Since the inaugural event back in 1967, the Mint 400 has earned its reputation for being the toughest off-road race in North America. In fact, last year DragonFire-sponsored athlete Lacrecia Beurrier was lucky to even finish. A move up to the Unlimited Pro Class just one race ago also had her Feeling The Heat going into the Nevada desert.
Actually it would have been nice to feel a little heat when Lacrecia and co-driver Chris Moore took their places in the DragonFire-backed XP 1000 at 6 a.m. on a frigid morning out in Primm, Nevada. With a sea of UTVs in front of them (nearly 60 Pro Class UTV entered the race), they knew they were in for a wild ride! With 25 different classes, more than 300 competitors and the biggest field of UTVs in race history, Lacrecia was facing a stacked deck. Being shuffled to the back of the Pro UTV pack on the starting grid didn't make things any easier. Things went downhill from there… literally as the starting line dropped racers downhill onto the Lucas Oil short course track.
Getting off the line at about 7:00 a.m. Lacrecia came out swinging, tearing through the short course start and blasting out into the desert. Dust quickly became an issue as more than 80 vehicles on the track battled it out for positions in front of Team DragonFire. Lacrecia was able to deal with the dust and stay on the gas through the first pit. Then the wildcard: Shortly after leaving Pit A, the infamous Mint rocks jumped out and took out the driver's side front tire. Despite a quick tire swap, several racers went past.
In a very high speed and rocky section Lacrecia let her skills shine as she was passing vehicles left and right when bang! Another tire blew. The two didn’t want to risk the vehicle being further damaged, so they reluctantly they jumped out and swapped the tire… while watching all their hard work get past them once again. They climbed back in the car to finish out the lap, only to get a raw deal at the main pit.
Although the pit crew flew through swapping tires and gassing up, more time was lost to changing a suspicious looking rear axle. A fellow competitor even commented on Facebook after the race that Lacrecia should have won the "perseverance award." At that time co-driver Brian Thomas took to the driver seat to give Lacrecia some much needed rest after a very tough lap.
Lacrecia had worked her way back up to 4th physically before the time it took to make the axle swap. Brian and Chris took off back into the desert finding an extremely chewed up race track. They put the hammer down trying to make up time lost to the flats. The RZR XP 1000 showed why it's king of the hill as the duo flew through the lap with no issues and minimal dust to deal with.
Coming back around to the main pits Lacrecia was literally bouncing waiting to climb back in the car. She strapped in and dropped the hammer! The pit crew radioed in that there was only one person in the Pro Unlimited class out front, “don’t try and chase them down, just run your race” came the word over the radio. However Lacrecia runs at RacePace!
Quickly she was once again in the dust picking off cars along the way. Proving her pink RZR is not there just for show, Lacrecia pounded through the brutal track and laying down a lap only 10 minutes slower than lap 2 despite the ever worsening conditions. Coming across the Red Bull finish line jump, co-driver Chris gave the okay to “send it” — she launched it in style soaring through the air and completing the 2015 Mint 400!
The DragonFire/Rockstar Racing Team was there was at the finish anxiously waiting to find out where they finished. Although she had physically worked her way up through the pack, it was tough to know where officially timing and scoring had her. After rolling her car on top of the podium in total silence, the announcer said, "you have just won the Mint 400!" The crowd went wild as Lacrecia climbed on top of her car and popped the cork on the champagne in celebration of her third Mint 400 title and first Pro Class win!
“Thanks to friends and family for volunteering for Pit Crew duty,” says Lacrecia. “That is what won the race for us.” Special shout-out to Rugged Radios for hosting her at the official autograph signing. She would also like to thank all the sponsors contributing to her third Mint 400 title, including DragonFire, AZ West, Polaris Industries, Bell, BS Sand, Bulldog LED lights, CP-Carrillo, Dalton Industries, Elka, Gates, ITP, Lonestar Racing, Monster Seal, Mothers, Muzzy's, Queen Racing, Raceline Wheels, Rockstar Customs, Royal Purple and Rugged Radios.