- The 2011 Class 1 Mint 400 winner sits down to answer a few questions about this year’s race.
Las Vegas, NV – March 21, 2012. The tradition of the General Tire Mint 400 continues this weekend as the off-road community descends upon the Nevada desert. The week kicks off with a Trick Truck parade and pit crew challenge followed by the Mint 400 kick-off party on Fremont Street Wednesday, March 21 starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, fans can then meet all the Team GT members during the driver autograph session on Fremont Street from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. followed by the Miss Mint crowning at the Golden Nugget Hotel.
Friday, teams will get down to business as they begin the process of putting their vehicles through tech inspection. Then on Saturday, fans will be in for a gnarly race as Team GT tackles the grueling terrain of the South Las Vegas desert for their chance at becoming the 2012 General Tire Mint 400 champion. After finishing third in the overall last year, Mikey Childress is ready to tackle the Mint once again. We sat down with the General Tire driver, and 2011 Mint 400 Class 1 winner,q to find out how teams prepare for a race that can’t be pre-run and here’s what he had to say:
Q:How do you prepare mentally and physically prepare for the Mint 400?
A: You know it’s going to be a long, rough day. You gotta pace yourself and remember that the car has to make it to the finish. I will run the sections thru my head for weeks before a race of how I’m going to drive them. Physically, you just try to stay hydrated and eat the right stuff going into the race.
Q: Since the race can’t be pre-run, does that make your preparation any different? What types of things do you do for practice?
A: Well we will get to pre-run when we enter our pre-runner in the morning race in the Sportsman Class. But as for practice I get to test the race car about a week before the race. I also own a Ford Raptor with General Tires that I drive at home a few times a week.
Q: The race has moved from North Las Vegas to South Las Vegas this year. Last year’s race was notoriously hard on tires, what are your expectations for this year’s course?
A: The course will be really tough and rough. Several different race promoters run races in this area so it’s already pretty beat up. It’s definitely not going to be any easier.
Q: What is the toughest part about running the Mint?
A: I would say not racing too early and making sure the car lasts for 400 miles of a brutal course. Being patient and staying focused.
Q: What is it going to take to move from a Class winner to the Overall winner this year?
A: Less problems. Last year we had several little problems that cost us a lot of time. We have to have a clean day. But I have great equipment from sponsors such as General Tire so that definitely gives us an advantage.
Q: There are over 300 entries for this year’s race. How does the competition look this year? Who will be tough to beat?
A: The competition will definitely be tough. The guys to beat this year will be, Harley Letner, TJ Flores, and my General teammates, Justin Lofton and Justin Davis.
Q: There’s a lot of history and prestige behind the Mint 400. What would it mean to you to win the Mint?
A: It would be great to add another win for me in the history books next to all the other great names . Being in the books as not just a participant, but a winner, means a lot.
Q: How would you describe the Mint 400 to a fan that’s never been to an off-road race before?
A: EPIC! Take NASCAR and add dirt, jumps, rocks, silt, dust, and any kind of weather you can think of, and we will keep racing! It’s spectacular and I would encourage people to check out the General Tire Mint 400 this year because it’s going to be gritty, hard-nosed racing.
For more information on the Mint 400 and the activities surrounding the event, make sure to visit www.themint400.com.
About General Tire
For more than 90 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, Best in the Desert Racing Series, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late-Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, Boost Mobile FreestyleMx.com Tour, Spec Tire of Trophylite and JeepSpeed. Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including Carl Renezeder, Rick D. Johnson, Jerry Zaiden/Jason Campbell, Jason/Rich Voss, Marc Burnett, Kent Kroeker, Mikey Childress, Jim Riley, Carey Hart, Josh Merrell, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg, Jason Ellis, Robby Woods, Casey Currie, Ryan “Fluffer” Hagy, Macrae Glass, CJ Hutchins, Justin Lofton, Garrick Freitas, Randy Merritt, Justin Davis, Colton Udall and Johnny Campbell.
General Tire is part of Continental Tire the Americas, LLC. (www.generaltire.com). With sales of €30.5 billion in 2011, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 164,000 employees in 46 countries.