We attended the Mint 400 in Las Vegas this last weekend and we were lucky enough to be there and see Justin Lofton win for the second time in a row, beating out Andy McMillin for the overall win by a matter of seconds. Lofton was driving the same Jimco Racing built Trophy Truck that was brand new last season when he got his first Mint 400 win over Robby Gordon. Lofton had just moved into the Trophy Truck class last year, previously he had been competing in a Class 1 buggy and was doing so well that he bumped up into the unlimited Trick Truck (or Trophy Truck) class.
This past weekend, Lofton was prepped and ready for the 2016 race with a new FOX livery on the same Jimco built truck that he had won with the year before. Every time that truck would go by you could just tell that there was something about it that set it apart from all the other trucks in the field. Truth be told, I was personally cheering for Baldwin, MacCachren, Menzies, or maybe a few smaller teams like Space Monkey and Potts. But the more I saw how hard Lofton was pushing that truck, and how it just swallowed up terrain like nothing I’d ever seen before, I must admit, Lofton earned a fan for life that day. When he came flying by us on his last lap at well over 100mph with the Helicopter chasing him, we knew right then he was going to be in the contention for the win. When you are at the race it’s hard to tell who is really leading as it’s based on time, but you get a pretty good idea by how many heli’s are following and how far behind the next trucks are. That image of the heli’s chasing the trucks is one of those moments that you will never forget. This year Justin ended up with a closer race on his hands than he did the previous year against Robby Gordon. He finished in 5 hours 36 minutes and 10 seconds which was about 20 minutes faster then his win in 2015 but only 42 seconds ahead of fast moving Andy McMillin.
Here you can ride along in with Lofton for a good 10 minutes to really get an idea of how crazy this Trophy Truck Racing is. The truck is moving so fast that its hard to see the terrain very well but still you get an idea.
Lofton was the total underdog in the 2015 running of the MINT 400. Even though he had a brand new truck built by highly respected truck builder Jimco, he really didn’t have any big name sponsors. Right from the beginning of the race as he was lined up next to the legendary Robby Gordon, it was a drag race through the short track infield on the way out to the desert. Lofton looked like a seasoned pro as he held a steady pace all the way to the end when his #ahbeef truck finished the grueling 400 mile race in just 5 hours 57 min and 38 seconds beating out Gordon by 7 minutes. Now if you do the math, 400 miles in 6hrs means that Lofton was averaging 66.6mph over the entire race! Which may not seem to be very fast but when you see how hardcore the terrain is on the 130 mile course you will see that 66mph is hauling some major ass.
2015 MINT 400
Just wanted to share with you all the moment I had when Lofton came flying by at over 100mph on his last lap of the 2016 Mint 400. I apologize the quality is not the greatest but it still is so amazingly badass.