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2012 BITD MINT 400

2012 BITD MINT 400

Wheezys 2012 MINT 400 Report – Wow did BITD ruin a great race.

So the Mint 400 was my favorite race. When SNORE announced they were bringing back the MINT 400 I got excited. I’m too young to remember the REAL Mint 400, but looking at photos and hearing the stories and the thought of all those cars on the Las Vegas strip got me fired up! The experience that year for me, was nothing short of amazing. I didn’t get to race, but I did get to prerun the course, and ya, along with everybody else we broke the rules big time and took it way beyond 35mph. The course was so much fun, brutal in section, fast in others; I was disappointed there was no silt YET but it was the most fun I’d ever had in a race car.

More than that though was the overall experience. It was the year I started shooting photos for off road, as a gesture to the off road community thanking them for all the help they had given me while building my car. (that didn’t turn out so well for those that remember, those that don’t, let it go). The Freemont experience was rad. Vendors came out, girls in tight cloths with their plastic breasts bulging out, Mrs. Mint competition, the parties, IT WAS AWESOME! I was like a child high on sugar at Disneyland for the first time; I mean seriously I was out of my mind from over stimulation.

Race day came and it too was pretty rad. I had a media pass and was allowed course access before the start of the race and found “a secret spot” as I had preran the couse and knew right where I wanted to be. Shot rad photos all day and rooted for my team. We had several cars running the race and all did very well. I ruined my camera, but got some great shots, the guys racing had the experience of a lifetime and the stories of that first year back will remain for a lifetime. The next few years were just as good. We had a blast every year. It was organized, well run, with fun courses and lots of entertainment.

DIRT RACER PICS

Well, THAT WAS THEN. The 2012 Mint 400 was, in my opinion, a disaster. BITD totally blew it. First of all, we were used to a routine. We knew where to take the cars, we knew where to go, we had it down. They changed all of it. For the better? Well in some ways, as the driving, parking situation was a bit easier. BUT, I’ll tell you that Freemont street is a big f’n hill, Las Vegas is HOT, and certain race vehicles are HEAVY. This equated to being a sweaty, irritable mess! Pushing the 6,000lb truck uphill for a few hours in the Vegas sun was not fun. It was so miserable that even beer didn’t sound good, I drank water and still wound up with a headache. I wasn’t alone. Our entire crew was spent. Didn’t notice any vendors. Didn’t care about girls with big tits. Just wanted to get the car though tech asap. Hmmm. That sucks.

Well, ok. We finally got through tech and got the truck loaded back up and back to the shop. We had enough time to good around a bit and unwind from our exhausting day of pushing that damn truck uphill before the “mandatory” driver meeting. Anybody remember that meeting? The if you don’t show, 1 hour penalty driver meeting? We were there. Remember when Casey asked where Robby Gordon was to receive his special award? And NOBODY was there to receive it for him. Remember how he went on to WIN the race. Ya, no politics in BITD huh? Bullshit is what I say, and I’m a Robby FAN! But RULES IS RULES.

Now, none of this was all that bad. However, I haven’t gotten to the real crap part of what ruined this race to the point of WE WILL NOT RACE IT AGAIN. Having multiple cars running in a single race is always a challenge. Having a TT and a “limited car” run THIS race together was damn near impossible. First of all, the race course was an hour drive south. Second of all the entrance to said course was a damn JOKE. It took us an HOUR to go 2 miles because of the backup. Ohhh, did I mention that this was after a wake up time 3:00AM to make the start time of 6:00AM! What a JOKE. At least they gave us 5 hours of sleep after the mandatory driver meeting.

We managed to make the start, after figuring out the PIT situation and having the people IN our pit spot move. To say it could have been done better is an understatement. We ran the race in our limited car and did well. 3rd place which was awsome. It put us in the lead for the championship in our class. (which we now have locked down after V2R). The TT race was brutal for some of us that had to be up at 3:00AM! If we didn’t have such a large crew it would have been a true nightmare come true. Several of us just couldn’t hang and had to take naps, and some had to just leave. We DNF’d in the truck.

There was NO party that night. We were all exhausted from the long uphill push, the late night meeting, and the excruciatingly early wake up call to make the start. We were all beat. Second time in as many days where a beer didn’t even sound good. We went to bed early, then work up early and couldn’t wait to get on the road to go home. Kind of a bummer if you ask me. BOOOOO ya.

Can’t wait to go do some HDRA races!