No Fear and Loathing at the Mint 400

The Mint 400 kicks off March 9, 2022 in Las Vegas. Here's how it all started.

Lindsay Tousignant
by Lindsay Tousignant
February 23, 2022

In 1971, author Hunter S. Thompson wrote his famous article “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” while covering the Mint 400 for Sports Illustrated.

Thompson’s article was later adapted into a novel and then into a film starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro, signifying the Mint 400’s relevance to American pop culture.

“In some circles, the Mint 400 is a far, far better thing than the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby and the Lower Oakland Roller Derby Finals all rolled into one. This race attracts a special breed.”

Hunter S. Thompson

How the Mint 400 Started

The Mint 400 started in 1967 near Las Vegas as a public relations event to promote the Mint Hotel’s annual deer hunt.

Race organizers sent two matching dune buggies 600 miles through the desert from the Mint Hotel to the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Calif. The event became famous overnight, with national television coverage drawing the attention of race fans across the country.

Some of the “special breeds” who have competed in this event include Al and Bobby Unser; Rick Mears; Mickey Thompson; actors Steve McQueen and Patrick Dempsey; and comedian Jay Leno.

Stop by the AMSOIL Booth

AMSOIL will be located on Fremont Street throughout all the pre-race events right next to the main stage. Be sure to stop by and pick up your exclusive Runs on Freedom® bandana. 

And be sure to get your spot early for the AMSOIL Pit Crew Challenge Thursday at the Main Stage on Fremont Street.

See how Bryce Menzies and Brad Lovell have prepared in the past:

As always, tune into our social media channels for updates throughout the race. The week kicks off Wednesday, March 9 in Las Vegas. Check out the complete schedule of Mint 400 events here.

We’ll see you at the races!

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by Lindsay Tousignant

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