On 21 November, Rob MacCachren and Luke McMillin were celebrating their Baja 1000 victory. On Saturday, McMillin was congratulating MacCachren on his Mint 400 win.
The 2021 BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 in Las Vegas, one of the premier desert races in North America, was dominated by the Ford Unlimited Trucks of McMillin and MacCachren, who respectively had Baja team-mate Jason Duncan and son Cayden MacCachren as navigators. Seeking his second straight win in the race, McMillin won the pole and dominated much of the Unlimited race, leading the first three of four laps.
However, MacCachren was on the leader’s tail and finally caught him on the home stretch. With five miles remaining, MacCachren hit McMillen in the rear, causing him to roll over multiple times before landing on his roof. The two, being close friends, quickly made amends as MacCachren stopped to ensure McMillen’s safety before the latter sent him off.
By the end, MacCachren was the first to the finish with a time of 6 hours, 55 minutes, 47.11 seconds, to score his second career Mint 400 victory after first doing so in 2017. The Las Vegas native is the sixth driver to win the Baja 1000 and Mint 400 car overalls in the same year after Malcolm Smith and Bud Feldkamp (1977), Mark McMillin (1988), Andy McMillin (2009, 2014), and Luke McMillin (2020).
Ryan Arciero finished second at 7:02:53.038. McMillin was able to get his truck rolled back on its wheels and take third. Despite the incident, McMillin maintained humility and personally congratulated MacCachren in Victory Lane. He wrote in his race recap on Instagram:
“The last lap turned absolutely nasty with lap traffic and really bad dust to say the least, that really cost us some time after clearing pit 1 on the last lap +4 minutes. The last 60 miles were extremely frustrating picking off lap traffic and Rob closed the gap…
“Then with 5 miles to go things got a little wild, but let me say now, it’s all good! Rob got into the back of us and sent us over, rolling about 4 times. We are ok! Rob felt horrible to say the least and stopped to not only try to flip us over but nearly refused to continue on. I was upset for about 20 seconds but then proceeded to yell at rob ‘Go, you won this race, go win!’. Even after the rescue trucks showed up to help roll us over Rob didn’t want to leave and take the win, so I pushed him back towards his truck and continued to tell him ‘go!’. I wanted Rob to win. I’m a huge Rob fan, always have been, always will be. It was unintentional and a racing incident. If we didn’t win, there is absolutely no one else I’d rather see win than Rob Mac! Congrats!”
Brent Fox was the highest finisher in the Unlimited Truck SPEC in tenth overall (7:48:39.822). Chase Warren took the Class 10 victory in sixteenth (8:11:22.722) and Casey Currie led the Class 1 entries (eighteenth, 8:18:01.655).
64-year-old Larry Roeseler finished sixth overall on his own. The Baja legend was coming off an interesting Baja 1000 in which he was towed by Robby Gordon to the finish after experiencing transmission failure. Roeseler’s sponsor Baja Jerky reciprocated the gesture by appearing on Gordon’s Unlimited Trophy Truck for the Mint 400; however, the 2012 winner’s left-front suspension broke during qualifying and he did not start the race. His son Max Gordon‘s Mint 400 Limited race also came to an abrupt end when his UTV’s rear differential failed.
The Limited event, which took place on Friday at the same time as Unlimited qualifying, was won by Dustin Jones. The Pro UTV Turbo racer completed the race in 8:28:17.949 ahead of Vito Ranuio and 2020 winner Branden Sims. The Moto class, held on a different course from the cars, saw Danny Cooper hold off Jacob Argubright for the victory.
Among the young guns, T.J. Siewers (Youth 170 Production and Youth 1000), Chaden Zane Minder (Youth 170 Open/250), Jedi Jack Mamelli (Youth 570) won the lower classes. Minder, who recently finished runner-up in the inaugural Great American Shortcourse Junior 2 Karts and Youth UTV championships, claimed the combined-class victory in a Youth 250 UTV.
Top 20 Unlimited overall results
|1||11||Rob MacCachren||Unlimited Truck||6:55:47.111|
|2||32||Ryan Arciero||Unlimited Truck||7:02:53.038|
|3||1||Luke McMillin||Unlimited Truck||7:03:15.722|
|4||69||Bernard Steimann||Unlimited Truck||7:21:01.684|
|5||60||Cole Potts||Unlimited Truck||7:23:15.736|
|6||43||Larry Roeseler||Unlimited Truck||7:27:33.932|
|7||127||Kyle Jergensen||Unlimited Truck||7:31:00.562|
|8||41||Justin Lofton||Unlimited Truck||7:45:39.931|
|9||12||Robert Johnston||Unlimited Truck||7:45:41.224|
|10||275||Brent Fox||Unlimited Truck SPEC||7:48:39.822|
|11||82||Sam Baldi||Unlimited Truck||7:49:05.430|
|12||27||Steve Olliges||Unlimited Truck||8:00:37.197|
|13||246||James Scully||Unlimited Truck SPEC||8:03:20.351|
|14||51||Zak Langley||Unlimited Truck||8:05:21.515|
|15||91||Alexander Wacker||Unlimited Truck||8:10:14.422|
|16||1088||Chase Warren||Class 10||8:11:22.722|
|17||224||Terry Householder||Unlimited Truck SPEC||8:11:45.083|
|18||102||Casey Currie||Class 1||8:18:01.655|
|19||255||Kirk Harkey||Unlimited Truck SPEC||8:31:42.056|
|20||1075||Preston Brigman||Class 10||8:33:49.706|