Chasing The Mint 800: The Final Episode
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.