22-year-old Joe Terrana has been making a name for himself as one of UTV racing’s top up and coming talents over the past few seasons. On Friday afternoon, he cemented that status with the biggest win of his career—the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Race at the 2023 BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400—after going up against, and taking down, the biggest names in the sport from the 53rd overall starting spot.
“This is my hometown, Las Vegas, so this is my favorite race of the year,” said the driver of the #T898 Can-Am. “Last year was my first time doing it, and I had a blast last year, so we came back to do it again… I’m so excited. Looking up to all these big-name guys out here, coming out here and putting a beating on them is so exciting and fun.”
More than 250 racers were on the entry list for Friday’s action, led by the Class 5 cars that kicked off the racing at 8AM and bookended with the Gambler 500/HooptieX entries that were last to get going. From numerous UTV classes to the iconic Class 11 and even vintage and military vehicles, the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Race has always been a collection of anything that people want to race in the desert—if you can build it, the Mint 400 has a class for it.
Not only was Terrana one of the last starters to roll off in the UTV Pro Turbo class, but Pro Turbo was also the fourth UTV class to hit the track. Sizable UTV PR-100 and Pro Open entries, plus a UTV Pro Big Engine entry from Travis Zollinger, all started their races first. But having dozens of cars in front of him didn’t deter Terrana one bit, as the Las Vegas native quickly pushed his way into the lead on corrected time.
For much of the race, Terrana’s top challenger was Mitch Guthrie Jr., who returned to the Mint 400 fresh off an appearance in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge last week. Unfortunately for Guthrie, last-lap issues knocked him back from contention for the overall win, although he would still take a decisive victory in the UTV Pro Open class.
Instead, it was former UTV World Champion Ryan Piplic who would cross the finish line in physical first place to lead the UTV PR-100 class, and Terrana’s UTV Pro Turbo rival Bruce Binnquist who would get there next before Terrana would make it to the finish. When all was said and done and corrected times were factored in, the overall podium was separated by just over three minutes; Terrana would take the class and overall wins by just 73 seconds over Binnquist after completing four laps and nearly 400 miles of racing.
Unofficially, four different UTV classes were represented in the overall top six, a testament to the difficulty of this year’s course. The challenge was further compounded by rain and wind that rolled into the area as the front-runners began to approach the finish.
Unofficial results from the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Race at the 2023 BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 are as follows:
Full live timing and scoring, as well as livestream and Weatherman radio coverage, can be found at live.themint400.com. Coverage of today’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Race continues with live timing and tracking as racers continue to finish, while streaming resumes on Saturday at 9:15AM PT with the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 Unlimited Race.
The Mint 400 has held the title of the toughest, most spectacular off-road race in North America since 1968 when it was first run. Initially, the race was a public relations event promoting the Mint Hotel’s annual deer hunt, but what started out as a hotel promotion soon grew into a legitimate desert race. Since its 2008 revival, “The Great American Off-Road Race” has only gotten bigger and more prestigious, and deeper fields every year only make it tougher to win.
More information on the 2023 BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 for racers and spectators is available at TheMint400.com, or follow the event on Facebook and Instagram.
Source: The Mint 400