Mint 400 Race Recap

"We did it!"

Celebrates Co-Owner Todd Zuccone, recapping the win and fun times at the Mint 400.

We Won the Mint 400 in the UTV Modified class driving our BITD “Pro Stock” UM930 Can-Am Maverick X3. We chose to race the UTV modified class due to rule differences between the different series and not wanting to make the required hardware changes to meet the Pro Stock classification. The field was a mixed group of Polaris and Can-Am vehicles with both X3 and Maverick R platforms represented. Along with Todd Zuccone’s UM930, our team also consisted of Jacob Zuccone’s UM970 Can-Am X3 and Rick Ness’s U906 Can-Am X3.

The second car in our team was built, prepped and raced by Jacob Zuccone. Jacob is a self-funded, passionate and focused 19-year-old who dedicates everything he has into building and racing his UM970 Can-Am X3. Besides preparing his own car for the Mint 400, he was instrumental in orchestrating the details of building Rick’s car and helping the Rancho Bella Team on nights and weekends to get U906 car completed. Additionally, Jacob was also responsible for making sure all cars were tested and the support vehicles had all of the necessary spare parts, pit logistics and all of the details dialed in to pull off a race like this. Lastly, all of the race prep, car building and anything associated with all 3 race cars is done out of our home race shop and conducted after business hours with Jacob leading our small team.

For the Mint 400 race we partnered with our friend Rick Ness of the hit Discovery show “Gold Rush” and added a 3rd car to our team. We decided at the last minute to build him a race Can-Am X3 just 3 weeks prior to the Mint 400. What sounded like a great idea quickly turned into a monumental task for our small team so we reached out to our friend and fellow off-roader Jack Reigelsperger who runs Rancho Bella Foundation. Jack and his business partner Marco’s foundation is a behavioral health halfway house, rehab and training facility for people who are rebuilding their lives after serving jail time and/or are recovering from substance abuse. Rancho Bella teaches their members trades such as race prep, general mechanic skills and fabrication.

“It was a great partnership for all involved,” said Zuccone, “It was a great way to get a car built for Rick in a short period of time by a group of guys who were truly passionate about the project. We also wanted to help shine a spotlight on Jack and Marco’s foundation Rancho Bella. I have some personal connections to his foundation and the program he has created.” Jack and his team along with Jacob Zuccone and John Bray were quick to jump in with both feet and dedicated the time and resources needed to get Rick’s U906 car built in such a short period of time. All of our performance partners also jumped right in and got us the needed parts to get the vehicle built and FAST!

Learn more about Rancho Bella Foundation here.

Race Day UM930 and UM970

Todd Zuccone with Co-Driver John Bray in UM930 and Jacob Zuccone with Co-Driver Kale Crotts in UM970 started in the back of the class cars and went off the line side by side. Jacob got the jump on Todd off the start and the father and son teams battled through the infield where Jacob came out on top and lead as the 2 cars headed out into the desert.

Both Zuccone’s battled in the first 15 miles where they both made some key passes while battling one another. Todd Zuccone made a pass and overtook Jacob right before the Fox Proving grounds which was short lived. Taking a better line, Jacob overtook Todd and checked out. Todd took a more conservative approach to the race after a DNF in the same race 3 years prior. “It’s a long race and in order to be in the hunt, you have to keep the car together until the last lap,” said Todd Zuccone. After lap 1, Jacob had a 6 minute lead on his father with a 2:07 lap time. For comparison, Jacob’s lap time was a top 10 in Pro Turbo with a ”stock class” car. Knowing Jacob was 6 minutes ahead, Todd went out on lap 2 knowing his son was leading the class and he was in second, he picked up is pace to try and catch Jacob.

About 15 miles in Todd overtook Jacob who was out of his car with a mechanical failure and was out of the race. “I was devastated,’ stated Todd, “Although I am crazy competitive, seeing my son who put 6 minutes on me in the first lap on the side of the course was hard to see. I know how much heart and soul he puts into his racing and to see him out was difficult for me. It took me 15 minutes to get my head back into my own race and even then it was all I could think about.

Now sitting in first place, I backed off a bit to preserve the car but was soon overtaken by a class Maverick R. The Mav R and I battled it out for most of Lap 2 and as the dust settled, he was 4 minutes ahead when I handed the car off to Billy Long and Samantha Rode.” In typical Billy fashion, he was on the gas right out of the gate and quickly made up some time. About 20 miles in, he passed the class leading car who was broken and on his side off the race line. Knowing they were in the lead and having a sizeable lead on the rest of the field, they took a steady yet conservative pace and took the checkered flag in P1.

Race Day U906

After working with Rick 3 years ago on a race car that Jacob and Todd built for him for the Parker 250, Rick wanted back into desert racing in his own car. With the tremendous help from the Rancho Bella team, Jacob Zuccone and John Bray, in a short 3 weeks, Ricks new U906 car was ready to take on the Mint 400. With a new race car and little desert race experience, Rick Ness and Co-Driver and fellow gold miner Ryan Kent both set out to take on the brutal desert of the Mint 400  race course.

Lap 1 the duo worked well together and were running in 5th place. On lap 2, the desert began to take a toll on them, and their pace slowed down a bit. Rick had an issue with the steering wheel height adjuster which had come loose. By the end of lap 2 they fell to 10th place where they did a driver/co-driver change. Jacob Zuccone with his co-driver Kale Crotts got into Rick’s car and began to make up some time. Jacob drove a 2:14 lap with a loose steering adjuster and was able to regain 4 spots and finished the race in 6th place.

The Cars / The Team

All 3 of our Can-Am X3’s are equipped with Shock Therapy/FOX IQS suspension setup. This setup worked great in this race of varying terrain. It was comfortable in the rocks and firm when we were flying in the desert. With the help of the ST team, we made some valving changes to allow us more adjustment with the IQS. The changes allowed us to change the IQS settings in the varying terrain as well as compensate for shock fade when the shocks got hot. The ST steering racks on UM930 and UM970 worked flawlessly along with the other ST components found on all 3 cars.

Our Maxxis tires took a pounding and look new after the abuse they took on the brutal Mint400 racecourse. We had zero flats and the grip of the Maxxis RAZR XT was critical in the loose terrain. I am very impressed with the performance and equally impressed with how the tires hold up in race conditions. After the Mint 400, the tires look practically new and we have had zero flats in the 3 races we entered in 2024 since we started using this tire.


Click here for Full Photo Dump!

Thank you Partners!

  • Engine is making great power with our EVP tuned ECU and clutches. The engine stays cool with the PWR rear mount race Radiator and well lubricated with our Motul fluids.
  • Alsup cage kept us safe along with our Sparco seats and belts.
  • S3 A-Arms and chassis reinforcements worked flawlessly. The A-Arms take a beating and survive the abuse we put them through.
  • KMC wheels take a beating and always perform without any issues. These are off the shelf cast wheels and they have never let us down and always take the abuse.
  • Rugged/HPR radios and communication worked flawlessly as usual and we even had Bluetooth music piped in this race which was great.
  • Although we didn’t need our Triple R lights, we knew they were there just in case we needed them.
  • Our Starstream Pro in car video system performed amazing and our live feed was a part of the Mint400 live video production. We only had our rear camera functioning due to damage from a rock taking out the front facing camera. This will be fixed before our next race. This video streaming technology is a proven system and it will change our sport and how we engage our audience.

Thank you all for your help and continued support for 2024. Without your involvement, we wouldn’t be here. Next race is BITD Silver state 300 at the end of April!


Soul Seekers Podcast Soul Seekers Podcast
Evolution PowerSports
Shock Therapy
Rancho Bella Foundation
Star Stream Pro
Maxxis Tires
KMC Wheels
Rugged Radios
PWR Advanced Cooling
S3 Powersports
Alsup Race Development
Triple R Lights
Sparco USA
LG Creative
Jeffries Performance

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