Roger Norman qualified first today taking the pole position for the historical Mint 400 “The Great American Desert Race” which will run tomorrow Saturday March 27th.
The qualifying course was 3 miles long and consisted of about 2+ miles of actual race course. Norman was the 23rd car to qualify out of 61 entries, and completed the course in 4min 11seconds. Finishing four seconds behind the Norman Motorsports Crystal Bay Casino #8 truck was Chad Ragland in Bobby Baldwins #96 truck, and falling in third was BJ Baldwin #97 by one second.
The Mint 400 is a grueling 106 mile loop race that is primarily rock and silt. “This is a really really hard course,” said Norman. “It is not like Baja where you have a lot of wide areas to pass. Most of this course is tight and technical.” Norman will enter this race for the first time ever with very little knowledge of the area and the local terrain. “Being first off the line, the course will not be burned in yet, so we are planning on taking it easy and not making any mistakes,” Norman comments. “After going to rally school in Finland, I picked up a few things including some new communication methods that we are going to try with our co-pilot Eric Branstrom.”
The Norman Motorsports team is planning their first pit to be a fuel stop, tire change and driver change where Larry Roesler will take the wheel. In the early 70’s Roesler raced in the Mint 400 on a dirt bike, but has not had the opportunity to race in a trophy truck until this weekend. There may be additional pit stops to gain more traction with fresh BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR tires throughout the day.
“This is a very historical race in the off road community,” said Norman, who’s family was involved in the early days. In 1972, the third year of the race, Norman’s step-father Bill Muncey was the Grand Marshall. The greatest hydroplane racer in history continually told the story about this race and being invited to run a buggy, which he claims was the hardest thing that he had ever done in his life and hoped that no one would ever invite him to race another off road race ever again! And now his step-son, Roger Norman, will take the green flag first from the 2010 Grand Marshall.
More information on the race can be found at: SNORE Off Road Racing - Las Vegas, NV
Live Internet Coverage will begin at 7am: General Tire Mint 400 Live Internet Coverage
Crystal Bay Casino, BFGoodrich, KMC, Vision X, Fire ETC, NEO, CMI, Big Ass Fans, Safety Klean, Cruz Roja, Baja Fools, AutoVac, Fluidyne, Rod End Supply, Summers Brothers
Photo Credit: Mike Wilson mwilsonphoto.com