The 2017 MINT 400 was a brutal race through the Nevada desert just outside of Vegas. 17 registered trucks looked to try their luck at what some consider one of the toughest courses in the Best in the Desert series. Racing began with Louis Chamberland taking his opponent off the line and would lead the TrophyLite class into the desert. Midway through lap 1 Brandon Arciero would jump into the lead and stay there for almost 2 full laps but Todd Jackson, Jeff Mortis and Tony Sato were not far behind. Just 20 miles before the end of lap 2 the 6017 would bust up their flywheel leaving them stranded waiting for a tow to main pit. The always fast 6001 would take the lead and stay there to win the Mint 400, two years in a row. Jeff Mortis finished 2nd and Tony Sato found the podium as well in 3rd.
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Growing up in Southern California, Todd Jackson started riding and racing motocross bikes at a young age but after a serious crash it was either give up racing on bikes or get into a caged vehicle. Rather than give up on his his love of off-road racing, Todd rented a Trophy-Lite truck and came out with a win at his very first race at The Best in The Desert Parker 425. After that initial success, Todd was hooked. He purchased his own truck and began racing The Best in The Desert series. The TrophyLite class is an ultra competitive spec class where all the vehicles are identical so the focus is on driver skill rather than who has the biggest budget. This allows the average person to get behind the wheel and try their hand at off-road racing.
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The 2017 season kicked off in the Parker desert featuring 15 TL trucks ready to battle each other and the Parker '425' course. Carnage all over the course but right from the beginning a crash at rm3 would end the day for the McKnight Racing team. The champ in the 6001 would take an early lead followed by Arciero, Chantler, Jeff Mortis and Spitz. Half way through lap 2, Todd with a cooling fan issue would turn over the lead to the 6017 putting Todd back in 5th. Arciero would lose the torque converter with about 80miles to go leaving Chantler and Mortis to battle it out to the finish. The 6048 would come out on top taking their 1st TL class win, Spitz finishes 2nd, Jackson 3rd.
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