“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
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.
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 because 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.
AMSOIL racers to take to the desert
Fresh off his first-place finish in the Toyo T1 Desert Invitational at King of the Hammers last month, two-time Mint 400 champion Bryce Menzies is looking to keep the streak alive in the Trick Truck class.
Fellow #TeamAMSOIL racer Brad Lovell is also looking to keep the momentum going following a first-place finish at last month’s King of the Hammers Every Man Challenge.
Lovell, who took second in the Vintage Open Class at 2018’s Mint 400, will be competing in the 6100 race for the second time this year.
Prior to racing on Friday, Both Menzies’ and Lovell’s pit crews will participate in the AMSOIL Pit Crew Challenge along Fremont Street on Thursday evening.
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 are preparing for the challenge:
As always, tune into our social media channels for updates throughout the race. The week kicks off Wednesday, March 4 in Las Vegas. Check out the complete schedule of Mint 400 events here.
We’ll see you at the races!