV class win!
Jeremy and I were so stoked. We worked really hard to run up front and it all paid off. After the results were final we would see that we finished 9th Overall UTV against some of the best in the business. We plan to keep this momentum moving forward. Legacy Racing Baja Nevada event is in 2 weeks and we will be running the Pro Turbo class there to see where we stack up.
It was amazing to take another win this season. So thankful for my amazing team, family and sponsors for all you do. We put in a ton of work here to be the best we can be and stay on top. On to the next race which will be the Legacy Racing Baja Nevada event in the Alsup RD/ Blais Racing Services Canam Maverick X3. My wife will also be racing her quad solo.
See you in 2 weeks!
Thank you Can-Am for the amazing vehicle we can rip through the desert. Thank you Kenda and KMC for a flawless tire and wheel combo. Thank you KWI, Whalen and Gboost for the most reliable clutch and power combo. Thank you Alsup RD for the solid suspension components and being my teammate. Thank you Zollinger Racing Products for the amazing knuckles you make so we can push our car to the limits. And thank you Tom Morris/ UTV Shocks for the amazing suspension work and all you have done for our program the last few years. We have the best sponsors on the planet – thank you all!
May 12-16, Legacy Racing Baja Nevada
Thank you to all our awesome sponsors for their continued support and our new sponsors for 2021, our families, my parents and all our friends who support us. We can’t go racing without you!
Can-Am Offroad (Best SXS Around)
Kenda Powersports (Best tires out there)
Tom Morris/ UTV Shocks (Best shock tuner I have ever had a chance to work with)
KWI Clutching (Kris Werth is the man! My car rips and not a single belt issue)
Gboost Belts (Worlds Best Belt says it all)
Baja Designs (Best lighting around, my sponsor for 20+ years)
Eibach (Best springs around that don’t sag!)
Alsup Racing Development (Amazing suspension components and Can-Am Race Chassis)
Team Ford (Thank you Steve Olliges!)
Blud Racing (Best oil and customer service you could ask for)
Alpinestars (Nothing bust the best race suits and fire protection available)
Dirt Specialties (Awesome looking doors)
KMC Wheels (Sweet looking and strong wheels)
Mickster Race Jack (Superlight and most functional jack available)
Triton Racing Coolers (Super strong plate style front Radiator)
Zollinger Racing Products (Strongest Knuckles I could ask for and American Made)
PCI Race Radios (Clear and precise radio communications)
Impact (Most comfortable helmets and racing harnesses I could ever want)
Mastercraft Safety (Suspension Seats)
Necksgen (Most comfortable neck restraint out there)
Sector Seven (Sick Mirrors)
Megla Designs (Best graphics designs around)
UMP (Canam X3 Air Intake Kits)
Whalen Speed (Amazing tune and customer support)
Turn2TV (Awesome chopper & drone footage)
EpowerSteering (HD power steering unit)
Blais Racing Services is an authorized BITD UTV engine building shop. We can rebuild your Can-Am X3 engine/ reseal and retag them for the Pro Production Turbo UTV Classes.