Las Vegas, NV
Team Honda Racing Ridgeline celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Mint 400 in Las Vegas, Nevada with a hard fought podium finish. The team was determined to back up their season opening win with another strong finish at The Greatest Off-Road Race in the United States. The Mint 400 course is known for grinding trucks into the ground, and the prestige of getting a top finish has transformed the race. Once a strategy based race of attrition, it has become an all-out sprint to the finish; despite the endless rocks, ruts and boulders that litter the course.
Team Honda Racing Ridgeline was prepared for one of the toughest loop races in all of off road racing. Team Principal and driver Jeff Proctor and navigator Evan Weller took the green light and began working through the pack. Starting on the pole, they were catching and passing other classes that started ahead of them; adding time on the rest of their unlimited V6 class race trucks. “It felt like we went to war today”, said Proctor. “While passing a host of slower spec Trophy trucks, we were getting pelted by giant rocks and boulders. The roost off their tires was pelting our visors, helmets and bodies”.
In the blinding conditions, they slammed a large rock while trying to make a pass. This early set back allowed three trucks in their class to get past them. After a quick tire change, they got back in the fray. They went right back to work reeling in the competition and were soon back in the lead. The day turned into a game of cat and mouse with multiple lead changes between Team Honda and several others in the field. They would continue to swap positions after down time to replace earned flats as the course was brutally rough and exceptionally rocky. Just past halfway in the race, Proctor brought the truck into the pits for its only scheduled stop. Due to the rough conditions and the leader only 4 min ahead, they elected to have Team Manager and veteran off road racer Pat Daily get behind the wheel to ensure they had a fresh driver to battle the ever changing, and brutally tough conditions to the finish.
The Ridgeline ran flawlessly all day but the top spot still eluded them. Although they were not on the top step, they crossed the finish line in 2nd position. Back to back strong finishes put them in a great points position towards the season long championship battle.
Weller prepped an amazing truck to endure these conditions and I couldn’t be more proud of the speed and consistency our team has shown,we would also like to thank our sponsors, Honda Racing / HPD, General Tire, FOX, KC Hilites, KMC Wheels, Sparco, Eibach Springs, NEO Synthetic Oil, RPI Racing, PCI Race Radios, AEM Air Filters, Pro Eagle, MAC Tie Downs, REEL Driveline and STEEL-IT Coatings,” said Jeff Proctor. “The 50th SCORE Baja 500 is the next race for Team Honda Racing Ridgeline. See you in Baja!”
For all the latest on the Honda Ridgeline Off-road team go to: http://www.hondaoff-road.com/ or HondaOffRoadRacing on Facebook, Instagram: @HondaOffRoadRacing or Jeff Proctor on Personal Instagram: @proctor_race.
Photography By: Bink Designs