PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MAD MEDIA
N 35°36’ 55” W 115°22 42”
The Mint 400 is the oldest off-road race in the United States and is also referred to as “The Great American Off-Road Race.” The grueling 400-mile desert race takes place every March in the foothills of Las Vegas, NV, attracting more than 550 race teams, and fielded more than 80 different race classes.
Pre-race festivities included the desert cleanup, and the traditional cruise down the Vegas Strip toward the Mint 400 Off-Road Festival on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Thousands of spectators were also able to go to the racer meet and greet, autograph signings, talk to manufacturers about new products, and more! Race week culminated on Friday and Saturday, with a brutal desert race that racers loop around four times in Primm Valley near the Nevada-California border. Everything from vintage and stock bug classes to popular UTVs and everything in between participated in the race. As in previous years, the main race attraction is the Unlimited Truck Class, and this year’s race crowned Kyle Jergenssen as champion.
The Mint 400 was created by Norm Johnson in 1967, which was at first, a publicity event to promote The Mint Hotel in Las Vegas. The race, which The Martelli Brothers have owned since 2011, continues to bring together competitors from across the nation to test their skills and vehicles against rough terrain and some of the biggest names in off-road racing. The Mint was featured in Hunter S. Thompson’s novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and later in the cult classic film by the same name.