Every year in Las Vegas, Nevada there is an off-road race called The Mint 400. The roots of the race began as an event for a hotel promotion, but quickly spiraled into the “toughest, most spectacular off-road race in North America.”
This year GHSP sponsored racer Justin Lofton and his vehicle:
Justin grew up in the county of Imperial Valley, which is surrounded by OHV (off highway vehicle) land. His dad was the one who introduced him to desert racing, so “naturally I was going to follow in his foot steps,” said Lofton.
He entered his first off-road race when he was 15 years old, which lead into him participating in his first full season when he was 17/18 known as Best In the Desert racing.
Justin launched into a racing career where in 2009 he won the ARCA Series Championship and moved into the Nascar Camping World Truck series from 2010-2014 where he competed and won:
- Charlotte Motor-Speedway in 2012
- 2 pole awards
- and competed in 6 Xfinity Series races
It wasn’t until 2015 that Lofton began competing in the Mint 400, where he had 2 back to back wins within the Trick Truck Class.
Justin has a collection of wins under his belt, but how does training look like for off-road racing in order to succeed in those wins?
“There is lots of seat time on a road bike,” Lofton explained, but there are two types of training most important to him:
- Weight training
- Endurance training
Training is critical with off-road racing because “the rougher the course the larger the toll on your body,” said Lofton.
Another factor that makes training important is that off-road racing is unique since they don’t race every weekend, the endurance needs to be kept up.
“I love the team work side of racing,” said Lofton. “It takes a group of people with a common goal of being the best.”
And that sentiment couldn’t be more true for Justin and his team in the Mint race this year. During qualifying races, a drive shaft ended up breaking, which put Justin starting in the back during the race the following day.
He made up significant positions, moving from 60th to 28th on the 1st lap (120 miles per lap) placing him 3 minutes from the lead position, but unfortunately the new power plant was found to develop more torque than the driveshaft could handle and it broke again.
Justin and the team ended up abandoning the race after changing driveshafts on the course and breaking another driveshaft.
“That’s racing,” Lofton explained happily. There are no guarantees that racing will be free of issues, but overall Lofton was happy with the performance of the truck. He enjoyed that it handled well and had power.
Thank you Justin for allowing us the opportunity to be involved with the Mint race this year, we enjoyed it and hope to see you next year!