Tell someone about the Mint 400, and they may ask you what it is. Tell them it's the official name for the Great American Desert Race, and maybe they'll start to get the idea. But most will recognize the event as the story Johnny Depp covered while playing Hunter S. Thompson (with Benicio Del Toro as Dr. Gonzo) in Terry Gilliam's film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The 400 mile race began in 1978 as a promotion for the Mint Hotel in Las Vegas. The course quickly skyrocketed to fame as racers braved the rough roads of the Moapa Indian reservation and treacherous trails like the infamous Rock Garden. With the race back on track, more than 250 drivers are expected to participate. Fans can also get their fix at the annual Fan Fest, where car buffs can meet the racers, check out the hottest cars and pose for pictures with Miss 400, a title once held by Vanna White. The Mint 400 will take place March 25-28.