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Primm 300 - Racer's Roulette

Posted in Events on February 1, 2005
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Photographers: Collette Blumer

Dust. Rocks. Sand. Heat.All this is pretty standard-issue stuff when desert racing is the subject. The parched, jagged landscape cools quickly overnight and heats up readily when the sun climbs the sky the following day. SCORE racers are accustomed to the challenge of navigating the tricky terrain while dicing for overall and class wins. Then, there's the SCORE Primm 300.

The Primm 300 is a late-season race that falls between the Baja 500 and the series crowning event, the Baja 1000. Compared with the 1000 or even the 500, the Primm 300 is a short sprint race that's made even less intimidating because it's held on the U.S. soil in southern Nevada. While American fans aren't exactly docile, they're not prone to the rock-throwing, trap-setting, and chicken-playing antics that permeate the Baja locos.

Despite the apparent ease with which the race could be run, the 2004 Primm 300 transformed itself from a sprint race into a marathon with a single dropping - of rain. The shimmering bullets pelted the course unmercifully. In a matter of minutes, sections of the course normally dry and dusty were quagmires that sent racers scrambling for items usually unnecessary for desert competition, such as dry towels with which to wipe muddy goggles and face shields.

The dust remained, however. Rain pounded the course chiefly in the start/finish and pit vicinity. The rain selectively watered some areas, and left others parched. With one section dry and the next a foggy sea of silt, it was anyone's guess as to what waited around the next curve. Racer's roulette? The Primm 300 was indeed a gamble, but the odds of winning were far greater in the dirt than in any of the nearby casinos.

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