Another historic Mint 400 is in the books. The Mint was changed to a two-day race format this year. For the first time in four decades motorcycles raced the event. In keeping with tradition, there were several days of festivities leading up to the event. The Mint 400 kicked off with a vehicle parade down the Las Vegas strip. Fans had the opportunity to meet their favorite drivers along Fremont Street, get autographs, and take pictures. For those that wanted an exclusive VIP experience, organizers of the Mint 400 offered a “Dinner with the Champions.” There was also a pit crew challenge to see which team could change a tire the fastest.
When racing finally kicked off at the event on Saturday, it was the motorcycles that took center stage. Ricky Brabec won the top honors in that race. Several sportsman classes raced later in the afternoon. The most anticipated race of the Mint 400 was the unlimited-horsepower Trick Trucks sanctioned by Best in the Desert.
Las Vegas native Bryce Menzies was the top qualifier and had the opportunity to start out front and get what the drivers like to call “clean air.” Basically, with no one in front to create dust, Menzies could set his own pace. He had dozens of the fastest drivers in the sport right behind him. Menzies knows the terrain and the course well, living just miles from the area. Unfortunately a flat tire on the course would cost him valuable time. It didn’t take long for Justin Lofton to move to the lead. Lofton would win his third career Mint 400 victory. Lofton has also had back-to-back wins at previous Mint 400 races and let everyone know he was back. Lofton claimed $35,000 in sponsor payouts for his win.
Brett Sourapas took Second Place in the unlimited Trick Truck class. Other class wins included Team Honda in their Ridgeline truck. Mitch Guthrie Jr. took home a trophy in the UTV Turbo Class. Cody Parkhouse took a win in the 1500 class with an impressive course run. Parkhouse gave photographers a show, shooting his car straight up in the air and saving it in a rough section of course. Others in that area were not so lucky, as there were several vehicles sustaining damage during rollovers. In all, over 450 race teams came to conquer the Mint 400.