The Mint 400 is a great race filled with rich tradition and historic racing. While dormant for some time it has recently been brought back to life the past couple years and is now one of the most challenging offroad races in the states. Desert Offroad Racing is my favorite thing to shoot for many reasons. This past weekend I traveled to Las Vegas to cover The Mint 400, and here are 20 of my favorite photos from the weekends festivities.

All BITD races always start off with qualifying for the Trick Trucks and Class 1500 cars. Its awesome to shoot because teams are going 110% to try and qualify first, so you always get some great shots.

Here BJ Balwdin puts on a show in the distance for the Mad Media helicopter.

What makes this shot for me is how the truck is getting swallowed up by dirt as Troy Vest plows his front end in a whoop.

This is my work place. No mandatory 15 minutes breaks, no scheduled lunches, no a/c, no 401k. Wouldn’t change a thing.

One drivers mistake is a photographers gift.

The beauty of the desert is one thing that makes for some great photos. You don’t always have to shoot tight on a subject, sometimes shooting wide makes a better photo or tells a different story.

Dan McMillin came out retirement after winning, getting second, getting third, getting fourth place at the Baja 1000 to run the Mint.

Thursday night they held a pit competition on Freemont Street, for a few trucks I went up to a roof top to get an elevated view to show the crowds.

Freemont Street was once again filled with race cars and fans as contingency was held on Friday and filled up the streets.

The first race of the day was held for the more limited vehicles. But don’t mistake it, just because they are limited doesn’t mean they can’t put on a great show like this Trophylite.

My favorite photo of the race was this one of BJ Baldwin in his Trophy Truck. When he hit the silt hole the truck dragged in the dirt causing an explosion of silt through the fenders. I was shooting this spot from the side but knew he was coming and that his truck tends to do this, so I changed shooting positions hoping this would happen.

Here is another shot of Baldi Racing blasting through the same silt hole.

This is the same spot but shooting it from the side, I like this view as well because you get a good shot of the silt plume after the trucks.

For lap three of the unlimited race I moved to a spot to get cars moving at high speeds across the dry lake bed. Here TJ Flores taps out his rev limiter breaking speeds well over 100 mph.

Right before the dry lake bed the trucks came off a high speed section into a slight turn that after a few laps got chewed up causing them to throw some roost.

Before each race I always come up with a game plan on what spots on the course I want to shoot, but throughout the day you may find other spots you like better and adjust your game plan accordingly. The first spot I shot was a litle jump through a cattle fence, and on the first lap I noticed before the jump, a few hundred feet there was a high speed section with a slight turn in it where the cars were pulling three wheels through. With the nature of offroad races and how the course gets chewed up lap after lap, I decided to shoot there the final lap as the turn would be more dug in. An added benefit was that the light was great as it went over the mountains.

Overall race winner Bryce Menzies and Pete Mortensen.

Jesse Jones

Jim Beaver

As the day went on the light go better and better.

After a long day that started with a wakeup call at 4am, your body starts to tell you to stop shooting as the sun goes down, but sometimes you need to fight those urges and work with whatever light is left. Sticking around fifteen more minutes can produce some great photos you just can’t get during the day.

Thanks for taking the time to check out a few of my favorite shots from the 2013 BITD Mint 400. To view all our photos click on the link below to see the full gallery. Until next time!

2013 BITD Mint 400 Photo Gallery