Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust tackled the notoriously tough Polaris RZR Mint 400 this weekend, putting in a solid drive through the Nevada desert in a race prepared Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo.
"The most common question I get asked by fans is how to get into racing and I love that this is one of the ways you can do it," said Foust. "In a Polaris RZR, you can get out and race side by side with million dollar trucks on the same course - for a fraction of the normal price of admission."
It was the first time Foust has competed in the famed Mint 400, known to its fans as the Great American Off-Road Race. He joined the Polaris RZR Star Car team as a guest driver, competing alongside action sport star Jolene Van Vugt and racing radio host Jim Beaver.
Foust drove the second lap of the race on Saturday, picking off the competition as he moved through the field, climbing into the Top 10 in a stacked field with over 100 UTV entries. It was his first time driving the vehicle and he said he was impressed by how capable it was.
"You have a speedometer in front of you and it's hard to believe you're covering such rough ground that fast," he said. "On the Mint 400, there is some of the gnarliest terrain that not even your pickup truck would be able to roll through at a slow speed, and you're out there in a RZR hitting it at 50 and 60 miles per hour."
Near the end of his two-plus hour lap, Foust and team co-driver Bryant Shontz stopped to investigate a noise in the drivetrain, and opted to make a belt change and swap a tire that was slowly losing air. While it cost them some time, they were able to return the Polaris RZR Star Car to the main pit for the final handoff.
Foust was enthusiastic about the experience. "There's a lot of energy in off-road racing. The families involved in the sport, the fan loyalty. It feels like a brotherhood because people know they're competing against each other but also facing off together against the terrain and whatever surprises the race course has to offer."
The Mint 400 festivities began Wednesday with a kick-off parade, race truck qualifying Thursday, and the popular contingency procession down Las Vegas' famous Fremont Street on Friday. Foust spent a busy Friday signing autographs posing for photos with some of the thousands of fans that turned up to take part.