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Chasing The Mint 800: The Final Episode

How Taking On 800 Miles Of The Mint All Went Down

When we first heard about 4WP President and CEO Craig Scanlon taking on the Mint 400 twice to turn it into the Mint 800, we thought it was a bit crazy. We have seen off-road racers try to put in some serious miles before. Usually, it involves a driver getting out of the racecar at some point to get some rest before hopping back in it. We don’t blame them either as making a mistake at speed in the middle of nowhere isn’t exactly a good scenario. When we heard that Craig Scanlon was going to go 800 miles straight without any rest, we thought it was nuts. When we learned that he would be doing 400 miles in a Pro Production Turbo UTV and then another 400 miles in a Spec Trophy Truck, we knew it was absolutely nuts.

To put it all in perspective 800 miles is a bit further than the drive from Los Angeles, CA to Moab, UT. We have done that drive plenty of times before and it is a long day on the road. However, when we get tired, we can pull off in the next town and get something to eat. Or we can stop in Vegas, get some fried Twinkies, and cruise around for a bit. Not to mention we have air conditioning, a radio, and our favorite Kenny G mix to keep us entertained. It all helps to make the trip a lot more bearable and the miles go by faster.

Doing 800 miles strapped into a racecar in the dirt is an entirely different animal. There is no windshield to keep you comfy or a radio that you can hook your iPod to. It usually is either freezing or blazing hot and there is always lots of dust. On top of that, you are getting bounced around for miles on end. Not only is it physically exhausting, but also mentally draining as 100% focus is needed to go fast over gnarly terrain. And, no you can’t stop at McDonald’s for a quick bite to eat. It was going to be a very long day for Craig Scanlon and his crew as they tried to take on 800 miles of tough desert terrain.

In racing, very few things go according to plan. Of course, this is even truer in off-road racing where almost anything can happen. Scanlon’s attempt at the Mint 800 didn’t go as hoped, but it did make for a great story. With his grudge with the Mint 400 still intact, the door is still open next year for some sweet redemption. Check out the video we produced to see how it all went down.

What Is A Pro Production Turbo UTV?

A Pro Production Turbo UTV isn’t bone stock but isn’t completely unlimited either. It sits between the two allowing for a lot more speed than a stock UTV without the expense of constructing an unlimited racecar. Rules restricting its suspension (stock pickup point locations) and shocks (single coilover per wheel) keep it close to stock while still allowing for modifications. The forced induction turbo powered engines are sealed with a 1,000cc maximum size. An 80-inch width maximum, 8-inch increase in wheelbase maximum, 32-inch tires are among the significant rules. They help keep Pro Production Turbo UTV a driver’s class instead of one dominated by big budgets.

What Is A Spec Trophy Truck?

Trophy Trucks are the kings of the desert. With 800+ horsepower, two feet of suspension travel in the front and three feet in the rear, they absolutely gobble up rough terrain. They are very few rules to govern their construction, so constructors are free to build what they want. So what is a Spec Trophy Truck? It is closely related to the Trophy Truck with the most significant difference being the engine. In a Spec TT, the engine is a restricted, sealed unit that puts out around 525 horsepower. Transmissions are also limited to three-speed automatics. All of this helps to keep costs under control as a full-tilt Trophy Truck engine can easily cost as much as a luxury car.

For previous videos from the Chasing The Mint 800 series click here