Bryce Menzies continued his tear through the world of off-road racing with his new four-wheel drive Unlimited Truck in Method Race Wheels Time Trials for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400. Menzies conquered this year’s four-mile qualifying course in 4:09.034, more than six seconds ahead of second place qualifier Pat Dean (for driver of record Tim Herbst). Two-time Mint 400 winners Andy McMillin and Justin Lofton were third and fourth, respectively, while Kevin Thompson will complete the top five in the starting order after Harley Lerner qualified their truck.
It was Menzies’ first time qualifying atop the Mint 400 charts, after starting seventh last year on the way to his second career Mint 400 victory. However, 2019 marks the first time that Menzies has brought his current truck to The Great American Off-Road Race. Successfully defending his victory would make Menzies the first driver to win three Mint 400s in an Unlimited Truck.
42 Unlimited Trucks and 12 Class 1500 buggies took to the course in Thursday’s qualifying session, with only two entrants—Unlimited Truck racers Richard Armstrong and Cole Potts—taking DNFs. Of the Class 1500 racers, only Cody Parkhouse was able to crack the overall top 10; his time of 4:21.330 was over seven seconds faster than James Dean, the next-best driver in class and 19th overall.
Following the Unlimited Truck and Class 1500 session, the Class 6100 trucks staged their own time trials. Parker 425 winner Brock Heger, in his first season in the class, backed up his victorious performance in the 2019 season opener by qualifying first. He completed the qualifying course in 4:29.783, ahead of Troy Messer and Adam Ray Lunn.
Additional previous top qualifiers for the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 include Dale Dondel (2014-15), Lofton (2016), Jason Voss (2017), and Harley Letner (2018). Voss qualified 10th overall in his Unlimited Truck, and Dondel will start 16th on Sunday. Letner, who surprised last year’s Mint 400 field by outqualifying the premier Unlimited Trucks with a Class 1500 buggy, will compete alongside Thompson in this year’s event.