The Mint 400 off-road race, officially known as the 2019 BF Goodrich Tires Mint 400 powered by Monster Energy, colloquially known as “that crazy sandy shitstorm in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas” is going down this weekend. And this year there’s supposed to be good live video coverage, so you won’t have to truck it to Nevada to check out the race.
If you still not sure what I’m talking about, here’s a little trailer to get you up to speed on what the Mint is all about:
The 2019 Mint 400 festivities actually kick off Wednesday, with an off-road vehicle parade through Las Vegas and a party, followed by time trials and more parties until the actual two-day race taking place Saturday, Mar. 9 and Sunday, Mar. 10. The Mint has posted a full schedule and set up a site where you can watch the video stream and to see live vehicle tracking.
Here’s an embed of the video feed, in case you don’t feel like clicking over there:
We should be able to watch on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific time, and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM Pacific. “On air talent,” which I think means commentators, “will include off-road racing and motocross legend Ricky Johnson, off-road cultural icon Bob Bower, Ultra-4 competitor and KOH announcer Jim Marsden, and roving pit reporter Tiffany Stone” per the race organizers.
If you’re in the southwest and want to soak up the scene in person, TheMint400.com has a pretty comprehensive spectator guide illustrating where to park and where to watch. I’ve been to the Mint as a spectator a few times myself, and it seems like the event is exceptionally organized this year.
Speaking of organization, sanitation company Republic Services sponsored a volunteer desert cleanup event the weekend before the race, which I thought was pretty cool:
As for what to watch when the green flag drops, we can expect a competitive field “of nearly 550 race teams” according to the organizers, with 50 unlimited trucks, 50 6100 trucks, and “nearly” 150 UTVs. Celebs behind steering wheels at the 2019 mint include Formula One Champion Jenson Button, NASCAR Racer Casey Mears, and two time UFC Champion Cain Velasquez.
Mad Media, the company running the Mint these days, seems pretty clearly invested in making this a spectacle which is great news for off-road fans. Proximity to Las Vegas makes this race a little logistically easier to spectate than Baja, but there is some similar terrain and a lot of the same big names and driving. Hopefully we’re in for a good show, and the new live streaming setup gives us a chance to see it!