TJ-Flores-Baja-500-6-11-13Last-minute decision making is something that most off-road racers have to be skilled at, but making a last minute call to race the #80 McMurrough Racing Unlimited Truck, was an easy decision for TJ to make. Coming fresh off their Silver State 300 win, the truck was ready to go for another round of racing.

The SNORE KC HiLites 250 took place this past Saturday night in Jean, NV. Running part of the Mint 400 course, this course made for a great desert race. With massive rocks, deep rolling whoops, and limited visibility due to dust and the race occurring at night, drivers were put to the test and over half of the entries were forced out.

The #80 Unlimited Truck was first off the line and the first to light up the 53mile course. A flawless first lap brought TJ and Stephanie back to the main pit in just 58 minutes where they would do a quick co-rider change and top off fuel. Just 5 miles into their second lap the #80 Unlimited Truck started to catch the slower classes. Patience was key to passing in the night, not wanting to go off course or hit any fellow racers, TJ picked his way through the field and laid down an even faster lap of 57minutes.

Mint-400-Preview-2013-6-5-13The 2013 General Tire Mint 400, presented by Polaris – will premiere on SPEED Channel, Saturday June 8th at 9pm EST / 6pm PST. This special two-hour primetime television show captures the most dynamic and thrilling off-road racing on the planet – at the most prestigious and challenging off-road race in America.

This year, over 250 race teams battled the brutal four-hundred mile Mint 400 desert racecourse. The competition was fierce and full of drama, suspense, and back and forth clashes in all twenty classes of vehicles – from the fast growing Pro UTV Class, all the way up to the million dollar Unlimited Trophy Trucks. The overall lead changed seven times, and less than half of the competitors finished the destructive and punishing race.

2013 Mint 400 Race DayThe 2013 General Tire Mint 400, presented by Polaris – will premiere on SPEED Channel, Saturday June 8th at 9pm EST / 6pm PST. This special two-hour primetime television show captures the most dynamic and thrilling off-road racing on the planet – at the most prestigious and challenging off-road race in America. This year, over 250 race teams battled the brutal four-hundred mile Mint 400 desert racecourse. The competition was fierce and full of drama, suspense, and back and forth clashes in all twenty classes of vehicles – from the fast growing Pro UTV Class, all the way up to the million dollar Unlimited Trophy Trucks. The overall lead changed seven times, and less than half of the competitors finished the destructive and punishing race.

2013 marks the sixth consecutive year that General Tire has returned as the title sponsor of the Mint 400, since helping resurrect the race in 2008. They are the official tire of the Best in the Desert Championship, and remain dedicated to supporting off-road racing. “We can’t thank General Tire enough for their support this year,” said Mint 400 CEO Matt Martelli. “This race is THE marquee event in American off-road racing. We are reaching millions and millions of race fans during The Mint race week – and our new 2-hour television format is going into 78 million homes on SPEED. With help from General Tire, we’ve built the most dynamic and entertaining off-road television show on the planet.”

jeepspeed_bitd_5-13-13Alamo, NV – After the pounding everyone took at the brutally tough Mint 400, Jeepspeed racers headed north for the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. The Silver State race uses a point to point course through the hills and valleys of Northern Nevada. Held mostly on fast fire roads, there is hardly a whoop the entire way. It gave competitors a chance to open up their Jeepspeeds for some high speed running. When the course is rough and technical truck set-up and a driver’s ability to push the limits without breaking determine the winner. When the course is fast, everyone is fast. With higher speeds, any mistake is amplified. An excursion off course put you in rocks and trees or off a cliff on a majority of the 300 miles run. Thick dust caused by trucks running nose to tail at full speed hung over the course making it difficult to overtake. Jeeps that made it through the mountains, the river crossings and the long flat valleys still had to navigate miles of deep powdered silt that can swallow a truck in seconds.

14 Jeeps lined up for the General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge presented by ATX Series Wheels, (6 cylinder Jeep SUVs with limited modifications). In the General Tire Jeepspeed Cup presented by ATX Series Wheels, (open class for Jeep, Dodge, & Mopar SUVs/Trucks) it was a dogfight between Brandon Berge and Bob Mamer. Bob was off the line first followed by Brandon 30 seconds later. Bob Mamer has had a lock on the competition in the Jeepspeed Cup winning the first two races of the season. Brandon was 4th at the season opener then 3rd at the Mint; he was looking forward to his duel with the points leader Mr. Mamer.

BITD-Alumi-Craft-5-7-13Alamo, NV – Chip Prescott and Ben Himel won the second race in a row driving their Alumi Craft Class 10 car to victory at the Best in the Desert Silver State 300 in Northern Nevada. The two won the brutally tough Mint 400 just over one month ago, one of the roughest races in memory. The race took a huge toll on all the competitors including Chip and Ben. They hit a boulder while blinded by the thick dust that blanketed the course. The impact peeled back the bottom skidplate and damaged the brake master cylinder. Even with the damage, the two remained competitive and went on to take the Class 10 victory.

At the Silver State 300, they would start seventh. Their plan was to get out early and avoid the dust that imperiled them so greatly at the Mint 400. At the drop of the green flag, their plan went out the window. “We wanted to get out in clean air as soon as we could,” said Chip, “The dust was really thick on the fast graded roads so it was difficult to close on the car ahead. We had to wait for sandy washes or hard-packed sections to close and pass other cars. Fortunately for us, we can maintain a fast race pace in our Alumi Craft and still have more to give when we need it. The minute the dust would clear, we would put the hammer down.”

BITD-silver-state-5-6-13Minneapolis, May 6, 2013–After a win at the last Best in the Desert Race, The Mint 400, Holz Coastal Racing’s Scott Kiger and Mark Holz in their No. 1934 RZR XP 900 would line up for the Canidae Tap It Silver State 300 with hopes to make it two in a row and their second Silver State 300 win. When the dust settled, they would not disappoint.

With Cognito Powersports and their RZR XP 4 900 getting the nod to start first, the teams would have to work hard through the typical high-speed, dusty conditions to overtake the leader. Coastal Racing would start right after Brandon Schueler’s Jagged X No. 1919 RZR XP 4 900 setting up a speed dual to take over the lead. With Kiger driving the morning half, he would pass Schueler and all but one of the remaining cars that started in front of him, Cognito. Holz would take over for the second half of the race and suffer a couple flats moving him back to third, and putting the No. 1919 in second behind Cognito. With Cognito sitting with a 7-minute lead and Jagged X and Coastal running neck-and-neck, Cognito would suffer a clutch failure ending their reign and setting up an exciting finish between Jagged X and Coastal Racing. In the last miles of the race, Holz in the Coastal car would make his move finish first with Schueler in the No. 1919 finishing second.

Can-Am-Race-4-2-13Valcourt, Québec – Can-Am Maverick 1000R side-by-side vehicle driver James Hill finished second in the SxS Pro Production class at round three of the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) in Arizona. Brothers Derek and Jason Murray also earned a podium finish with their Maverick 1000R X® rs, racing to a third-place finish in the Best In The Desert (BITD) Mint 400 outside of Las Vegas. At the 2013 Mtn. Dew AMA ATV Motocross Nationals opening round in Georgia, BCS Performance / Can-Am pro Josh Creamer finished second in the Pro class aboard his DS 450™.

“I was thrilled that Can-Am racers earned hard-fought podium finishes in three different series, and in very difficult conditions,” said Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “James Hill overcame a challenging WORCS course to earn his second podium behind the wheel of the Maverick. The Murray Motorsports team had a spectacular podium finish at the Mint 400 and narrowly missing second-place by only two seconds. Josh Creamer — despite a first-turn crash in the first moto and very wet, muddy conditions — won a Pro class moto and notched an impressive second-place finish overall at round one of the AMA ATV MX series.”

Banning-Motorsports-4-1-13Banning Motorsports had a busy week at The General Tire Mint 400, presented by Polaris in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to race day itself, the “Great American Race” is packed with special events and happenings all week. The festivities began with qualifying on Thursday. The #1123 car of Ali Banning, Fernie Padilla, Bradley McFarlin and Cory Boyer was fastest; earning the first starting position on race day.

The #1178 car with Brian Folks, Rick Graf, Ryan Marley and Alan Dillemuth was right behind with the second fastest time so the two Banning cars would start first and second. The class 10 car was subject to a starting position draw. They were picked to start 25th out of over 30 cars entered.

Menzies-Mint-400-Win-3-23-13After a grueling battle with the top off-road racers in the world, Bryce Menzies has won the 2013 Mint 400. Menzie’s day did not start well as he was beaten off the line by 2011 Mint 400 Overall Champion BJ Baldwin. Menzies barreled out into the Nevada desert and it took less than 100 miles to take over first place position.

Halfway through the race, Jesse Jones chose not to pit and was able to pass Menzies. By the third lap, Menzies was hot on Jones tail and was able to regain the top spot. From there, Menzies never looked back and he is now the 2013 General Tire Mint 400 Presented by Polaris Champion.

BJ-Baldwin-BITD-Mint-3-20-13Las Vegas, NV – BJ Baldwin is looking forward to getting back to full speed this weekend at Best In The Desert. BJ managed to finish in 12th place at the Mastercraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 despite a mechanical issue discovered during pre-race testing. The mechanical issue emerged just a few hours before the race took place, which left little time to correct it. BJ was able to compete but was not up to full speed on raceday. With the mechanical issue fixed, it will give BJ and the crew a chance for redemption.

“That’s racing; we were able to finish the race but we didn’t have the truck we needed to stay with the leaders,” said BJ, “We did our best to get some valuable points towards the SCORE Desert Series and the World Championship of Desert Racing points battle. We are back at 100% and really looking forward to the Mint 400. My truck Rampage is ready to go and it’s always good to be racing in our own back yard. The Mint 400 has been a big part of Las Vegas history. We have won it in the past; it would be great to add another Mint 400 victory to our record.”