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JCR/Honda WINS the 51st running of the #MINT400 with Ricky Brabec & Kendall Norman team!

Mar 11th, 2019

This past Saturday was a one for the "Off-Road Racing History Books". The famed Mint 400, created in 1968 that was once a sideshow is now known as the "Great American Off-Road Race". Promoted by the Martelli Brothers with race management handled by the "Best in the Desert" The Mint 400 is an Off-Road festival with a massive spectator count and nearly 600 vehicle entries across 4 - separate races over 5 days.

The 2019 Mint 400 signaled the long-awaited "Return of the Bikes!" Originally motorcycles were included up until 1976, flash forward 43 years and we're back.

This year's Mint 400 ran a completely separate bike race and course layout than that of the 4 - wheel vehicles. That meant quality, single track, sand washes, rocky passes, a GP section all wrapped into a 79-mile loop through the Southern Nevada desert, starting and finishing in Primm, Nevada near the state line. With the recent rains in the area, the conditions were nearly dust free. When there is no dust at a desert race it means the pace will be up and the racing will be tight! The race started at 7:10 am. The riders had a GP style start by class, with Pros lined up on the front row. The riders were instructed to straddle their front wheel, dead engine and watch for the banner drop. JCR/Honda's Ricky Brabec got the jump on the field, launching his CRF450X off the first jump and into the first corner pulling a masterful holeshot!

Running a tremendously fast pace, Ricky was pursued heavily by the competition. After the first 30 miles, the racers came through Pit A. Leaving the pit, Ricky put his head down and the power to the ground to get back into the lead shortly after. He would lead the rest of the 1-hour and 37-minute lap pulling about 10 seconds on the competition. At the Main Pit, an emergency 30-second rear wheel change slid Kendall Norman (Ricky's partner) back into 2nd. Kendall put on a charge and ran down the lead bike placing a 15-second gap before handing the bike off to Ricky. The race for the win went out of the Main pit just seconds apart. Ricky twisted the throttle and began to pull out a gap. By the time Ricky had reached the checkered flag he had built a commanding lead by over a minute on the second place bike and had made history.

Historic points: * MINT 400 Return of the bikes (43 years) * HONDA first ever Mint 400 win. *The all-new HONDA CRF450X first major race win. *Ricky/Kendall their first Mint 400 overall win.

Results: 1st R. Brabec/K. Norman Honda CRF450X 4:53:27

Next Up for the JCR/Honda Team: Sonora Rally, Mexico March 17-22 AMA Nat'l H&H, Murphy, Idaho March 24th

PC: Mark Kariya

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