|2012 Mint 400
This Great American Off-Road Race is steeped in history for the thousands of racers from around the world who have attempted to tame the Nevada desert near Las Vegas. Fans got the chance to see vehicles up close in front of the Fremont Street casinos during the technical inspection and contingency before the vehicles headed off to Jean for the races on Jean Dry Lake Bed on Saturday.
The Mint 400 ran until 1988 and resumed in 2008 after the 20-year break. Mad Media took over the rights to The Mint 400 race and brought it to a new level. And with thirty UTVs in the mix for the first time ever, it was a huge boost for UTV desert racing.
The Mint 400 race took place Saturday March 24th , 2012 in Jean, Nevada but there were several days of events leading up to it. There were hosted parties by several of the race sponsors, autograph signings, the tech & contingency parade on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, and of course, the famous Miss Mint 400 pageant contest!
UTVs were off the line by about 6:30 and had two 95 mile loops in front of them. The course just outside of Jean, Nevada has huge trophy truck whoops, deep silt beds and rocky desert that took its’ toll on about half the field.
It was a great day for Can-Am as Commander 1000’s took home the top two spots on the podium.
#1926 Jason Fraser finished off the podium in his RZR XP and in 4th for Pro UTV was Justin Lambert in his Kawasaki Teryx. Great to see four different manufacturers in the top six Pro UTV finishers (Can-Am, Polaris, Kawasaki and John Deere).
There were several brand new cars that made their debut at the Mint 400 including two brand new Polaris RZR XP 4s from Jagged X that had everyone drooling during contingency on Friday. Unfortunately, both cars suffered teething problems and would not finish the race. Don’t count Jagged X out for the season though. These cars are beautifully crafted and will surely be fast at the next race!
Finish Order (Overall listed in order of corrected time finish):
From some reports, The Mint 400 was one of the roughest courses many racers have experienced. The course definitely took its toll on the vehicles. I have heard of a fire destroying 1905. Another with a blown engine. One with three flats and a broken axle. Another with a blown clutch that could not be fixed in the field. One that got hit by a buggy which knocked them out of the race because it tore a corner off the UTV. A second got hit hard by a truck and ended their day. Another lost the front suspension off one side after hitting a rock or something. And one suffered a blown head gasket before the race even started.
Here is the draw for start order for UTVs (Class 1900):