For decades now, the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 has taken over Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas with tech and contingency, driver meet and greets, exhibitors, and much more in the buildup to the race itself. This year’s Mint 400 Off-Road Festival powered by Rockford Fosgate proved yet again just how legendary the Great American Off-Road Race is, with two days of incredible events leading up to two full days of racing on Saturday and Sunday.
“This is one of our biggest events all year,” said Mint 400 COO Josh Martelli. “We’ve welcomed 25,000 people to the Mint 400 Off-Road Festival powered by Rockford Fosgate over the last two days. We’re so proud of everybody that chipped in and made this happen. It’s challenging to even think about how many people we have to thank who helped us put this together, and we’re privileged to come down here on Fremont Street every year.”
From Thursday’s unveiling of the top qualifiers during the Method Race Wheels Pit Crew Challenge to two full days of Rugged Radios Driver Meet and Greets, off-road racing fans spent Thursday and Friday getting up close with the sport’s biggest stars. As more than 500 entries rolled through tech and contingency procedures, attendees flocked to displays from dozens of the sport’s biggest supporters, took in a freestyle motocross demo, purchased event souvenirs, and celebrated the return of motorcycle racing to the Mint 400 for the first time since 1976.
“Every year since this race has come back, it’s gotten better and better,” said Unlimited Truck driver Ryan Arciero, who will start 11th on Sunday. “It’s almost a throwback to when I was a kid, coming down here with my dad and uncle when they used to race in the heyday of the Mint 400. And to see it come back to that—if not bigger, because what we have now but didn’t have back then is social media—your reach is so much greater than it’s ever been.
“The Martelli brothers have done such a phenomenal job in really promoting this race, not just to the people on Fremont Street, but really getting the word and the message out to the millions at home that want to learn more about what we do.”
“This has been my hometown for 35 years,” added BJ Baldwin, the former Mint 400 winner who will roll off 18th overall in the Unlimited race. “I love Las Vegas, and I love everybody that came out to this event. This is a really cool thing.”
With tech and contingency wrapped up, attention turns south of Las Vegas to Primm and Jean, where the competitors of this year’s BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 will finally take to the course. The action begins bright and early on Saturday morning with the motorcycle race, a pair of Limited class races on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, and finally the Unlimited race that includes the premier Unlimited Trucks on Sunday afternoon. Fans can live stream the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 starting at 10AM on Saturday and 9:30AM on Sunday on TheMint400.com and on social media.