After 50 years, the Mint 400 is more than just a desert race, it is an institution. With that comes history and tradition, such as contingency on Fremont Street and the crowning of Miss Mint. Racers from over 20 classes rolled down Fremont Street on Thursday for the first day of contingency at the 50th anniversary of the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400. Over one hundred of the most respected companies in off-road, including Geiser Bros and Polaris, lined the street to offer support and products to both teams and fans alike.
In the evening the Method Race Wheels Pit Crew Challenge returned with cash and prizes from Fox Racing, BFGoodrich, Impact Racing, and Rigid Industries. Normally the drivers get all the glory, but at the Pit Crew Challenge the unsung heroes of the pits take center stage. In the 6100 class, defending champs GHA Racing came out of the gate hot with a blistering fast time. After battle round after round, it was the team of Householder Motorsports that knocked GHA off the throne in the finals with a time of 54.8 seconds.
The Trick Truck/1500 Class was really stacked, with heavyweights like MacCachren Motorsports, Youtheory, and RPM Racing knocked out in the first round. Last year’s runner up Team Ready Gunner were able to change two 40-inch tires on their Trick Truck in just 45.4 seconds, besting the 59.4 second time of the crew of Victor Gruber and Dale Dondel.
The night was capped off with the crowning of a new Miss Mint. Former Miss Mint winners include “Wheel of Fortune’s” Vanna White and “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter. “This year we were looking for six finalists who personify the history and heritage of the Miss Mint competition and celebrate its past styles and glory. This was intended as a call to arms to find a woman worthy of 50 years of American off-road racing culture,” explained Mint 400 co-owner Josh Martelli.
Ashleigh Figearo, Bailey Hughes, Janna Breslin, Tia McDonald, Olivia Gray, and Lesley Andreas spent the day with Mint 400 founding father KJ Howe and Spanish Tony of The Gentleman’s Guide To Racing’s Spanish Tony to determine a winner. After tests of shooting ability, off-road driving prowess, and wine tasting, Bailey Hughes was crowned Miss Mint for 2018. Hughes is a legit part of the desert racing scene, making her the perfect ambassador as Miss Mint. She is part of the Sims Motorsports UTV team and has even worked the merchandise trailer at the Mint 400 in the past!
Festivities for The Great American Off-Road Race continue on Friday with another day of tech and contingency on historic Fremont Street in the heart of Las Vegas. Bring the entire family to meet your favorite teams, learn about the latest offerings from scores of vendors, and see the race vehicles up close and in person.