TOTAL CHAOS Racing the Mint 400

Last year I posted a thread about Nicole Pitell-Vaughan (Team #180 USA) running the Gazelle Rallye in Africa where they got 2nd place. See the thread here.

This year Nicole decided to take on a new adventure and race their 2005 2wd Tacoma race truck in the Mint 400 desert race this weekend. Here are some photos from testing and there's a cool testing video in the works that I will post in here once it's finished.
UPDATE: click here to watch the testing video

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TOTAL CHAOS Fabrication (TC) will take on the Mint 400 off-road race in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday. The team will field #7211 — a Toyota Tacoma, known as “Lil T”, driven by TOTAL CHAOS co-founder, Nicole Pitell-Vaughan. Although TC equipped Toyotas swept the podium at this year's Dakar in the T1.S class, it is the team's opportunity to do some of their own testing and research close to home.

The race truck the team is entering into the 2017 Mint 400 is a 2005 Toyota Tacoma 2WD, equipped with custom suspension utilizing the same uniballs, materials, and construction techniques that are used in TOTAL CHAOS production suspension systems. Standing apart from the 7200 class competition, “Lil T” is not a tube chassis race truck. Under the Tacoma badging, is a production chassis retaining many original parts including the stock frame, cab, doors, and headlights. The custom built suspension bolts to the factory control arm mounting locations and utilizes modified OE Toyota components to complete the build. TC performed a 4.0L 6cyl motor swap, modified a 2007+ Tundra steering rack to fit the narrower vehicle and custom fabricated 86-95 Toyota 4WD lift spindles that utilize Land Cruiser hubs.

TOTAL CHAOS will be posting updates throughout the Mint 400. Follow the team at:
Facebook -
Instagram –
Twitter –

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After almost a 10 hour day in the race truck Nicole and Tim got it to the finish in 5th place. Nicole's goal was to finish the race without losing and body panels and they made it happen. Here are some of the race photos that were just sent to me and some info about their race. Race highlight video will be up later today or tomorrow.

POST RACE REPORT - It was an overcast and windy day at this year’s Mint 400. And while many were focused on the party aspect of Vegas and the spectacle of the Mint, Team TC was focused on the task at hand, knowing they were bringing a knife to a gun fight. However, Pitell-Vaughan was racing the Nevada desert and with reports of an absolutely brutal course, she made a plan and stuck to it.

The 116-mile lap was run 3 times, so the plan was to drive solid for the first lap and sort out the track, race the 2nd lap, and bring it home on the 3rd. All things went according to schedule on lap 1, but lap 2 was a game of survival with the Trophy Trucks that started an hour earlier roaring through. So with lost time on lap 2, and only 10 ½ total hours to complete the course inside the time limit, Nicole had clear air and charged hard, setting a blistering pace on lap 3. They passed vehicle after vehicle broken along the track – not surprising considering the refrigerator sized rocks and deeply rutted course. The team stayed inspired by the fans and teams who cheered them on, as the pump gas, door-banger Toyota on 35” BFG Mud Terrains, purchased off the shelf at Tire Rack, put the hammer down to get to the finish.

Durability test for TOTAL CHAOS suspension? You bet. The best kind.

CRC Industries, Rebelle Rally, Baja Designs, K&N Filters, FOX, Western Digital
Photos: Paolo Baraldi, Offroad Lifestyle
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