The 2022 Mint 400 is kicking off, and Jalopnik is on the ground in Las Vegas covering the “Great American Off-Road Race!” By some stroke of luck — or maybe as a cruel observational study — the editors sent me to report on this year’s Mint 400. This is the first race I’ve ever been to, and I’ll try to not get run over! I’m admittedly as excitable as a Labrador retriever, with a matching attention span. A huge race in the desert will test my ability to fetch one tennis ball at a time. So, I want to know what you want to know about the Mint 400.
Do you want deep dives? Do you need pictures of suspension travel with a banana for scale? Who are your favorite competitors and the teams you follow? Do you want to know how drivers feel about sand? I’m here to answer your questions, and relay my findings with as much awe and reverence for motorsport as an uninitiate like me can muster.
The preamble to the Mint 400 is already underway; it’s full of festivities. The race proper is preceded by staging and qualifying scheduled for Friday, March 11. The race will run the next day, on Saturday, March 12. You can follow along and livestream both day’s events here.
And as much as it pains me to tell you Gonzo fans: No, I can’t recreate Hunter S. Thompson’s and Oscar Zeta Acosta’s journey from Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. You know, the one where Thompson’s and Acosta’s fictional stand-ins got impossibly high and drove the Great Red Shark to cover the 1971 Mint 400.
I’m sure that retracing their steps with any accuracy would end up with me dazed and in a stupor, trying to marry a cactus at a drive-through chapel. Or worse, with me actually paying to sit through a Criss Angel live show — heaven forbid. I mean, I understand making sacrifices for one’s vocation but I draw the line at mescaline and the Mindfreak.
Most anything else is fair game. Tell us what you’re excited for, what machines you want a closer look at and what you’re eager to read about the Mint 400.