Taking place from March 12- 16 in Las Vegas, the legendary Mint 400 remains one of the most prestigious, and yet most challenging, off-road races on the schedule today.
Rigid Industries Torture Team members participating this year include 2013 Mint 400 Champion Bryce Menzies, 2011 Mint 400 Champion BJ Baldwin, Justin Davis, 18-year-old phenom Brandon Arthur, the Greene MotorSport team and more.
Regarded as “The Great American Desert Race,” the Mint attracts racers and fans from around the world to Las Vegas. The rigorous desert in Nevada course tests nearly 300 race teams and over 1,000 of the world’s top off-road drivers in over 20 different classes of vehicles competing for an opportunity for a famed overall Mint win with season points not even a factor for some.
Less than half who compete usually finish the ruthless and brutal course, which includes difficult jumps, turns, switchbacks, and ruts; fast gravel roads and dry lake beds; and miles and miles of punishing rock.
Rich in history, the historic Mint 400 was first held in 1967 and is now seeped into Sin City folklore. The race was immortalized by Hunter S. Thompson in his 1971 novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and was also featured in the 1998 film adaptation as well.
Racing luminaries and celebrities that have competed in the Mint include Parnelli Jones, Al Unser, Mickey Thompson, Ivan Stewart, James Garner, Steve McQueen and Patrick Dempsey (who scored a Class 5500 victory last year).
Not only does the event include one of the oldest and most challenging off-races in the world, the Mint 400 offers a vehicle parade down the Vegas Strip, a pit crew challenge, a Miss Mint beauty contest and other fun events. NBC’s Red Bull Signature Series will air a two-hour broadcast of the Mint 400 this July.
“In addition to the over 60,000 spectators at the event itself, we now get to share The Mint 400 with over 110 million homes in the US,” said said Joshua Martelli, COO of The Mint 400.
“The broadcast will allow fans nationwide to experience the exciting battles that take place between the top off-road racers on the planet. That has been our goal from day one, to make the Mint 400 into the Super Bowl of off-road racing.”
Good luck to all the Rigid Racers!
Additional information provided by TheMint400.com and AutoWeek.com.