Desert racing is taking over the Las Vegas strip for the 2017 Mint 400. Today teams headed to downtown Las Vegas, Nevada to make their way through tech and contingency. This not only gave teams a last minute stop to make sure they had everything they needed, but gave local off-road enthusiasts a chance to come out and check out the vehicles up close.
The festivities of the Mint 400 have become a local tradition. “It has become a family tradition for us to come out,” explained Vegas local Bob Maxwell. “The kids get to play hooky from school and get to see the drivers and trucks they look at on their phones.”
Initially, the race was a public relations event promoting the Mint Hotel’s annual deer hunt. but what started out as hotel promotion soon grew into a legitimate desert race. The second year it was run, Norm Johnson, race director through 1974 and a participant from 1969 to 1982, enlisted the help of his friends, famed race car drivers Mel Larson and Parnelli Jones. The Mint 400 race ended in 1988 after the sale of the Mint, however, the story continued in 2008 when the Great American Off-Road Race was revived.
For those that have never been to a contingency, it should be added to the bucket list. For those that are Vegas natives, the Mint 400 should be a yearly outing. Be sure to check back tomorrow as we bring you all the action from the Vegas desert.