by John Gerwatosky | Dec 1, 2017, 11:00AM
As a leading provider of aftermarket fiberglass truck panels, our fenders and bedsides have seen their fair share of off-road races. It makes sense. Advanced Fiberglass Concepts crafts our make-and-model-specific fiberglass fenders and fiberglass bedsides in America, and each one is hand-laid to ensure quality and longevity. We make flared fenders that allow room for the big tires and shocks needed for skating across the desert and climbing rocky slopes.
Before we get to the fun stuff, whether you’re prepping for a race yourself or are just trying to make a badass build, be sure to check out our products. Whether you needToyota fiberglass fenders,Ford fiberglass fenders,Chevy fiberglass fenders, or products for any other frequently raced truck model, we’ve got you covered. We can even do custom work if you need it - justsend us a message and tell us what you want. We are dedicated to giving racers and truck enthusiasts the high-quality fenders and bedsides their trucks deserve. You put a lot of love into that beast, don’t dress it up with cheap replacement body panels.
Now, to what you’ve been waiting for…
The Mint 400 has a long history that goes back to 1967. Originally started by a man named Norm Johnson as a publicity stunt for The Mint Hotel in Las Vegas. The first race consisted of only two matching dune buggies that raced 600 miles across the desert from The Mint in Vegas to the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe. The race gained so much attention that it became an overnight sensation for off-road racers everywhere. The next year, Johnson enlisted the endorsements of several famous racecar drivers and guaranteed a big cash prize, drawing in hundreds of racers. After The Mint hotel was sold in 1988, the race was seemingly gone forever. However, it resumed in 2008 and remains one of the toughest desert races in North America.
The Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) is special in that it is a short-course track race. Where other races on the list largely depend on avoiding major crashes or getting stuck in on a dune, the LOORRS is mainly about speed, skill, and precision. While finishers may complete a 400-mile desert race hours apart, LOORRS offers intense, heart-racing, photo-finish moments. Not to mention if you wipe out during this race, the thousands of spectators and TV viewers all get to watch. Every turn opens up the opportunity for someone to slide out, and winning the series will ultimately result in a slew of fans and fame for the off-road racers who take to the track.
The King Of The Hammers race combines high-speed desert racing with rock climbing, two very different sports when it comes down to it. The race is held in February in Johnson Valley, California. In fact, you can catch the live stream of the event in a few weeks online. Originally just one race - the King of the Hammers - it is now a week-long event with five different races for different classes. This is known for being one of the most difficult races in the United States.
The Dakar Rally is the longest popular off-road desert rally race around, spanning a whopping 6,200 miles. It is also known as a particularly dangerous race. Since the race began in 1978, 70 people have died during the race or as a result of injuries sustained during the race. Twenty-eight were competitors, and the rest were spectators - including several children who were hit while crossing the street. But still, this 16-day rally still runs every year, even after a move from Paris to South America because of the high-danger levels.
This is The Big Kahuna when it comes to off-road racing. Even though the Baja is a fraction of the length of the Dakar Rally, it takes place in one leg where drivers often drive for over 20 hours straight. Taking place in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, the desert race can span anywhere from 800 (loop) to 1200 miles (point-to-point). One racer, Michael Power, described this grueling race as follows: “Driving the first 100 miles of the Baja, it was like a slaughterhouse. There were cars upside down and cars just stuck everywhere. Obviously, we didn't stop for them, so, when we got stuck in a silt bed, we didn't expect anyone to stop for us. And they didn't.” You can read the rest of the accounthere, but it doesn’t get pretty. Power goes on to describe that by the last 50 miles, he was constantly puking as he drove while his navigator almost soiled his pants.
The Baja is the toughest off-road race on this list for more than just its length and rough terrain. Spectators regularly booby trap the course by digging holes of burying obstacles. Racers are warned to look out for groups of spectators at seemingly innocuous points on the track, as they could be waiting to catch of glimpse of their handiwork. This can be dangerous for both contestants, who hit the traps at high rates of speed, and for spectators, as they have been known to be hit by careening off-road vehicles.