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My Mint 400 Prerace Report

UTVinc

Well-Known Member
Mint 400 Pre Race Report
Polaris RZR Factory Racing
From The Highest of Highs to the Lowest of Lows !!!
So I am sitting around waiting for the Mint 400, maybe a bit nervous, or maybe just excited with a bit of ‘what the I failed high school am I doing?’ Racing a full on Trick Truck at the Mint 400! Now some people say it’s a rich man’s sport because it costs so much money and time to race a trophy truck. I can tell you just because you have money, it don’t matter, most likely you still can’t drive and if you can, lol, to drive on the level that the top finishers do… you have to have some major talent, a set of huge balls, and be a little bit crazy to be a contender. I know I do not currently possess all three of those.
It is near impossible to get the seat time in a trophy truck that will give you the confidence to head straight into a 5 foot tall dirt berm at freeway speeds all while giving you the comfort of knowing when you crank your steering wheel hard left or right and you mash the gas pedal to the floor and those 850 horses under the hood light up your 40” tall tires, spinning them effortlessly on demand, propelling your 6000 pound hunk of steel tubing and engine in any direction you’re willing to go. Now back to the seat time, I don’t want to get into breaking down the cost or money we have spent to prep the Trophy Truck, but it’s just out right ridiculous! 2 miles per gallon of 110+ octane race fuel and not even the fact that your rear tires are wore out after 100 to 200 race miles, but we throw on a new set of tires just in case we compromised one in some way or another. So back to seat time… Now you have to understand I am an older guy, 51 years old to be exact, and I don’t want to spend the next three years getting seat time in a trophy truck. I want it now. I want to win now.
The race season for Best in the Desert are: Feb 5, March 5, May 14, Aug 18, Oct 21, and Dec 3. So as things are now, we have to pull the motor somewhere between 1000 and 1500 miles to have it freshened up. The transmission… well if you want to say you did everything you could to try and win a race, then that gets a littler freshening up too. So, we have to have two race motors, three race transmissions, and three third members (rear end gears). Ok. Cool, I got this. That lets go racing!
Now I run into my first real problem. I only have 1 guy prepping my truck and at times have 1 and a half working on it, but they also have other jobs they do here at my shop. Including: prepping the pre runner(s), prepping and building my Polaris Race RZR(s), rebuilding all 8 Fox Racing shocks in-between races, loading and unloading chase trucks, hooking up trailers, prepping chase trucks, loading chase trucks, working out race day schedules, pits, and helpers, … you’re getting the picture, right? It’s kind of overwhelming, and a ton of work. No one told me how much work racing is, I was in it for all the “fun”. Oh, but let me take this quick opportunity to thank all the guys that have so graciously taken the time out of their busy schedules to send me daily Facebook & Instagram messages offering to drive one of my race trucks or race RZRs. Are you guys for real? Not one of you offer to help on the racing costs, not one of you offer to help prep the race cars themselves, no one offers to help pit or a hand on race day, but every one of you offers to drive...?
Ok, sorry, back to seat time I need. Well the only way to get real race seat time is to race right? But when you have a full season with Best in the Desert you think well maybe I will go race some Baja races, right? Well it already takes forever to race 1 series and now we are back to the money thing… So I need to hire more prep guys, buy another motor, etc., etc., etc. Even if I wanted to race a series like Snore it seems as the only way I could do that is if I owned two race trucks that are pretty much identical. Now I am not whining, I’m just trying to pass some “inside the helmet” info along for the guys that like to hear what it’s really about.
I got an email the other day stating Best in the Desert has moved qualifying to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and onto the short course track. I’m like ‘Oh, **** just got real, quick’. Now I need to be able to drift my 6000 lb. Trick Truck around high speed corners and launch it off huge infield jumps, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t wad the truck up before the race?!
Oh yah, all the while I think back to the Mint 400 course from my last lap at the 2016 race! I’ll give you a little description of it… I raced the first lap last year, about 30 miles in had a flat tire. We had lost our spare tire so we had about an hour and a half of down time. I finally finished the first lap and Craig Scanlon got in for the second lap. He had a somewhat uneventful second lap and I get back in for the third lap. We were one of the last trucks on the course due to the flat tire and it was now ‘0 dark thirty’. As we headed out the truck started hitting these huge square edge holes and it was just beating the crap out of us. As we are passing race mile 7 I thought to myself ‘Damn, I have over 100 miles of this to go. I sure wish I could just turn around and head back, this **** is crazy, but no turning back.’ We just take the beating and as we are racing along I start to see spare tires, hoods, fenders, race jacks, and race cars littered every place I look. I start thinking this is what a full on battle field looks like. It was unbelievable. Carnage, huge holes, like picture a pot hole in the street, you got that picture in your mind? Now make it a foot deeper or even a little deeper, now put this in both tracks that your tires are running in and hit them at speeds of 60 to 80 miles per hour, or even 100 mph, and do that for 10 miles or more at a time! Now toss in a couple of whoop sections that are over a mile long that make 40” tall tires look small... Yah, I’m getting excited! So excited that I entered in two classes! That’s right, I will be racing the Polaris RZR in the morning race and then the Trick Truck in the afternoon race.
Oh, one more thing about that ‘new to me’ Trick Truck I bought. It has a rear turning brake next to the shifter in the dash. As of today I’ve been too afraid to touch it as most of the time I am concentrating on driving. So, I haven’t touched it, lol. But, last night Jesse Jones actually took the time to tell me some of the functions of it, how and when it works. Thanks Jesse! When you didn’t grow up racing and don’t race with anybody that has raced a Trick Truck before it’s a slow learning curve.

Huge Thanks to Polaris RZR, Kroyer Racing Engines, Gear Works, Method Race Wheels, BFG Tires, Baja Designs, Fox Racing Shocks, Wolf Designs, Geiser Bros, My Bad Ass Crew at UTVinc and The Kick Ass guys that Volunteer at the race course with us !
Polaris RZR Method Race Wheels Baja Designs BFGoodrich Tires Kroyer Racing Engines FOX Geiser Bros UTV Inc.
 

jackassracing89

Well-Known Member
I personally really do appreciate the "inside scoop". As a fan and a limited racer, getting a glimpse at the big guys is fun. really enjoy your posts too. Keep it up and good luck.
 

acers

Well-Known Member
Mint 400 Pre Race Report
Polaris RZR Factory Racing
From The Highest of Highs to the Lowest of Lows !!!
So I am sitting around waiting for the Mint 400, maybe a bit nervous, or maybe just excited with a bit of ‘what the I failed high school am I doing?’ Racing a full on Trick Truck at the Mint 400! Now some people say it’s a rich man’s sport because it costs so much money and time to race a trophy truck. I can tell you just because you have money, it don’t matter, most likely you still can’t drive and if you can, lol, to drive on the level that the top finishers do… you have to have some major talent, a set of huge balls, and be a little bit crazy to be a contender. I know I do not currently possess all three of those.
It is near impossible to get the seat time in a trophy truck that will give you the confidence to head straight into a 5 foot tall dirt berm at freeway speeds all while giving you the comfort of knowing when you crank your steering wheel hard left or right and you mash the gas pedal to the floor and those 850 horses under the hood light up your 40” tall tires, spinning them effortlessly on demand, propelling your 6000 pound hunk of steel tubing and engine in any direction you’re willing to go. Now back to the seat time, I don’t want to get into breaking down the cost or money we have spent to prep the Trophy Truck, but it’s just out right ridiculous! 2 miles per gallon of 110+ octane race fuel and not even the fact that your rear tires are wore out after 100 to 200 race miles, but we throw on a new set of tires just in case we compromised one in some way or another. So back to seat time… Now you have to understand I am an older guy, 51 years old to be exact, and I don’t want to spend the next three years getting seat time in a trophy truck. I want it now. I want to win now.
The race season for Best in the Desert are: Feb 5, March 5, May 14, Aug 18, Oct 21, and Dec 3. So as things are now, we have to pull the motor somewhere between 1000 and 1500 miles to have it freshened up. The transmission… well if you want to say you did everything you could to try and win a race, then that gets a littler freshening up too. So, we have to have two race motors, three race transmissions, and three third members (rear end gears). Ok. Cool, I got this. That lets go racing!
Now I run into my first real problem. I only have 1 guy prepping my truck and at times have 1 and a half working on it, but they also have other jobs they do here at my shop. Including: prepping the pre runner(s), prepping and building my Polaris Race RZR(s), rebuilding all 8 Fox Racing shocks in-between races, loading and unloading chase trucks, hooking up trailers, prepping chase trucks, loading chase trucks, working out race day schedules, pits, and helpers, … you’re getting the picture, right? It’s kind of overwhelming, and a ton of work. No one told me how much work racing is, I was in it for all the “fun”. Oh, but let me take this quick opportunity to thank all the guys that have so graciously taken the time out of their busy schedules to send me daily Facebook & Instagram messages offering to drive one of my race trucks or race RZRs. Are you guys for real? Not one of you offer to help on the racing costs, not one of you offer to help prep the race cars themselves, no one offers to help pit or a hand on race day, but every one of you offers to drive...?
Ok, sorry, back to seat time I need. Well the only way to get real race seat time is to race right? But when you have a full season with Best in the Desert you think well maybe I will go race some Baja races, right? Well it already takes forever to race 1 series and now we are back to the money thing… So I need to hire more prep guys, buy another motor, etc., etc., etc. Even if I wanted to race a series like Snore it seems as the only way I could do that is if I owned two race trucks that are pretty much identical. Now I am not whining, I’m just trying to pass some “inside the helmet” info along for the guys that like to hear what it’s really about.
I got an email the other day stating Best in the Desert has moved qualifying to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and onto the short course track. I’m like ‘Oh, **** just got real, quick’. Now I need to be able to drift my 6000 lb. Trick Truck around high speed corners and launch it off huge infield jumps, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t wad the truck up before the race?!
Oh yah, all the while I think back to the Mint 400 course from my last lap at the 2016 race! I’ll give you a little description of it… I raced the first lap last year, about 30 miles in had a flat tire. We had lost our spare tire so we had about an hour and a half of down time. I finally finished the first lap and Craig Scanlon got in for the second lap. He had a somewhat uneventful second lap and I get back in for the third lap. We were one of the last trucks on the course due to the flat tire and it was now ‘0 dark thirty’. As we headed out the truck started hitting these huge square edge holes and it was just beating the crap out of us. As we are passing race mile 7 I thought to myself ‘Damn, I have over 100 miles of this to go. I sure wish I could just turn around and head back, this **** is crazy, but no turning back.’ We just take the beating and as we are racing along I start to see spare tires, hoods, fenders, race jacks, and race cars littered every place I look. I start thinking this is what a full on battle field looks like. It was unbelievable. Carnage, huge holes, like picture a pot hole in the street, you got that picture in your mind? Now make it a foot deeper or even a little deeper, now put this in both tracks that your tires are running in and hit them at speeds of 60 to 80 miles per hour, or even 100 mph, and do that for 10 miles or more at a time! Now toss in a couple of whoop sections that are over a mile long that make 40” tall tires look small... Yah, I’m getting excited! So excited that I entered in two classes! That’s right, I will be racing the Polaris RZR in the morning race and then the Trick Truck in the afternoon race.
Oh, one more thing about that ‘new to me’ Trick Truck I bought. It has a rear turning brake next to the shifter in the dash. As of today I’ve been too afraid to touch it as most of the time I am concentrating on driving. So, I haven’t touched it, lol. But, last night Jesse Jones actually took the time to tell me some of the functions of it, how and when it works. Thanks Jesse! When you didn’t grow up racing and don’t race with anybody that has raced a Trick Truck before it’s a slow learning curve.

Huge Thanks to Polaris RZR, Kroyer Racing Engines, Gear Works, Method Race Wheels, BFG Tires, Baja Designs, Fox Racing Shocks, Wolf Designs, Geiser Bros, My Bad Ass Crew at UTVinc and The Kick Ass guys that Volunteer at the race course with us !
Polaris RZR Method Race Wheels Baja Designs BFGoodrich Tires Kroyer Racing Engines FOX Geiser Bros UTV Inc.
 

Zac Reish

Well-Known Member
Great write up. Definitely an eye opener. I feel overwhelmed prepping for a race in class 5. the time and money required even for that doesn't seem reasonable at times. I love that you guys dedicate the time, money, and work to not only Persue your dream but entertain the fans along the way and ask for nothing in return. That's awesome. Good luck. I'll be pulling for you.
 

ONE_RJ

Well-Known Member
Great analogy of the typical off road racer for all classes no matter what level you are at.
Enjoy the addiction.
 

Bdub 1020

Well-Known Member
Awesome Johnny I did exactly what you are doing in class 10 and even enjoyed it with my boys for years. 70 k + a year not including the cost of the vehicle was crazy money to my wife haha let alone the time and work being self preppers. The time and money for TT I cannot comprehend. I love reading your no BS real / not media fabricated stories. Have fun because in the end its just great memories from an expensive addicting hobby lol.
 

harleys dad

Well-Known Member
I for 1 could not imagine the time and expense of nearly single handily prepping a TT but can say keeping 3 1600 cars the occasional run of our beetle in class 11 and cant forget the 51600 sitting by the pool is more work than many can imagine. Dedication is a under statement. Wish you very good luck at the Mint, just got my first RZR xp4 to add to the work load and trust me they are not cheap to add parts and things to improve them. Glad my boys are taking over most of the race car work these days, I honestly wanted to quit but they wont let me.
 

mrmatt

Well-Known Member
Cool write up and good luck!

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
 

BANNED4LIFE

Well-Known Member
great story....how did your mint 400 go in your new trophytruck???
 

UTVinc

Well-Known Member
We never made it Pete we had a customers Race RZR we were building and it didn't get done before the Mint so I pulled out and let him race my RZR. Same old **** as you know not enough hours in the day !! I guess I stressed out my main fab and prep guys so bad they both quit, so I'm trying to sort thru the BS and figure out my next step.
Unfortunately, I felt it would have been a insightful move for me to race after I promised him his car would be done
 
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