The 2015 Polaris RZR Mint 400 Presented by General Tire, desert race kicked off on March 11, 2015 in Sin City, and started with the always exciting 4 Wheels Parts parade that included over a 100 race vehicles cruising down the infamous Vegas Strip. The parade was led by this year’s Grand Marshall and off-road racing legend Larry Ragland in his iconic Class 1 car. The next day was all business at the event’s Mint 400 Method Wheels Time Trials, where racers competed to see who would start first at one of the toughest off-road races in America, with Dale Dondel achieving the fastest lap time of the day and walking away with $5,000 cash. After the qualifiers were done, it was time for Rugged Radios Meet & Greet, where fans got autographs from their favorite racers, such as Steve Strobel, Jerry Zaiden and Jason Coleman.
A new Miss Mint was crowned, with the beautiful Amy Scott of Solana Beach, CA representing The Mint 400 throughout the year. The final event for the day was the KMC Wheels Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Mystik Lubricants which has become a staple event each year at The Mint 400. It’s a chance for pit teams to showcase their speed and skill as well as get a chance to win some great prizes.
On Friday, March 13, 2015 teams paraded their race vehicles down Fremont Street for their technical inspection. Saturday was race day, as racers filled the Primm Valley Casino Resort and lined the infield at Buffalo Bill’s Casino. Everything from vintage and stock bug classes to popular UTVs and everything in between participated in the race. The winner of the mornings three-lap race was Roger Starkey in his single-seat Class 1000 car. During the two-day race, the overall first place finisher was Justin Lofton, with Robby Gordon taking second and Rob MacCachren coming in third. Fox Shox awarded the overall winner $10K in prize money. A rough and challenging section of The Mint 400 race was also designated the “Fox Proving Ground,” which is known by racers as being extremely difficult to ride, especially at high speeds.
The Mint 400 was created by Norm Johnson in 1967, which was, at first, a publicity event to promote the The Mint Hotel in Las Vegas. The race continues to bring together competitors from across the nation to test their skills and vehicles against rough terrain and fierce racers and has become known as The Great American Desert Race. The Mint was featured in Hunter S. Thompson’s novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” as well as later in the cult classic film by the same name.