It is almost time for the desert racing community to take over Las Vegas. The 2020 Mint 400 is taking place March 3rd to the 8th, and while it is a little over a month away, the announcements about what to expect are coming out. For the first time since 2014, The Great American Off-Road Race is racing the full distance.
Recently the Martelli Brother’s announced that by popular demand the race will be running four laps of 107 miles each. Saturday’s afternoon Unlimited Race will compete for a full 428 miles, the morning Limited Race will compete for four laps, with a Grand Prix finish, and select Friday afternoon classes will race four laps.
“This year’s Mint 400 course is going to separate the men from boys and the women from girls,” commented Mint 400 CEO, Matt Martelli. “Year after year, our racers have asked for a full 400 miles, so we’re excited to add a fourth lap to the already challenging race. This will give our racers more mileage, and add another lap of action for our spectators.”
In addition to the racecourse being longer this year, the weatherman is returning to oversee the race. PCI Race Radios will stream the Weatherman Relay channel via Mixlr on The Mint 400 website so people from all over the world can tune in.
“It’s people like The Weatherman that make off-road racing such a great culture. You have to be extremely dedicated and part crazy to pull off the radio relay system The Weatherman created. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the commitment Scott and PCI Race Radios has made to off-road racing and we are happy to have The Weatherman back at The Mint 400,” Martelli said. “Now race teams and spectators alike will be able to tune into the “Weatherman” channel and listen to status updates throughout the entire race.”
The history of “The Weatherman” starts with Bob Steinberger, who first began providing communications at the 1974 Mint 400. Bob put communications in the vehicles of Bill Stroppe, Joe MacPherson, and Walker Evans while sending up three weather balloons with five hundred feet of coax attached and the first successful radio relay from a pit was made.
It is believed that it was Joe MacPherson who couldn’t remember his name, dubbing him “Weatherman” on the radio. Bob passed away in 2017, handing over the torch to his son Scott Steinberger who carries on the voice of off-road racing.
“The Mint 400 has a special place with the Weatherman Relay team. This is the race that my father put up a weather balloon in 1974 and was dubbed “Weatherman”,” commented Scott Steinberger. “My lone responsibility on race day is the safety of our racers, spectators, and everyone involved in the event and I look forward to the challenge of The Great American Off-Road Race!”
For more information and for a full schedule of events for the 2020 Mint 400 be sure to check out the Mint 400 website.