After four grueling days of racing in the middle of the Nevada desert, a modest trophy presentation recognized the top competitors in each of the ten racing classes. At this point in the weekend, you know you’ve done something right when the RC Car Action cameras are pointed in your direction – that means you’re one of the big winners.
Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz had perhaps one of the best weekends of his career at this year’s Silver State Nitro Challenge. Not only did he TQ all four classes that he entered (Pro Truck, Pro Buggy, Pro Electric Buggy, and 4WD Short Course Truck), but he absolutely dominated the 45-minute Pro Truck main event. Having led the field into turn one from the front of the grid, he held the top spot for all but a half-lap on his way to the win, crossing the line over nine seconds ahead of the field. One of the nicest and most humble racers in the pits, Ryan has endured several heartbreaking defeats over the years before putting it all together this weekend. I talked to him about what it was like to win his biggest event yet.
While the Pro Truck class saw a first-time winner make short work of the long main event, the Pro Buggy race was one for the ages. Former National Champions Adam Drake, Ryan Cavalieri, and Jared Tebo – each of them a former winner of the Silver State Nitro Challenge – battled it out for nearly the entire race with over ten lead changes among them. After 45 minutes of block passing and rut jumping the race came down to an uncharacteristic flameout after the final pit stop by Ryan Cavalieri, which allowed Jared Tebo to get by. Tebo held off a late-race charge from Cavalieri, the defending champion, to win by four and a half seconds. Jared’s race started on a rough note, with a mistake on the first full lap dropping him out of the top ten that mimicked that of his early race crash at The Dirt Nitro Challenge, which cost him a shot at the win after setting TQ at the event. Instead, Jared kept his head in it and fought back to take the win and I talked to him all about what it’s like to get some redemption by winning such an exciting race.
And that’s a wrap on this year’s Silver State! Check out our gallery of photos from Sunday below.