Since the Las Vegas Mint Hotel first sponsored the Mint 400, AKA "The Great American Desert Race" back in 1968, it has been a "must" event for off-road racers. This year's General Tire Mint 400 race took place 30 miles north of Las Vegas in Moapa, Nevada, a small town that on any other weekend has a population of 950 residents. The course this year consisted of four, 100-mile, rock encrusted laps.
After winning as many BITD races as Doc Glass has, taking second in Silver State 300 after having the lead, becomes a bitter pill to swallow. Photo By: eventphotodigital.com
Macrae Glass and his team won the legendary Mint 400 in their first ever attempt. Photo By: eventphotodigital.com
"I drove the first 250 miles with Kevin Davis navigating, Macrae Glass told K&N Race News. "This was our first turn at the legendary Mint 400 course. We expected tough, and that's what we got. We started first on the road and cruised conservatively for the first half of the race. 70 miles in, the alternator quit charging and we lost 20 minutes or so with repairs. We motored on trouble free for the rest of the run after that."
With 150 miles remaining the team of Curt LeDuc and Anson Worley took over for "Doc Glass" and Davis.
"I had asked them to take it easy since we were headed to the Silver State 300 in four weeks," continued the K&N sponsored Glass. "They lost the front brakes, resulting from a broken front brake hose, but otherwise motored on trouble free, and to our class win. I paced the main pit like a worried parent, and boy was I relieved to see our big yellow Ford cross the finish line."
Glass says that the Mint was the roughest race he's experienced in a long while, and that in the end the toll on his truck reflected that.
"We were stoked though to get the class win for General Tire, and at their biggest event of the year. Thanks to the crew and to all my sponsors," added Glass."
The KC Hilites backed team did manage to get the truck back in racing shape in time for the Silver State 300, which was contested just north-east of Las Vegas. This was the second race in a five race Best in the Desert (BITD) Series (in 2009 Glass won the BITD Championship by winning all five races in the series). KC Hilites kingpin, Michael DeHaas rode shotgun with Glass.
"We were treated to windy, cold and dusty conditions, perfect for off-road desert racing. We started fifth in a class of seven trucks. There were several young drivers in the class and they all charged early. We worked our way through the field and were third on the road by mile 100. We stopped for fuel and Kevin Davis climbed in to navigate."
The Silver State course has lots of wicked high-speed runs, amongst trees and along snaking canyon cliffs. Glass and Davis continued to pick off other racers before noticing a growing problem with setting the truck to turn.
Said Glass, "Apparently a rear brake line had started leaking around mile 185, and the rear brakes became nearly useless. We stopped at mile 200 for new rear tires, and a look at the brake line, and the crew snugged the line and added fluid for the final run. At this point, we had three-and-half minutes on second place. We motored on toward the finish, and then 15 miles from the finish I nailed a rock with the front right tire - and bam - a blowout. I knew what this meant. As we worked to change the flat, second place cruised on by, and on to the win."
"I have won a handful of races by minutes, and it was a bitter pill to come up second this time around. This particular course is challenging, as most any truck can charge on the smaller bumps, and it's tough to gain much of a lead. We won here two years ago by three minutes. Anyhow, we'll gather it all back up and head to the "Vegas To Reno" race in August."
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