The Mint 400 is a very big race for the off road community with 370 total entries and 106 UTV entries. This race is one of the biggest races of the year & The Desert Toyz team was ready for the task. We had done extensive testing before the race but could not work out the bugs of a modified ECU. With this knowledge we knew there would be some faster cars but we also knew that you have to make it to the finish, so we believed we had a great chance. Our car was featured in the Can‐Am display at contingency for all attendees to view. At the booth there was also an autograph section that our own Scott Sappington got the privilege to be apart of. Can‐Am had 4 other sponsored teams signing as well.
As contingency/tech day came to an end the drivers meeting was held. This meeting was especially emotional because many spoke about Casey Folks and all that he did for the off road community. There were also several tribute videos, tears shed & rounds of applause. Thank you Casey Folks and all The Best in the Desert crew and volunteers for all that you do. Casey you will be and already are very missed.
Race day saw an early start of 6:00 AM. The sun was just rising as we took off from the front row and while we made it to the first jump before our competition, he had the shorter distance to travel in the left hand lane and took the hole shot. We knew it was a long race and to stay the course. We were on a Class 5 cars bumper as we approached remote pit 1. He hit a rock, which relocated itself perfectly to hit our left side tires, and we ended up with a left rear flat. We decided not to stop, as we were 2 miles from the pit. We made the pit without being passed and the crew made quick repairs. The Desert Toyz Maverick was back on course in 2nd place. The first time through the shooting gallery found us with another flat, not sure what we hit here but this time we would need to get out to change it. Once back in the car we were still the 3rd UTV on course. We made our way to remote pit 2 where we received a new spare and hustled back on course. We were clean going into the main pit and with a quick re‐fuel and look over of the car, we were out of there. As we headed out for the 2nd lap, we were 3 minutes behind the Murray’s and 3rd on track. This time around we were clean into remote pit 1 and had gained 1 minute on the Murray’s. Unfortunately our clean run ended when we had a mechanical problem that required us to get out of the car and make repairs, we fell a little further back. Once back on track we were pushing hard and again had a mechanical problem that required us to get out of the car and make repairs from there we were clean to the main pit. The crew worked quickly with fueling and looking over the car. This is when they noticed that the front differential had a hole in it. The Desert Toyz team made a decision to cover the hole with tape and run the last lap in 2‐wheel drive. The last lap was smooth until the dry lakebed. We had just passed by S3 when we had another mechanical problem and had to get out of the car to make repairs. Once the repairs were finished we hustled to the finish where we rolled across in 8th place.
It was a challenging race and we are pleased with the 8th place finish out of 56 turbo starters. A huge thank you goes out to all of our sponsors that make this possible: Can‐Am, CST Tires, Elka Shocks, S3 Powersports, Tiger lights, PCI Radios, Douglass Wheels, Foddrail Motorsports, Triple X Seats, Fuel Safe, Monster Seal, Shorai Battery, UTV Offroad Magazine and all of our crew members.