Harley Letner Save
Harley Letner is the driver of the number 1570 Class 1 car in the Best in the Desert off-road racing series.  At this year’s Mint 400 during time trials, Letner got a little too close to the edge of the envelope and it nearly came back to bite him. He managed to pull out a huge save!

Dale Dondel was fastest today at qualifying for the 2014 Mint 400. Photo: Art Eugenio/GETSOMEphoto.com

Dale Dondel was fastest today at qualifying for the 2014 Mint 400. Photo: Art Eugenio/GETSOMEphoto.com

After racers tackled the 3.4-mile course, it was Dale Dondel who earned the fastest qualifying time at time trials for the 2014 Mint 400, edging out Bryce Menzies for the first spot off the line for Saturday’s race. With Menzies posting the second fastest time, it was Robby Gordon who took third place at the time trials.

If the grandstands full of off-road race fans at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is any indicator, off-road racing appears to be alive and well in 2011. Despite recent years where rain and ugly weather plagued this race, sunny skies and a steady desert breeze greeted racers and fans at the Laughlin Event Park.

Although this race doesn’t have the most jam-packed field since it’s so early in the season (SCORE officials told us 123 racers entered), many big-name racers looking to stay in the points battle for the year-end championship were definitely on hand. The race format is unique compared to the longer endurance races SCORE puts on south of the border. The Laughlin Desert Challenge is held on a 6.25-mile loop course just away from the main strip of casinos on the riverbank. The overall time of both Saturday and Sunday’s laps combine to determine the overall winner for each class.