What a weekend at the 2014 General Tire Mint 400 Presented by Polaris! Amazing terrain, even better weather, a TON of fans, and just a well thought out race thanks to the guys at Mad Media, The Mint 400, and of course Best In The Desert. This year featured a record-breaking 335 total entries, and more on a waiting list! The Unlimited class alone broke its own record with nearly 100 entries. As usual, the course offered a bit of every terrain ranging from the dry lake bed to the Rigid Industries Rock Quarry and enormous sandy whoops.
Dale Dondel may have qualified first, but his lead was short lived after blowing a motor around lap 2. Seasoned vet Andy McMillin would then take over the lead position in the Sourapas Corona truck and never look back. He was challenged by the likes of Method's own Tavo Vildosola and brothers Gary & Mark Weyhrich, Trick Truck Rookie Travis Pastrana, and his teammate Bryce Menzies.
Tavo Vildosola has been on fire lately. He was charging super hard all day and gave McMillin a run for his money. He would go on to finish merely 14 minutes behind the leader in a very respectable 2nd place.
All around wheelman Travis Pastrana might have been a Trick Truck first-timer, but his numerous hours of seat time allowed him to quickly adapt. He was neck and neck with the leaders all day and finished the race 4th overall.
David Kleiman out of Carlsbad, CA had a great race finishing 23rd overall and 3rd in the 6100 class.
CJ Hutchins and Co. piloted the General Tire Class 1500 car to 12th in class and 27th overall.
Finishing 4th in class and 38th overall was Jordan Brenthel in his Brenthel Industries Class 7200 truck.
The Weyhrich Brothers would have a roller coaster of a race full of highs and lows. In lap 3, Gary Weyhrich was tailing McMillin when he put the truck on its side due to a deeply rutted off-camber turn exiting the quarry. Suffering some mechanical problems to the motor, he decided to cut his losses and call it a day.
Brother Mark Weyhrich was right behind Gary in 3rd going into lap 3. Mark pulled over upon discovering his brother flipped on his side, but was quickly waved on to continue racing. Unfortunately he would suffer mechanical problems and finish 44th overall.
Rick Boyer was part of the earlier race that started at 6 am. He drove his Boyer Motorsports Class 1000 car to 3rd overall and 3rd in class.
Banning Motorsports' Steve Melton took the Class 1100 victory and finished 9th overall. Both Boyer and Melton were in the first race of the day beginning at 6am. The division of classes into two different races was a great call. It allowed the slightly underpowered cars to focus on their race and not worry about a much larger Trick Truck breathing down their necks.
BJ Baldwin advanced a few positions after starting 10th but would succumb to mechanical failures and be forced to retire early.
Awesome to see Methods charging in the UTV class as well. Here's Levi Gilkison in his Class 1900 Polaris that would finish 18th in class and 49th overall.
The Mint 400 truly is The Great American Off Road Race. All we know is, we can't wait to do it all over again.