Trip Reports

2012 Mint 400 Desert Race

2012 Mint 400

Can-Am Commander 1000
#1917 Jason and Derek Murray take First Place at the 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.

#1917 Can-Am Commander 1000#1917 Can-Am Commander 1000
1st Pro UTV – #1917 Jason and Derek Murray – Can-Am Commander

#1904 Can-Am Commander 1000#1904 Can-Am Commander 1000
2nd Pro UTV – #1904 Cory Sappington – Can-Am Commander

#1926 - Polaris RZR XP 900#1926 - Polaris RZR XP 900
3rd Pro UTV – #1926 Jason Fraser -Polaris RZR XP

#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).

#1988 Lacrecia Beurrier - Polaris RZR#1988 Lacrecia Beurrier - Polaris RZR
1st Sportsman (4th overall)- #1988 Lacrecia Beurrier – Polaris RZR 800

Pro UTV - #1918 Justin Lambert - Kawasaki TeryxPro UTV - #1918 Justin Lambert - Kawasaki Teryx
4th Pro UTV – #1918 Justin Lambert – Kawasaki Teryx

#1930 Sean Cook - Polaris RZR XP 4#1930 Sean Cook - Polaris RZR XP 4
5th Pro UTV – #1930 Seak Cook – Polaris RZR XP 4

#1911 Scott Martinez - John Deere Gator XUV 825i#1911 Scott Martinez - John Deere Gator XUV 825i
6th Pro UTV – #1911 Scott Martinez – John Deere Gator XUV 825i

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!

#1919 Brandon Scheuler - Polaris RZR XP 4 - Jagged X#1932 - Matt Parks - Polaris RXR XP 4
Jagged X burned the midnight oil to complete these two new RZR XP 4s for the Mint 400

Finish Order (Overall listed in order of corrected time finish):

  1. 1st Pro UTV – #1917 Jason and Derek Murray – Can-Am Commander
  2. 2nd Pro UTV – #1904 Cory Sappington – Can-Am Commander
  3. 3rd Pro UTV – #1926 Jason Fraser -Polaris RZR XP
  4. 1st Sportsman – #1988 Lacrecia Beurrier – Polaris RZR 800
  5. 1st SR1 – #1957 Richard Ratto – Yamaha SR1
  6. 4th Pro UTV – #1918 Justin Lambert – Kawasaki Teryx
  7. 2nd SR1 – #1955 Bobby Raber – Yamaha SR1
  8. 5th Pro UTV – #1930 Seak Cook – Polaris RZR XP 4
  9. 6th Pro UTV – #1911 Scott Martinez – John Deere Gator XUV 825i
  10. 7th Pro UTV – #1907 Justin Wells – Yamaha Rhino
  11. 8th Pro UTV – Daniel Flower – Polaris RZR 800
  12. 9th Pro UTV – #1937 Craig Hein – Polaris RZR XP
  13. 2nd Sportsman – #1985 Michell Sweatt – Polaris RZR 800
  14. 10th Pro – #1908 William Morris – Polaris RZR 4
  15. 11th Pro – #1944 Todd Stephensen – Arctic Cat Wildcat
  16. 12th Pro – #1943 Gabe Geurin – Polaris RZR XP 4

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):


  1. 1936 Joseph R. Vinagro
  2. 1913 Lucas Hand (John Deere Gator 825i)
  3. 1930 Sean Cook (Polaris RZR)
  4. 1904 Cory Sappington (Can-Am Commander)
  5. 1921 Daniel Flower (Polaris RZR)
  6. 1943 Gabe Guerin (Polaris RZR)
  7. 1920 Michael Lansky (Can-Am Commander)
  8. 1944 Todd Stephensen (Arctic Cat Wildcat)
  9. 1911 Scott Martinez (John Deere Gator 825i)
  10. 1940 Steve Lindberg (Yamaha Rhino)
  11. 1949 Dennis Jean (Polaris RZR)
  12. 1919 Brandon Schueler (Polaris RZR XP)
  13. 1937 Craig Hein (Polaris RZR)
  14. 1934 Scott Kiger (Polaris RZR XP)
  15. 1926 Jason Fraser (Polaris RZR)
  16. 1908 William Morris (Polaris RZR 4)
  17. 1905 Ron Palhegyi (Yamaha Rhino)
  18. 1917 Jason Murray (Can-Am Commander)
  19. 1946 Kent Perkins
  20. 1938 Brian Thomas (Polaris RZR
  21. 1918 Justin Lambert (Kawasaki Teryx)
  22. 1950 Sean Lindberg (Yamaha Rhino)
  23. 1935 Rocker Head (Kawasaki Teryx)
  24. 1932 Matt Parks (Polaris RZR XP 4)


  1. 1999 Robert Usnick (Yamaha Rhino)
  2. 1991 Bill Schueler  (Polaris RZR XP 4)
  3. 1988 Lacrecia Beurrier  (Polaris RZR)
  4. 1985 Michell Sweatt (Polaris RZR)


  1. 1955 Bobby Raber
  2. 1957 Richard Ratto
  3. 1960 Cody Frisby


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