mel larson norm johnson mint

Norm Johnson and Mel Larson: Heroes and Legends of the Mint 400

The storied history of the Mint is steeped in celebrity, drama and excitement. The Mint 400 has held the title of the toughest, most spectacular off-road race in North America since 1967 when it was first run. The race was created by Norm Johnson who was race director through 1970 and a participant from 69 to 82. Initially, the race was a public relations event promoting the Mint Hotel’s annual deer hunting event. What started out as hotel promotion soon grew into a legitimate desert race. The second year it was run, Norm enlisted the help of his friends, famed race car drivers Mel Larson and Parnelli Jones.  Mel took over as Race Director and Norm remained the Mint 400 consultant through 1973.  With their endorsements and a guaranteed prize purse of $30,000, the participant list grew exponentially. Norm Johnson and Mel Larson recount the founding and first running of the epic 400 mile off-road race.

Directed by The Martelli Brothers – Produced by Mad Media

Ernesto Araiza

Being born right in the heart of Off-Road Racing, Ernesto always had a dream to be an Off-Road Racer. After finish college he ditched his engineer career to chase the dream of action photographer. It didn't took long to get spotted by MadMedia where he still works. In less than 5 years after 'going pro' he reached some of the most important peaks in his life working for several international brands and events like the Rally Dakar. After 30 years of dreaming, he still have one goal in mind, to keep his face full of dust.