After Action Report- Proving Grounds Racing at the Mint 400

Proving Ground Racing waits to start the Mint400

Proving Grounds Racing

The Mint400, also known as the Great American Race, has been a part of Proving Grounds Racing for the past few years. The Mint 400 has held the title of the toughest, most spectacular off-road desert race in North America since 1968 when it was first run. Taking on the Ultra4 series the team has dipped into other series such as Best In The Desert Racing. The Mint400 is set in the heart of Las Vegas each year. Fremont Street hosts contingency for the race which spreads over 8 blocks of the Vegas strip.

Prepping:

With back to back races from KOH to the Mint, the team has worked 120% to get the car back together and dialed for the race. With the help of our great sponsors we are able to take on the race next week with a prepped and finished car. Poison Spyder has been amazing to the team with parts, fab time, and use of the facility in setting up the car for the race. Huge thank you to Currie Enterprises for getting us the necessary parts for our brand new rear Currie Fab9″ rear full floating axle. Rock Krawler suspension was quick on turning around new parts, valving, and help in tuning the car for the long desert race. Top Line Industrial Supply has been great with new hoses and fittings for our power steering and shock hoses. Grateful for BFG being on our side for the race, we were able to run a set of BFG 37″ Krawlers without one flat all race! PSC steering has also stepped up for this race in supplying us with new cooler components to keep the PS system at a good operating temp. Without the help of all of our sponsors we couldn’t do what we do and have the amazing car we have built.

We had the opportunity to stage the car in Rigid’s booth for tech and contingency Friday along with the Method pit challenge on Thursday evening. The day was spent meeting with sponsors and getting the car tech’ed while the team enjoyed Fremont street and the race festivities.

 

Proving Grounds racing lines up at the Mint 400

Proving Grounds Racing at the Mint 400

Race Day:

Saturday morning the car was staged at 5:00AM with a 6:00AM start time. We were in the 8100 class for the race and started further back from the other classes. We were 5th off the line in our class and we hit the green flag running. Starting off in Prim headed out to the outskirts of Vegas, we were picking off cars in our class and others one by one. The car was running great and temps were in the clear. Pit A on lap 1 was flawless, the team checked tire pressures, suspension, steering for leaks, and we were off to continue lap 1.
From pit A to B there was a large grade of uphill soft sand trails that got the car to warm up and overheat. This caused us to back down our speed until we were through the rough sections and the car cooled down. once the car was cooled we were back at it again picking up speed and the car was starting to settle into the racing groove.

PRG gets ready to start the 2017 Mint400

As we came into pit B, we stopped to check the car once more and splash some fuel before making our way to main to start lap 2 for the day. car was running fine, tires were good, and we were off. From pit B to main pit stretch there were a few spectator areas where some of the photos have come from. This involved large rollers, short course, and high speed sections where we were haulin’ the mail!

We were running strong for all of lap 1 with mo mechanical failures. we can into main pit to refuel and we were off. lap one completes and we were barreling down the course to complete our last lap. Pit A we reached in no time, and a quick check of tire pressures and we were back on course. Picking off 2 cars in our class between A and pit B we knew we would place up in front if we help the car together. We hit Pit B for the last time and needed a splash of fuel but we did not have enough. Thanks to the Jeep Speed Guys on Team 3711 for hanging around after their car was broken down already and supplying us with fuel for the remainder of the course! After Pit B we were on the home stretch when the car started to overheat. This caused us to slow down our speed and also the others in our class to catch up. we were not at a battler for positions on the last 20 miles of course to go! We pushed the car and amongst our overheating the car stayed at a working temperature for us to get us across the finish line!

PGR coming into the pits at the Mint 400

Results:

We were able to take home 8th in class and a 14th over all for the morning race!
Our pit stops were flawless thanks to our team and others who pitched in to help us through the day. We are grateful to have had such a good race day without failures. The car was prepped and sound for this race and it paid off in the end. Thank you for your support and we look forward to the race season as we dive back into the Ultra4 Series in Texas April 8th!

Proving Ground Racing opening up at the mint

Zack