The BITD Silver State 300 is always a fun race to shoot because its not the usual Nevada desert we’re used to. It is held near Caliente, NV which is around 4500 feet up and filled with lots of great scenery. While chasing the race you’ll be driving next to Joshua Trees, and a few minutes later be in the middle of a forest. The only bad part was Friday night and Bink and I slept in our trucks and it was 31 degrees out.

Like every BITD event qualifying was held before the race, this time in Henderson, NV at the old start finish for the Henderson 300 race. The 3 mile loop was pretty uneventful since it was on a flat piece of land that was more of a man made course. Instead of complaining the course was boring, I took it as a challenge to try and make something interesting. With Trophy Trucks and Class 1 cars and 700+ horsepower, its hard to make them look boring.

I spent most of the qualifying session walking from spot to spot trying to find something I liked and here are a few of my favorites from the day.

I like this shot of Riot Racing because of the different layers between the two sets of mountains. greenery, and the dust trail.

Monster Energy / General Tires’s BJ Baldwin always puts on a good show.

As the day went on the turns started getting more chewed up.

On Friday Bink and I did a quick loop around contingency in the morning, and then we headed up to Alamo to start scouting for spots to shoot on race day. I’d shot this race two years prior, but the course was a little different and if you know me I like to be prepared the day of the race and know exactly where I’ll be going. I spent time the week before “prerunning” on Google Earth to look for various access roads, so we had a pretty good idea of where to go.

A lot of the spots ended up being nothing great, but like we kept saying that day, “you don’t know if you don’t try”. We ended up spending 6 hours and driving about 250 miles for the day before we settled in Alamo for the night and slept in our trucks. We could of stayed in Vegas that night but we wanted to shoot the bikes which started at 6 am, which meant we would of had to wake up around 4 to get there in time. Did we shoot the bikes? Nope, woke up at 5:30am after waking up every half hour to stretch my legs and decided to go back to sleep. Sorry bike guys.

Race day was upon us, and the first spot we went to was around race mile 61, which was a nice sweeping turn with a good view of the cars going through the forest before it. We labeled it our “scenic” spot.

There are trees in Nevada?

Here is a shot of the sweeping turn. Its 43% scenic.

After most of the vehicles went by us, we packed up and headed to Pit 5, which was race mile 201. We got there with about 15 minutes to spare, so far our game plan was working out nicely. More on that later. We chose this spot because at the end of the pit they jumped onto a graded road, which then transitioned into a tight 180 degree turn into a sandy wash.

Putting on a show again.

Also started to get some nice cloud cover which always helps.

We wanted to catch the leaders one last time so we only stayed at this spot for about 45 minutes before heading towards the dry lake bed at race mile 290. There was a pole line road that took us right to it so it worked out perfectly, except our timing. Because the course is so fast (prerunning we only found one whoop, not whoop section, one whoop) the leaders were making great time and we missed BJ Baldwin, and just caught the eventual overall winner Kyle Conlon.

While prerunning the day before we found a small silt bed about 1.5 miles past the dry lake, so when I got there I made the not so quick hike to that spot. It turned out that the spot wasn’t the greatest, and I didn’t get that great of shots of the first 20 vehicles. But like we said before, you don’t know if you don’t try. I’d rather risk trying to find a good spot and failing, then spend my time wondering if it was. (Thats what people say when the spot turns out to not be that good 🙂 ).

So after working that spot for a bit I hiked back to the dry lake bed and shot that for the rest of the day. The nice thing about dry lake beds are that it gives you a lot of options.

Here is the not so exciting silt section.

This is the right hand turn after the dry lake bed. The lighting was also getting nice since the sun was getting lower in the sky.

You can also get some nice far away shots on the lake bed.

That does it for this blog post, you can check out all my photos from the race by clicking the link below. Thanks for reading!

HighRev Photography – 2011 BITD Silver State 300 Photo Gallery