Rich Minga can trace his off-road heritage to his childhood, when he went camping in Baja with his family.
Rob MacCachren. Rob Mac. Rob. Call him whatever you want, but you’ll never catch him. He’s the most decorated driver in off-road racing history. He’s racked up more than 20 off-road championships. His trophy case is more reminiscent of a storage unit. So we sat down for a deeper look at the man glued to the top of the podium.
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How did you get into racing?
My dad was a general contractor in Las Vegas. One of his buildings had an off-road buggy shop that sold parts—and my dad actually ended up buying the shop. When I was 16, he asked if I wanted to try off-road racing. We ended up being a team in my very first race. It was 250 miles and the laps were about 60 miles. He started the race, driving the first two laps, and I drove the last three. We finished in sixth place, but all my lap times beat his. I loved it and wanted to keep doing it.
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“To finish first, first you must finish.”
How did you hone your driving style?
With off-road racing, you see all different kinds of terrain. Over time, you learn how to read each one. In a lap race, every time you come around, the terrain has changed because of the other cars. When I first started racing, a lot of races in the Nevada area were short—but we’d do 15 laps. You would come at obstacles and jumps time after time, so I was constantly analyzing my lap time, trying to get faster. I got hooked on that.
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Why did you decide to start your own team?
In 1997, I started MacCachren Motorsports and found out I’m more successful if I have my own team than if I’m driving for somebody else. Obviously, we work within a budget, but I want to win, and sometimes, you have to spend $5000 to try a new part or technology to see if it’s better. We test and try different things to improve, and I’ve been on other teams where that was difficult to do.
How has experience played a role in your success?
As you get older, you look forward to being wiser. If you want to win championships, well, I know how to do that. I’ve been doing it long enough that I’m wise and smart compared to young guys coming in. They’re super fast, but they’re also crashing and getting flats, and that takes them out of the championship.
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What mantras do you live (and race) by?
“To finish first, first you must finish” and “surround yourself with successful people.”
What moment stands out most over the course of your career?
The feeling when we won the 2007 Baja 1000 was like nothing else I’ve ever had before, and I’ve never had again. I worked so hard over so many years to win that race. Every race we do only happens once a year, so when you don’t succeed, you have to wait 365 days to do it again.
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