After a long list of triumphs in short course racing, Ronnie Anderson added the first major win of his desert racing career in Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Race at the 2024 BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400. Anderson and co-driver Cole Keatts brought their #PO952 Polaris RZR to the finish line in 7:35:48.6, taking top overall honors ahead of Class 10 winner Tyler Mills by just 56 seconds at race’s end.

2 20240308085703 INT9735

“This feels amazing!” said Anderson. “That’s my first overall desert win right there, so I’m pretty happy to do it at the Mint 400. It’s a legendary race and a really, really tough one that a lot of people would like to win. I’m super, super excited, and proud of my whole team—they work their butts off for moments like this. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way right now.”

16 20240308100533 INT0491

The O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Race is the Mint 400’s annual showcase of just how many cars can be adapted for off-road racing, and the 2024 edition was no exception. The Class 10s and pro UTVs may have been the ones fighting for the overall victory all day, but they were joined on the grueling course by a diverse fleet of everything from sportsman trucks to Baja Bugs to military vehicles. In short, if you could get it to drive in the desert, the Mint 400 had a class for you.

32 20240308102514 INT1028

But which class would take top overall honors was in question all day, with the overall lead seemingly ping-ponging between the buggies and side-by-sides at every sector. Brayden Baker would lead the first lap on corrected time, but mechanical issues would befall him soon after and he’d fall out of contention after halfway. The fight would stay close regardless, with last year’s UTV PR-100 class winner Ryan Piplic leading Mills by just 4.4 seconds at one point before halfway.

That’s when attrition truly began to set in as the grueling 100-mile course, fast early in the day due to rain, got more rutted and difficult to drive. Front-runners like Baker, Branden Sims, and Dustin “Battle Axe” Jones wouldn’t finish their third laps, while Mitch Guthrie would fall out on the fourth and final lap. That allowed Anderson, who kept a measured pace all day, to pick off track position in the late stages of the race and set himself up to steal the win.

MGL5283 copy

Mills crossed the line first with an unofficial time of 7:36:44, but he’d have to wait to see if he’d be adding the overall win to his top time in Class 10. Abraham Gutierrez would make it in a few minutes later in second, but Anderson would grab the top overall spot as the first UTV Pro Open entry just moments later. The Pro Open entries of Piplic and Sierra Romo would get back to Primm soon after, but neither could quite crack the overall podium. Defending Limited Race winner Joe Terrana wouldn’t defend the overall trophy, but he’d still win his second Mint in class in as many years by defeating Tim Fitzpatrick for the UTV Pro victory.

“It was a good day,” Mills said at the finish line. “We just kept moving forward. The car ran flawless all day. The track sure is rough—it got super rough, but I feel good. We just wanted to keep moving. We didn’t have any problems, any flats, nothing. We didn’t stop all day except for fuel.”

2024 mint400 limited mb 42

Top finishers in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Race at the 2024 BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 were as follows:

  1. #PO952 Ronnie Anderson, 7:35:48
  2. #1008 Tyler Mills, 7:36:44
  3. #1012 Abraham Gutierrez, 7:40:52
  4. #PO915 Ryan Piplic, 7:41:29
  5. #1003 Nick May, 7:44:01
  6. #PO929 Sierra Romo, 7:47:57
  7. #P998 Joe Terrana, 7:54:17
  8. #PO913 Chase Carr, 8:08:02
  9. #P906 Tim Fitzpatrick, 8:12:15
  10. #PO964 Sean Krepsz Jr., 8:13:03

38 20240308103041 INT1196

Saturday’s action from the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 features a full day of motorcycle, youth, and Unlimited Race action. Gates open at 6AM, with the Motorcycle Race taking the green flag at 7AM, Youth races starting at 8AM, and the green flag for the Unlimited Race at 10:45AM. To follow along with the 2024 BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400, visit themint400.com or follow @themint400 on all social media platforms. To watch the live stream and follow along with live timing and tracking, visit themint400.com/live.


link

By admin