After 20 years the Mint 400 was finally resurrected. The Mint 400 is actually the first desert race I saw as a kid in 1981. Even though I was so young it definitely had an impact in my life.
Since the course for The Mint 400 comprised of much of the Battle at Primm course it made it very easy for spectators to take part in this momentous event.
The first racer left the Start/Finish line in Jean at 7:00am. The team of Collins and Hovey in the #12 Dodge Unlimited Truck was the first off the line and the overall winner of the race with a total time of 6:35:55. Six hours and 36 minutes to finish a 400 mile course means they were Flying.
Next in line was Bobby Baldwin finishing the race 2nd overall and second in his class with a time of 6:45:53, still a very respectable time.
Third place overall went to TJ Flores in the #100 Class1 car with an overall time of 6:53:11. This was good for a first in class win.
Taking second in Class 1 and 4th overall was Harley Letner in the 101 car with an overall time of 6:53:11. Letner also had the second fastest overall lap time behind the Collins/Hovey team with a first lap time of 1:38:16.
Fifth place overall and 3rd in Unlimited Truck went to Scott Steinberger in the #7 truck with an overall time of 7:21:32.
Local boy BJ Baldwin in the #97 truck placed 4th in Unlimited Truck and 6th overall with a time of 7:33:29.
Taking the 7th place spot overall was the #1000 Class 10 of CJ Hutchins. CJ also won his class with an overall time of 7:34:51.
Taking the 8th place spot overall was the #71 Unlimited Truck of Rick Johnson. Rick also placed 5th in his class with an overall time of 7:43:55.
Ninth place overall and 3rd in Class 1 was Cam Thieriot in the #109 car with a time of 7:55:43.
Rounding out the top 10 went to Robert McBeath in the #1026 Class 10 car with a total time of 7:57:10.
Class 12 top finisher went to Lee Banning Sr. in the 1209 car with a time of 9:04:40.
Class ½ 1600 winner was Ruben Rodriguez in the 1609 car with a time of 8:44:12.
Heavy Metal class winner was Monte Tibbitts in the 850 truck with a time of 8:19:15.
Class 8 winner went to Mike Horner in the 806 truck with a time of 12:30:02.
Class 18 saw Ken Redelsperger as the winner in his class with a time of 10:25:31.
Rulo Solano in the 550 car took first in Class 5/1600 with a time of 9:50:06.
Class 9 winner for the day went to the 906 car of Brandon Hughes with a time of 10:40:17.
Wesley Stephens in the 1598 car took first in Class 15 with a time of 9:04:05.
Class 13 winner was the 1304 car of Briana Bradley with a total time of 9:53:53.
Joe Stone had an overall time in his 768 Truck of 10:17:02 to take first in his class, Class 7.
Gary Messer in the 704 truck took first in his class Mini Metal with a time of 10:57:38.
Carl Sosa in the 734 truck took first in Class 7s though he only made one lap.
Kent Kroeker had a good showing taking first in Stock Full in his big #8801 Dodge truck with a time of 11:59:22.
Eric Ludian in the 1403 truck went the farthest in 1450 class taking first place.
The Prerunner Maniac BIG Jump Award goes to Mike Bailey in the 801 Chevy. Shooting from the dike jump behind Buffalo Bills, I guess Mike thought he was clearing the Grand Canyon. He launched his Chevy so hard off that jump that when he landed, the truck literally bounced like a ball. He pulled off the road and someone yelled out he broke a shock. This did not seem to stop him because he continued on with the race.
Here are a few shots we took over the course of the day that I thought was quite impressive and helped to tell the tale that is The Mint 400.
I have to say after a 20 year hiatus that The Mint 400 lived up to its legendary name. I was 9 years old when I first saw this race and seeing it now with the advances in technology it is hard to believe that racers back then could even complete the 400 mile race.
There have been a lot of people saying SNORE should have let the Legend lie, but I and all the others who participated in this years Mint 400 are glad to be part of the reincarnation of, The Greatest American Desert Race.