Off-road Racing News

Mint 400 – The Greatest American Desert Race

The Mint 400 is back!!!

Many of you might not know much about the Mint 400. It is said to be the start of sanctioned desert racing. It happens to be the first desert race I ever saw in 1981.

I can remember going with my best friends family and seeing the race for the first time. This was a time when there was no BLM telling spectators where you can stand in “Public” land to watch the race…if you could get there, you could watch from that point. We were in front of a huge wash that went across the course. It sure made for some great jumps.

In 1968 Norm Johnson the director of public relations for the Mint Hotel in Las Vegas had a vision to create what he called, the “Del Webb Mint 400 Desert Rally”

The first race was in 1969 and drew 188 entries including such names as Mickey Thompson (who would go on to create S.C.O.R.E; which promotes the Baja 1000), Indy 500 champs Bob and Al Unser, and TV stars like James Garner and Lee Majors.

During the next decade the Mint 400 brought together the best racers in the world to compete in this legendary off-road race. In 1975 the Mint 400 attracted 354 cars and 51 bikes to compete for a piece of the guaranteed $100,000 purse.

We often wonder with the success of the Mint 400 why it disappeared in 1988. This is a question we probably will never know the answer to.

SNORE (Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts) has announced the return of this great race for 2008. SNORE is the oldest off-road racing sanctioning body in the history of the US, and has been around for 38 years in Nevada.

The start of the events to come will be the Meet & Greet session held in the Fremont Street Experience from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. This way you, the fans, can get autographs and pictures with your favorite racers.

Be sure to make plans to see this memorable race. I am curious to see how different the race will be after 39 years.

More information about this legendary race can be found at the Mint 400 website.

We will be providing complete coverage of this race in the April issue of Prerunner Maniac, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.

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