RECAPPING THE MINT: Craig Scanlon’s Historic Attempt at the Mint 800

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Every spring The Mint 400 brings together the world’s top off-road racers to compete over 400 grueling desert miles. Pro driver and 4 Wheel Parts president Craig Scanlon attempted to become the first person to complete the "Mint 800", the unofficial handle for combining two Mint 400 races in two different classes on the same day. This endeavor was documented in CHASING THE MINT, a behind-the-scenes mini-documentary that chronicled his thoughts, preparation and race day adventures.

Craig Scanlon attempted to become the first person to complete the "Mint 800", the unofficial handle for combining two Mint 400 races in two different classes on the same day.

Craig Scanlon attempted to become the first person to complete the "Mint 800", the unofficial handle for combining two Mint 400 races in two different classes on the same day.

The Mint is always an exciting event, and we are proud to offer a behind-the-scenes view of what an effort like this takes to accomplish. We wanted to show everyone the hard work, the real people and the love we have for off-road sports in a way they might not have seen before.

The Mint 400 is called “The Great American Off-Road Race” for a good reason. More than 500 professional drivers from every off-road class bring their A-game with race-ready trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and Jeeps. Extending over 400 unforgiving miles of dirt, rocks and relentless bumps, the course destroys drivers’ hopes as easily as it does their six-figure race rigs (in one division, only five of 34 starters managed to cross the finish line). To finish a single race is a standalone accomplishment – to attempt to do it twice on one day is utterly insane.

“The Mint is one of the gnarliest courses out there. The chatter bumps, the whoops, the rocks, everything is so much bigger,” said Mitch Guthrie Jr., two-time King of the Hammers champion.

Enter Craig Scanlon. In 2019, The Mint 400 announced a new format change that separated classes between Saturday and Sunday schedules with start times broken up into morning and afternoon sessions. To Scanlon, an experienced professional UTV race car driver and head of Scanlon Motorsports Group (SMG), this opened up the possibility of competing in multiple pro level classes on the same day: the UTV Pro race in the morning followed by a Class 6100 Trophy Truck Spec race in the afternoon. The task seemed herculean but hard work is no stranger to Scanlon, who spends his “day job” as president of a $800m global company, Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP Worldwide, LLC.), the off-road giant whose reach extends to nearly a hundred 4 Wheel Parts (4WP) retail stores and top industry brands that include Pro Comp and Smittybilt.

“A big thing for me is constant evolution and constantly chasing a new goal,” said Scanlon. “What is a new way to challenge myself? Well, my way to challenge myself is to go out and chase the Mint 800.”

“It’s an incredible challenge for Craig and his team,” said Joey DiGiovanni, 4WP Director of Creative Marketing and Partnerships. “But Craig has proven that nothing is beyond his reach and he’s surrounded himself with the best in the business to help him achieve this goal.”

Scanlon and his team are chronicled in the new mini-documentary CHASING THE MINT 800. The video is an intimate look at the effort behind such an endeavor and takes viewers through desert testing, designing, qualifying and racing. The first half explores the months-long preparation as the race truck and UTV are tested in real-world conditions; how famed designer Troy Lee, creator of the iconic brand Troy Lee Designs, creates the vehicle wraps and custom helmet; and describes the efforts of Keith Redstrom, longtime co-driver, to maintain the vehicles and support equipment. The second half of the show takes the audience on a trip to Las Vegas as the crew meets up for the parade, contingency event, qualifying rounds and finally, racing.

“The Mint is always an exciting event, and we are proud to offer a behind-the-scenes view of what an effort like this takes to accomplish,” said DiGiovanni. “We wanted to show everyone the hard work, the real people and the love we have for off-road sports in a way they might not have seen before.”

“I love a challenge and will never back down from one," said Scanlon, “This wasn’t about winning the race, this was about attempting something that has never been done before, and we went out and did it.”

Filmed on location in Arizona, Nevada and California, CHASING THE MINT 800 was produced by and rolled out on The Dirt by 4WP (http://www.4wp.com/TheDirt) and is now live for everyone to watch.

Watch CHASING THE MINT 800
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