Las Vegas Motor Speedway has traded in horsepower for a little foot power this week as many locals are taking part in the Corporate Challenge walk and bicycle races.
On Tuesday, more than 500 employees from various local businesses walked the 1.5-mile superspeedway as part of the Corporate Challenge event. Other than the Speedway Children’s Charities Track Walk on the day of the Sprint Cup event, it is the only time the track is open for walking.
On Wednesday, about 600 cyclists are expected to descend on the LVMS property for the annual bike race. The nearly 10-mile course begins on the superspeedway’s start-finish line, makes a half lap around the superspeedway and then heads out onto the remaining 1,600 acres of the LVMS property. The race will take the riders under the superspeedway grandstands, up the quarter-mile drag strip known as the Strip, through several parking areas, a lap around the 3.8-mile Bullring before returning the superspeedway where they will finish on the same line that Tony Stewart took the checkered flag in March.
This marks the 15th year that Corporate Challenge has held events at the speedway. These events are put on by theClarkCountyParksand Recreation Department, and the speedway is proud of the role it plays in the community.
It’s NASCAR Champion’s Week in Las Vegas and the festivities will get under way Wednesday with the Chasers for Charity Fanfest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Gates will open to the speedway’s Neon Garage at 10 a.m. and the event will culminate with a Family Feud-style game show played by the 12 Chase drivers at approximately 2:30 p.m.
The drivers will arrive at the speedway at approximately 2 p.m. and will walk a red carpet through the fans before beginning the game show. The show will be hosted by comedian Kevin Burke, who stars in Defending the Caveman at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino.
Prior to the drivers’ arrival, race fans will be entertained with free track tours, live music by classic rock band The Wedge Brothers, an autograph sessions by Miss Sprint Cup, continuous entertainment in the Sprint experience and a celebrity go-kart race including comedian Carrot Top, San Francisco Giants centerfielder Aaron Rowand and NASCAR rookie of the year Kevin Conway. SPEED personalities Krista Voda and Larry McReynolds also will be on hand to take part in a question and answer session with fans just prior to the drivers’ arrival. The Richard Petty Driving Experience will be offering rides for a fee with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Speedway Children’s Charities.
This week, all the attention at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Saturday night’s Smith’s 350.
The trucks always put on a great show on the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Dating back to the famous duels of the late 1990s between Ron Hornaday and Jack Sprague to last year’s late-race battle between teammates Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton, each year the truck race seems to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
This year’s race offers an interesting blend of talent. You’ve got the cagey veterans such as championship points leader Todd Bodine, perennial contender Hornaday and two-time LVMS winner Mike Skinner. Then there are the up-and-coming young drivers such as Aric Almirola, Timothy Peters and Justin Lofton. We also have legacies as Austin Dillon, the grandson of longtime NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, and Jeffrey Earnhardt, the grandson of seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, will be in the field.
We have an international flavor as well. Nelson Piquet Jr. of Brazil, and son of the Formula I legend, is entered in one of Billy Ballew’s trucks, while Narain Karthikeyan of India will be driving for Stacy Compton in the Wyler Racing entry. We also have two female drivers in the race. Jennifer Jo Cobb has been racing all season and is garnering points for rookie of the year, while 18-year old Floridian Johanna Long will be making her fourth Truck Series start of her career.
There’s also a local tie. While Kyle Busch will be in Dover, Del., this weekend competing in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races, his truck will be here in Las Vegas driven by California’s Brian Ickler. This is a big race for Kyle Busch Motorsports as Busch trails Bodine’s Germain team by just 25 points in the owner’s championship. After Saturday, Busch will drive the truck for the remainder of the year to attempt to win the owner’s title.
But there’s also more than just the race. On Friday afternoon, Schrader, Bodine, Dillon and Ickler will be at Smith’s at Nellis and Stewart to race with four lucky race fans through the grocery store. They also will do media interviews to promote the race. Later that night, approximately 25 of the drivers will be at the Stratosphere for a free autograph session beginning at 7 p.m.
On Saturday afternoon before qualifying, Speedway Children’s Charities will host a track walk. This will allow fans to make a donation to charity and walk a lap around the track.
It’s going to be a fun weekend here at the speedway. Don’t forget to stop by your local Smith’s store to find out how you can win four free tickets to this Saturday’s Smith’s 350.
The summer is winding down and temperature may be getting cooler but the racing action is heating up at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Fall brings NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, the NHRA, USAC and many other forms of racing to the speedway.
While the Bullring is preparing to crown champions, the next major event is the Smith’s 350 for the NASCAR Truck Series on Sept. 25. This event features some of the top veteran racers such as Todd Bodine, Ken Schrader, Ron Hornaday and Mike Skinner against some of racing brightest newcomers like Austin Dillon, Brian Ickler and Timothy Peters. While veterans such as Skinner and Bodine have found Victory Lane consistently at LVMS, young guns have one two of the past three with Johnny Sauter winning last year. The event weekend will kick off with an autograph session at the Stratosphere on Friday, Sept. 24.
One added feature to this year’s Truck race is a Track Walk to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities. Race fans who choose to participate in the walk will receive a free ticket to the race courtesy of the Boy Scouts of America and will get to walk a lap around the speedway right before qualifying begins for the Truck Series.
One month after the Truck race is the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. John and Ashley Force, Tony Schumacher, Ron Capps and all of the stars of the NHRA will take part in the penultimate event of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season. Championships will be on the line as the fastest cars to visit LVMS each year make their second of two visits to The Strip at LVMS.
Please don’t forget that Sept. 11 is the annual blood drive sponsored by Speedway Children’s Charities and held in conjunction with United Blood Services. Please take a few minutes to visit the speedway and help save a life. The blood drive will be held in the speedway’s infield media center and every person donating blood will receive a ticket to the Smith’s 350. All donors will be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the March 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.
Be sure to visit our website for more details on these and many other events taking place here at the speedway this fall. Also, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we are constantly holding contests for free merchandise and tickets.
The annual NASCAR Weekend is in the rear-view mirror and spring is upon us. The Bullring is open and the Ewing Brothers team looks to be the team to beat this season.
This spring also has us preparing for two of our biggest events of the season. One is on the race track and the other is off.
On the track, the NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals are set for April 16-18. This three-day event will feature the most horsepower Las Vegas will see in 2010. The stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will hit the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for three days of heart-pounding action. Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will compete in this event. Stars such as Tony Schumacher, John and Ashley Force and Brandon Bernstein will be on hand to take home the "Wally."
Before they hit the asphalt, many of these drivers will participate in a free autograph session at Town Square on Las Vegas Boulevard South on Thursday, April 15. This will be the first NHRA autograph session at the multi-purpose mall located just south of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the square in the center of the mall.
While racing is the theme for the weekend, the middle of the week is about kids and charity. The annual Mel Larson Night of Champions is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14 at the Palms Resort and Casino. This year's honoree is NASCAR driver and Las Vegas native Kurt Busch. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit Speedway Children's Charities. If you want to purchase a table or a ticket, contact our charity director Rachel Commeford at firstname.lastname@example.org. The evening will include cocktails, dinner and a silent auction.
There is much more happening at the speedway throughout the spring, so come out for a Saturday night at the Bullring, watch the big boys race in the NHRA event or come join Kurt Busch and help us raise money for charity.
By now most everyone has probably removed the Christmas tree, taken down the lights, broken a new year's resolution and have tried to figure out why the clothes that fit at the beginning of December are a little snug these days.
Here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway we're preparing for our biggest weekend of the year. In just seven short weeks, the NASCAR Weekend will be upon us. It's hard to believe that cars will hit the pavement in Daytona in four weeks.
Now that the holiday shopping season is over, it is a perfect time to make plans to attend the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. The race weekend will also include two nights of dirt track action with the World of Outlaws and USAC Sprints and Midgets.
We have a very exciting weekend planned. The annual hauler parade will rumble down the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, Feb. 25. It will be the first time we've been able to conduct this parade at night, so the glow of the colorful haulers blended with the bright lights of the world-famous Strip will be a unique sight.
We have two charity events planned for the weekend as well. As the hauler parade is ending, the annual driver auction will take place at Sam's Town. This is your chance to ride with the driver of your choice during the pre-race parade laps. On Sunday, all race fans attending the Shelby American will have the opportunity to walk a lap around the superspeedway before the Cup cars hit the pavement. For more information on both of these events, click the charity information section at the top of the website.
We're still putting together Neon Garage and pre-race entertainment, but in true Vegas style, we will have an entertaining and exciting race weekend Feb. 26-28.
And don't forget, Danica Patrick is scheduled to compete in the Sam's Town 300 on Feb. 27, so be sure to be here for that history-making event.
All of us here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Many of our employees will be taking the next couple of weeks to enjoy times with their families, but we also know that racing season is right around the corner.
Our gift shop and ticket offices will be open every day except for Christmas and New Year's Day.
With all of our ticket prices reduced from 2009 prices, there is no better time to purchase tickets for the Feb. 26-28, 2010 NASCAR Weekend than the present. Whether it's to see Danica Patrick in the Sam's Town 300, hometown hero Kyle Busch attempt to defend his title in the Shelby American or to see the greatest drivers in the world begin their quest to dethrone Jimmie Johnson, there are many great reasons to visit us in late February.
But most importantly, wherever you are this holiday season, we want to wish all of you a great holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you here at LVMS in 2010.
This is a week for giving thanks and for being with family and friends. That goes for all of our race fans and the many members of the motorsports community who have just completed another successful racing season.
But while you're scarping down that turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce, leave a little bit of room for a big helping of fun on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
That's the day that we will host the inaugural Chasers for Charity Fanfest. This event will consists of a roast of 2009 NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson and a free fanfest highlighted by appearances by the remaining Chase drivers.
The day kicks off at 10 a.m. when the Neon Garage in the speedway's infield opens for all race fans. Discounted concession food will be available throughout the day. Once the gates open, race fans will be treated to show cars from the Chase teams, an autograph session with the Miss Sprint Cups, photo opportunities with the Sprint Cup Series trophy, a racing simulator, rides from the Richard Petty Driving Experience and much more. Live music will begin at 11 a.m.
At 1:15, 1999 NASCAR champion and ESPN/ABC broadcaster Dale Jarrett will take questions from race fans as part of a Q&A session hosted by ESPN's Jamie Little. Once Jarrett's session is completed, the much-anticipated arrival of the Chase drivers and Jimmie Johnson will take place. The drivers will enter the Neon Garage and do a short interview before heading into the Blackjack Club.
At 2 p.m., the second phase of the fanfest kicks off with a roast of Johnson by the other Chase drivers. This will be an opportunity for all the drivers who ate Johnson's dust this year, to get their shots in. Of course, Jimmie will get the last word when all is said and done.
To attend the roast, just call our ticket office at click HERE. All proceeds for the roast will benefit Speedway Children's Charities.
So until next week, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we'll see you here on Dec. 2 as we kick off Champion's Week in Las Vegas.
If there has ever been a week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with more fan events, I wasn't here for it - and I've been here almost 11 years.
This week promises to have something for everyone. Whether you like drag racing, sprint cars, stock cars, poker, boxing, watching your kids dress up for Halloween, autograph seeking or are simply in a charitable mood, we have it all this weekend.
The racing action is highlighted by the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. This is the next to last event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and titles are up for grabs in all four professional categories.
No division is bringing more intrigue or excitement than Funny Car. Robert Hight, the son-in-law of legendary racer John Force, holds a slim 13-point lead over his sister-in-law Ashley Force Hood. Hood, Force's 26-year old daughter, is poised to be the first woman to ever win a professional Funny Car NHRA championship. Tony Schumacher is trying to hold off a fearsome foursome of Larry Dixon, Cory McClenathan, Antron Brown and Brandon Bernstein in Top Fuel. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hector Arana and Ed Krawiec are in a tight battle. The only division that is settled is Mike Edwards in Pro Stock.
Sportsman racing begins Thursday and the pros qualify on Friday and Saturday. Final eliminations are set for Sunday at 11 a.m.
But the events surrounding the racing begin on Wednesday. The annual Cards For Kids Charity Poker Tournament benefitting Speedway Children's Charities will be Wednesday at the Cannery Hotel and Casino on Craig Road. Bernstein, Dixon, McLenathan, Greg Anderson and Karen Stoffer are just some of the NHRA drivers who will test their skill against race fans and poker enthusiasts. Walk-ups are welcome. We deal the cards at 7 p.m.
Thursday night brings us the annual NHRA Fanfest on Fremont Street. More than 25 of the biggest names in drag racing will be on hand to sign autographs beginning at 6 p.m. This event has typically brought hundreds of fans to downtown Las Vegas and is the most popular driver autograph session on the NHRA circuit.
Throughout the weekend, we will be collecting canned goods at the entrance gates. All food collected will be delivered to the City Mission of Las Vegas. This is a great opportunity to help the less fortunate as we approach the holiday season.
And in the midst of all the heart-pounding drag racing action on Saturday will be a little head pounding as well. Thanks to Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions, we will have professional sparring taking place in the midway between pro sessions on Saturday afternoon. Professional boxers Sugar Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz will be on hand to sign autographs as well.
While the big guys are knocking heads, our youngest race fans will be competing for prizes in our annual Halloween costume contest. The judging will take place near the boxing ring on Saturday afternoon.
And if all this isn't enough, we also have Speedfest 2009 at the Bullring on Saturday night. Our 3/8-mile paved oval will play host to a 50-lap Supermodified race, USAC Western States Midgets, a 120-lap SRL Southwest Tour Series feature, a Bomber Enduro and Legends racing.
I'm tired just writing this, but as you can see, there's something for everybody this weekend. We hope to see you here, there and everywhere this weekend.
This is a big week here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the stars of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series make their annual visit to the Nevada desert.
But there is much more to this event than just 146 laps of truck racing.
The week is getting started on Thursday when three of the drivers participate in a pre-event press conference at the new Hard Rock Café on the Las Vegas Strip. Mike Skinner, who won here last year, Todd Bodine and former Supercross world champion Ricky Carmichael will be helping promote the event for the speedway. And if you haven't visited the new Hard Rock, you should check it out. It's three stories tall, has two big bars, indoor and outdoor dining and a virtual memorabilia wall that is simply amazing.
On Friday, the team haulers will enter at noon and the teams will begin preparations for Saturday night's race. But Friday night, many of the top drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino signing autographs. This autograph session is free to the public and the line will open at 7 p.m. David Starr, Terry Cook, Stacy Compton and many more will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs.
The serious business for the teams starts on Saturday morning. The teams will get to work at 7 a.m. for this one-day show, where the teams will practice, qualify and race all in the same day. At noon, spectator gates will open and so does the Neon Garage.
Thanks to V Theater, the Neon Garage, will be loaded with entertainment. Fab Four, one of the top Beatles tribute bands, will headline the Neon Garage performance schedule. The Gregory Popovich Pet Theater and several other top Vegas acts will perform throughout the day as well. Gerry McCambridge from The Mentalist will also be on hand.
When you're not checking out the entertainment on the center stage, make sure to go to the team garage bays and get your souvenirs signed by your favorite drivers while their crews are hard at work preparing the trucks.
We will also have a racing exhibition by 600 Racing on the quarter-mile oval in the tri-oval of the superspeedway. Legends Cars, Thunder Roadsters and Bandoleros will be part of the 600 Racing card.
At 3:30 p.m., qualifying for the Las Vegas 350 gets under way, and the drivers' meeting will follow at 5 p.m.
At 6 p.m., when dusk begins to form another perfect Nevada evening, we will begin the introductions for the Las Vegas 350. If you've been to this race before, you know the driver intros are a little unique here. The drivers will walk through the stands and greet the fans as they're introduced.
Once the driver intros are completed, please prepare for a stirring rendition of the national anthem. Vocal Soup, a group made up of legendary performers, will sing The Star Spangled Banner. Veteran Vegas headliner Clint Holmes, former Miss California, blonde bombshell Susan Anton and ex-Foreigner frontman Domenick Allen are part of this amazing quartet.
From there, sit back, relax and watch the greatest truck racers in the world compete for the next two hours to take home the Las Vegas 350 trophy. Then return to the Neon Garage to see the jubilation of Victory Lane.
It's going to be a great week, so make sure not to miss a minute of it.
Hey race fans,
I hope everyone is having a nice summer. Here at LVMS, we're just seven short weeks away from the return of the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Preparations for the event are already in motion, but we are in need of some help from our own race fans. We are asking all race fans to submit a cover design for the souvenir program. The only real requirement is that the cover concept includes a racing and Las Vegas theme - and it needs to be a high-resolution 8 ½" x 11" vertical (a.k.a. "portrait") color or black-and-white design.
The person whose cover is chosen will be in for a lot of swag come race day. The winner will get suite passes to watch the race, passes for the Neon Garage and a photo opportunity with the race winner at the conclusion of the race. Did I mention that we will profile the winning artist in the program as well?
This is a great opportunity for all of the artists out there to get a little exposure. The contest started Aug. 1 and we've already gotten some nice entries. You have until Sept. 1 to submit your entry, so get to work.
Once you have created your masterpiece, just email it to Aubrey Hall at email@example.com, or if it's too big to email, burn it to a disk and drop it in the mail to us here at the speedway.
Hi race fans. Hope your summer is treating you well. NASCAR is less than two months away from the Chase for the 2009 Sprint Cup championship, but Las Vegas Motor Speedway is already looking ahead to 2010.
We don't have a confirmed date for 2010, but our "working date" is Feb. 28 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup event and Feb. 27 for the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
But the biggest news is that we have reduced the price of all our Weekend Packages and Sunday-only tickets for the 2010 event. In fact, you can watch the Sprint Cup race for just $48. That's cheapest ticket ever offered for a Sprint Cup event at LVMS. And you won't have to wait much longer to get these great deals. Tickets go on sale Aug. 17. Between a strong renewal period and these lower prices, we look for tickets to go fast once Aug. 17 arrives.
We also made a dramatic reduction in price for Neon Garage passes. If you haven't been to the Neon Garage, it's a must-stop for any true race fan when coming to Las Vegas. Not only can you get closer to the drivers and teams than at any speedway, but we have continuous live entertainment, specialty concessions and the Winner's Circle in the Neon Garage.
Don't forget that we still have a full plate of racing this fall with races at the Bullring and The Strip as well as the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event Sept. 26 and the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we'll see you at the races.
The holiday season is a time for families to be together and for all of us to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the upcoming 12 months.
The 2008 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway saw some new faces and some older ones make headlines. It was also a year to say goodbye to a couple of longtime partners, and to welcome a pair of new ones.
In the biggest event of the year, Carl Edwards won his first Sprint Cup race at LVMS and thrilled the crowd with his customary back somersault on the start-finish line. But the day before, Mark Martin won the Nationwide race driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports team. For Martin, it was his third Nationwide win at LVMS and his fourth win overall. But for Dale Jr., it was his first win ever as a car owner.
LVMS also saw the end of the United Auto Workers' eight-year sponsorship of the Cup race come to a close. But before the calendar could turn, Shelby Automobiles stepped up and took on sponsorship of the 2009 race. The sponsorship will help Shelby promote its Las Vegas Motor Speedway limited-edition Shelby 427. The race will be extended by 18 laps (27 miles) and be called the Shelby 427.
We also welcome a new sponsor for the NASCAR Truck Series race. Houston-based bed liner company Qwik Liner became the title sponsor of the event in 2008. But while the sponsor was new, a familiar face hoisted the winner's trophy as Mike Skinner won his second Truck race in three years at LVMS.
The NHRA events had different winners in the spring and fall, but the fall's ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals saw Tony Schumacher hoist the trophy as the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world champion. The veteran driver won his title in style too by winning the event and beating Las Vegas' own Hot Rod Fuller in the final. Cruz Pedregon posted his second career Funny Car win at The Strip en route to clinching his series title, and Jeg Coughlin's win in November helped propel him to the Pro Stock title.
Among our locals, Scott Gafforini won his second NASCAR Whelen All-American Series title at the Bullring. It's been quite a change of fortune for Gafforini, who finished second five times before breaking through for his first track title in 2006. He has definitely become the man to beat week in and week out at the 3/8-mile oval.
The local drag racing scene was also hot all year. John Dowd of Las Vegas scored a victory on June 7 and went on to win the Jerry's Nugget Championship Drag Racing Series Super Pro title by 65 points over Glen Copley. There were other headlines at the Strip including a bitter battle for the high school title that saw Ian Perri of Las Vegas defeated Boulder City's Jon Irving by just two points and a rare win by brothers Chad and Cody Webber in the Jr. Dragster Lightning and Jr. Dragster Thunder championships, respectively.
It was also another banner year for Speedway Children's Charities. More than $290,000 was donated to 57 different child-related charities in the Las Vegas area this year. The donation total was sparked by the annual driver auction at Sam's Town as well as the first Track Walk, which was conducted prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
And our excitement is at a fever pitch heading in to 2009. The NASCAR Weekend is right around the corner. The driver auction and track walk are back on again this year as well. We have two NHRA national events and the Trucks will return on Sept. 26. We also are looking forward to honoring automotive legend Carroll Shelby at our Mel Larson Night of Champions on April 1. All proceeds from this event benefit Speedway Children's Charities.
The Bullring will be back with a full racing schedule, and bracket racing and Midnight Mayhems will keep the Strip humming along in 2009.
And we have tickets available for every event, so once you've gotten all the holiday cheer you can handle, turn your attention to another great racing season and plan to join us in 2009.
Last month, NASCAR announced a ban on testing for the 2009 season. The only exceptions to that testing ban are tests conducted by Goodyear to examine tire wear and help select the best tire for certain speedways.
On Wednesday and Thursday, four NASCAR drivers visited our 1.5-mile superspeedway on behalf of Goodyear to test tires for the March 1 Shelby 427. It was a nice mix of young and old, superstars and newcomers. Carl Edwards, who won the Sprint Cup event at LVMS in March, represented the Ford teams.. Veteran racer Mark Martin, who has joined Hendrick Motorsports for the 2009 season, was testing in his new Chevrolet. NASCAR young gun Brian Vickers came with his Toyota team, and David Stremme was piloting his Dodge. Stremme will be in his first year with Penske Racing. He replaced Ryan Newman who has joined Tony Stewart's new team.
The test was uneventful - which is a good thing when testing. In talking with each of the four drivers at some point during the test, they all expressed great optimism about the tires they were testing and the prospects for a very competitive race here on March 1.
Prior to the 2007 event, the speedway was repaved and the banking was increased from 12 degrees to 20 degrees in the turns. There have been three Camping World Truck Series races, two Sprint Cup races, two Nationwide races, numerous tests and hundreds of days of driving schools on the track since the repaving. The more laps, the better, so we are all looking forward to one of the best race weekends ever starting Feb. 27.
Goodyear should be commended for its work in trying to bring a good tire to the event to make the race even better. The tire manufacturer picked a perfect mix of drivers for this test as well.
Martin won the inaugural Cup race here in 1998 and won this year's Nationwide Series race driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports team. In fact, Martin, Jeff Burton and three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson are the only drivers to win on both the old track and the new one.
Edwards is the defending champion of the race, and is one of four different drivers to win a Cup race at LVMS driving for Jack Roush. Stremme has an amazing Nationwide Series record at LVMS. In four starts, he has never finished worse than fifth. He also sat on the outside pole for the Cup race in 2007. Vickers has competed in four Cup races and three Nationwide Series races here.
Now that the testing is done, it's time for Goodyear and the teams to return to their respective headquarters and process the data. It's also time for everyone to take a break and enjoy the holiday season. The NASCAR Weekend here in Las Vegas is less than three months away, so if you haven't made plans to be here, it's time to start.
I hope all of you are enjoying the exciting racing that's been taking place across the country lately. The NASCAR guys had an interesting weekend in Talladega with an amazing finish, some big crashes and hot tempers. Judging by the pleasantries exchanged Thursday at our sister track in Charlotte between Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards, it looks like there may be more fireworks in store before the Chase sorts itself out.
They don't have drivers crashing and clashing in the NHRA, but the Countdown to the Championship for the hot rods is getting close to a conclusion, and we're getting ready to help decide the titles here in Las Vegas. After this weekend's event in Richmond, only two races will remain on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing schedule and the next stop is right here at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
Our fall NHRA event, the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals, is one of our favorite events here at the speedway. The Friday qualifying always falls on Nevada Day, a state holiday, and gives many families the opportunity to come out to the speedway and enjoy drag racing on a day off. This year, Halloween also falls on that Friday and we've planned a Halloween costume contest for kids and many of the teams will have candy so the kids can trick or treat after the second round of pro qualifying.
But even before the first Top Fuel or Funny Car makes a pass, there will be plenty of activities for all of our fans. Several of the NHRA drivers will be on hand for the annual Speedway Children's Charities Cards for Kids Poker Tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at the Cannery. As a former winner of this event, I would like to become the first two-time winner of the tournament. But if I can't win, I at least want to beat Brandon Bernstein, who is the biggest trash talker among all of the NHRA drivers when it comes to his poker skills. I'm coming for you Brandon.
The night after the poker tournament, we'll have about 30 drivers signing autographs, show cars and a live band on Fremont Street from 6-8 p.m. Our annual Fan Festival has become one of the most popular in drag racing.
If you happen to be out and about this weekend, make a visit to the Hispanic International Day Parade and Festival downtown. We'll have an entry in the parade and a booth at the festival. So stop by and see Miguel and Kris while you're there and sign up to win tickets to the Feb. 28 Sam's Town 300.
For now, have a nice weekend, and we'll see you at the races.
It's race week here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway! This week the stars of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series are headed to Las Vegas, and after last week's event at New Hampshire, race fans should be prepared for anything.
In case you missed it, Ron Hornaday won the race at New Hampshire on Saturday and has sliced a major chunk off of Johnny Benson's points lead. Considering that neither Benson nor Hornaday has ever won at LVMS, expect to see those two bring their "A" games to the high-banked superspeedway this week.
But the battle between Benson and Hornaday might just be the undercard. Following Saturday's race at New Hampshire, the teams of David Starr and Todd Bodine engaged in quite a dust-up on pit road. Even the mild-mannered Starr himself was ready to go after someone once he got out of his truck. It appeared that Bodine's team was upset over contact on the track that it blamed on Starr. Regardless of the reason, it appears that a feud has started between the two and Bodine may be looking to settle the score with Starr this week.
But before the drivers take to the speedway, many of them will take part in a driver autograph session on Friday night at the Stratosphere. It's the second straight year the speedway has partnered up with the tallest hotel in the west and about 20 of the top drivers will be there. There is no charge for the autograph session either.
Race day at LVMS is always fun. The Neon Garage is going to be open for just ten bucks. That's a great way to see live entertainment, get the drivers' autographs and even get a chance to watch the post-race Winner's Circle activities.
So make no other plans this weekend. Get your friends and family together and make Saturday a day at the races. I'll see you there.
Driving to the speedway this morning and seeing all of the school buses and 15 mile per hour speed zones reminded me that fall is right around the corner. The starts of school and football season are staples of the fall, but the upcoming Labor Day weekend also means busy times in the racing world.
The national racing scene is really starting to get interesting. Carl Edwards and our own Las Vegas native Kyle Busch have turned the race for the Sprint Cup title into their own personal bout, it seems. Following the Richmond race in two weeks, the season will get even more interesting as the final 12 drivers who qualify for NASCAR Chase for the Cup are set. Even though it looks like the Kyle and Carl show, a blown engine here or a crash there is all it takes, and anyone could make a move.
The NHRA is getting ready for its final race before the Countdown to the Championship begins. This weekend's U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis will set the field for the NHRA Countdown, and our own Hot Rod Fuller will be among those in Top Fuel trying to put a stop to Tony Schumacher's hold on the division. Speaking of NHRA, we're excited about our sister property, Lowe's Motor Speedway, and its opening of the Z-Max Dragway at Concord in a couple of weeks. It will be the first event for the new facility, which has been receiving rave reviews from racers and fans.
But while the national scene is getting all of the headlines, we're busy here at LVMS as well. The Bullring is down to just two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events. This Saturday's 33-lap doubleheaders for Late Models and Super Late Models may determine a champion, while many close battles remain in many other divisions. Meanwhile, the Strip will be hosting the annual Labor Day PSCA Nationals.
Everyone at the speedway is busy preparing for the Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race scheduled for Sept. 20. We're expecting a big crowd and have some fun events planned for the fans as well. We're working on the details of a driver autograph session as well as a promotion with local media that will allow four lucky race fans to get closer to the racing and the drivers than ever before. Make sure to keep checking out the LVMS blog for more details.
For now, enjoy the last holiday weekend for a while and come out to the speedway this weekend for stock car racing and drag racing. And, if you're around the house on Saturday morning, tune it to ESPN to watch my Virginia Tech Hokies take on the mighty Pirates of East Carolina.
Construction crews have been working long hours installing a new SAFER barrier along the inside wall of the back straightaway of the superspeedway this week.
I'm sure many of you remember Jeff Gordon's crash in that area during this year's Sprint Cup race. During that race, there was no SAFER barrier along the inside of the backstretch. Following that crash, our management team, officials from NASCAR and a team of engineers from the University of Nebraska decided to install a new barrier.
SAFER stands for Steel and Foam Energy Reduction. These barriers were first introduced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway about seven years ago. All NASCAR tracks now have SAFER barriers attached to most of their crash walls.
Gordon's crash in March attracted a great deal of media attention, so we decided to invite our local media out to the speedway on Thursday to get a first-hand look at the new barrier.
All four of Las Vegas' network television affiliates showed up at the speedway to film reports. We owe a special thanks to NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan. Brendan raced Wednesday night in Bristol, Tenn., hopped on an airplane after the race and flew to Las Vegas just to be available for interviews with the media. Brendan is from Las Vegas and his family owns the South Point Casino. He and his family are great friends of the speedway, so we were really happy that he was willing to come to town even though he now makes his home in Charlotte, N.C.
We were pleasantly surprised that John Rohde also made a visit to the speedway. Who is John Rohde? John is a professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and is part of the university's Midwest Roadside Safety facility, which helped develop the SAFER barriers. John and his partner Dr. Dean Sicking have worked with speedways and sanctioning bodies for several years studying crashes, wall angles and lots of data to help make the sport safer for the competitors.
John was very gracious with his time on Thursday, as he patiently answered several questions from the media who turned out.
I also want to offer big thanks to the men who are installing the barrier. These guys have been working during the overnight hours because of our August heat, but they stayed around until early afternoon to make sure the TV crews could get some of the crews at work.
The first drivers who will get a chance to test the new barriers will be the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pilots. The Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350 is Sept. 20, and while we hope no one impacts the new barrier, the drivers know it's there.
And if you miss the local TV reports about the installation of the new SAFER barrier, make sure to click on the video on our website and see a full report on Monday's edition of This Week at LVMS.
It's been three weeks since we added video and blogs to our website, and we hope you are enjoying the new content.
We appreciate the time that our racers and employees have taken to write blog entries. As time passes, we hope they give you a glimpse behind the scenes into what it takes to compete in and produce events as well as a look into the personal lives of our racers and staff.
Our webcast, "This Week at LVMS" is getting ready to begin production for August, and we're excited to have Amanda Bench as our host. Amanda has done a lot of modeling and commercial work in the Las Vegas area and we look forward to seeing her grow as the face of our news program on lvms.com.
To see all of our recent videos, visit http://www.lvms.com/gallery/video/
As the summer winds down, the public relations department is turning its attention to the fall season and two major events - the Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event and the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals.
We're in the midst of putting together a promotion with four local media outlets for our truck race. We will choose four lucky winners to be part of one of the truck's race teams for the event. We will have more details in the coming weeks. We also are in the planning stages of driver autograph sessions for both the truck race and the NHRA event, and we will also have charity events set up in conjunction with both events as well.
Racing at the speedway is taking a two-week break as the July heat sets in here in Las Vegas. It's also the time of year that we have to watch for those late afternoon thunderstorms, so it's a good time to have a break in the schedule. But we will be back in full force the first weekend in August as Midnight Mayhem returns to the Strip and the Bullring gets going again.
This is also the time of year I start thinking about the upcoming football season. Since my Baltimore Orioles are in their familiar place - the American League East Division cellar -- my hopes turn to the Dallas Cowboys and my beloved Virginia Tech Hokies for the fall. It should be a good year in Dallas, but the Hokies will have their hands full.
Blogs are everywhere today. Entertainers, athletes, journalists, politicians and almost anyone with access to a computer has a blog these days. Now, Las Vegas Motor Speedway is following suit.
This is the first of what will be a regularly updated blog with many contributors. This blog will be maintained by employees of the speedway, some of our local racers at the Bullring and The Strip as well as an occasional guest entry from some of the top names in motorsports.
While some of this blog will be used to promote the many upcoming events at the speedway, it will also give the visitors who log on to our website a look at the personal side of the speedway and its racers.
Our local lineup of bloggers will include a pair of Super Late Model drivers, a Legends driver and a Super Pro drag racer. Super Late Model standouts Jim Petrie and "Bear" Rzesnowiecky will join Legends racer Cheyanne Schindler and drag racer Becky Phlegar. They'll take you inside their racing fortunes as well as the goings on in every day life as they lead normal careers away from the speedway.
We hope this blog gives you an inside look at the human side of the speedway. From time to time, employees from various departments will blog to give you some insight into their departments and their lives.
We also hope you will take notice of the new video element on our website. Our newscast will be updated weekly and will give you a preview of upcoming events and will include occasional news stories as they occur.
For now, our staff is busy getting ready to put next year's NASCAR tickets on sale and getting ready for our big July 3 Night of Fire. The NASCAR tickets go on sale Tuesday and the Night of Fire, complete with stock car racing, stunt bikes, a jet car and one of the valley's best fireworks shows is set for Thursday.
So enjoy the blog and the new features on the website, and we hope to see you at the races.