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.
Hi everyone, my name is Jodi Allen and I am the Director of the Ticket Services Department. This is my first entry for the LVMS blog and I want to report that ticket sales for the 2009 NASCAR weekend extravaganza are off to a strong start as we enter the summer months.
With NASCAR in Las Vegas being the premier motorsports destination in the western United States, we have always enjoyed a consistent base of fans that return from year to year, but we always have room for more.
While we are looking on pace for another weekend sellout, we still have many great seats available for the full weekend in the Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Terraces, as well as the Main Grandstand. In these areas you are not only purchasing the Sunday Sprint Cup event, but also the same seat for Saturday's Nationwide Sam's Town 300. As a bonus, your package will include a free Pole Day ticket for that Friday!
We welcome you to join us for the 2009 NASCAR weekend, and sincerely hope you choose the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for your future motorsports destination. If you want to inquire further about the availability of seats, RVs or credentials for our interactive Neon Garage, please call us at 800-644-4444. Visit www.lvms.com/tickets/ to order your tickets today!
I look forward to seeing you in March!
This was truly a special holiday weekend for me and my family as we attempted to do things that 'normal' people do on holiday weekends. For us we're either at the track hosting a multi-day event (which we do on both Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekend) or we're traveling somewhere in hopes of seeing or participating in a race at another facility. My wife Heather and I have been together for twelve years and this is the first time we've ever stayed in town or not worked for an entire holiday weekend.
We wrapped up the work week on Thursday with the ninth annual "Night of Fire" event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring. This event continues to develop as one of the most entertaining events in all of short track racing and is now becoming legendary for the size of the crowd, the amazing fireworks and the carnival-like atmosphere it creates. This year we not only attracted our core group of fans but also a tremendous number of out-of-town guests. I met folks from Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon who attended this year's event after reading about it on the internet and hearing about it from their friends. Many of them were pulling off racing road-trips with visits planned to Las Vegas on Thursday, Twin Falls on Friday and Salt Lake on Saturday. We gave them an incredible show that you can read about elsewhere on LVMS.com. Our racing operations team brought together several classes of local racing, a jet car burning a hearse, an exciting USAC Focus Midget race, 10 time World Trials Champion Geoff Aaron doing motorcycle stunts, the Team Mopar drift team throwing it sideways, and a great fireworks show. It was truly an amazing evening and everyone on the LVMS staff did a fantastic job producing a first class event. (I would also like to thank everyone who paid $20 to Speedway Children's Charities and tried to drown me in the dunk tank...it actually felt good considering it was 110 degrees outside).
My original plan for the weekend was to do nothing in an attempt to stay cool.....that lasted for just a short time. With our Formula Drift event coming up this weekend there was a lot to do in preparation for the show. This Thursday we're hosting a karting event at Pole Position Raceway with the stars of drifting versus the stars of sport compact drag racing. Since I'm going to be racing against people like Samuel Hubinette, Tanner Foust, Rhys Millen and several other "pros" I decided some practice was necessary so I called up a group of friends to give me a challenge. In our first race USAC Midget driver Lance Butler (who only weighs 125 pounds) took the win followed by me, Heather, chassis builder Michael Turner and Lance's dad Steve Butler. The first event ran caution free, no one destroyed anything and everyone was laughing and smiling...then we made the mistake of having a second race and inverting the field.
In the second race I accidentally stuffed Lance into the barriers on the start. He slipped by me going down the first straightaway and squeezed my kart into an inside barrier. On the start of the second lap Lance gave Heather a shove going into a tight hairpin and she stuffed her kart under the barricade (it took 24 hours to get him to admit that he did it...everyone was convinced it was me). It took three people to get her out from under the barrier and I seriously thought the wife was done for the night...WRONG! Heather was given a replacement kart and we restarted the event with her directly in front of me. For the next 11 laps we had an all out dogfight. Just when I thought I had her set up for a pass she would change her line or brake hard in the turn. She would pull away a bit on the straights and I would catch her in the turns. I wanted to race her clean but I saw that the only way I was going to get her would involve me knocking her out of the way.
This is where I had a dilemma. Do I race her clean, let her finish in front of me and then have to hear about it for eternity? -or- do I treat her like one of the guys and race her hard? I took the second option. With two corners to go on the final lap I gave Heather a slight tap to knock her out of the groove, stuck the nose of my kart to the inside of hers and when she tried to get back in the racing groove I turned her sideways. Heather is an amazing driver and, even though I had her almost completely sideways, was able to keep the car from spinning out but it was just enough for me to get by for the position. As I passed by the finish line I could see the look on the faces of Flaven Butler and Marissa Turner and I realized the magnitude of my actions...I actually took my wife out to get a third place finish in a go kart race! This is where I will go on record as saying that I have the greatest wife in the world and she understands how competitive I am and she shares that same drive. I know that if it ever came down to it she would probably crash me out to win as well...and I love her for it! It was a great time and I appreciate Brad Mark and the crew at Pole Position for not tossing us out. I'm dialed in and ready for this Thursday's event...my goal is to finish ahead of at least one of those aforementioned professional racers. We might also have the "Battle-of-the-Blairs Round 2"...find out between 7 and 8:30 p.m. this Thursday at Pole Position. You can meet some great drift and drag racers, watch them race and you might get to see me beaten by my wife.
Saturday was spent at home with 18 of our closest friends, watching the Daytona race, grilling out and playing mini-golf as well as the Jeg's bean bag game. This time around Heather and I decided to play on the same team in the bean bag game (also known as cornhole) and went 5-0 in tournament competition - we didn't engage in any competitive activity against one another after Friday night's battle. Sunday was more prep for Formula Drift and Battle of the Imports as well as a great day viewing the British Grand Prix, the IRL race from Watkin's Glen, the Pinks All-Out Out Takes show from our event last September and watching my buddy Gary Scelzi on Wind Tunnel. Other than working on my son Austin's quarter-midget and doing some shakedown runs on his Bandolero it was all about relaxing this weekend. It felt nice and I hope to do it again sometime.
We're now knee deep in preparation for the Formula Drift and Battle of the Imports event. Throughout the weekend I was exchanging calls, e-mails and texts with both sanctioning groups to fine-tune the show. Our midway is going to be bigger than expected, we're going to have more than twice the number of drift teams than last year and the support we're receiving from the sanctioning groups is amazing. It's a tremendous balancing act to keep everyone on the same page but I feel like everyone is working together to create a fantastic event. We're in the process of transforming our dragstrip pro pit area into a 6,000 seat "drift arena," we'll have more than 200 sport compact drag racers (and a couple of jet cars), a huge car show and all sorts of other automotive lifestyle activities. It really is a three-ring circus for automotive activity that everyone should experience at least one time.
Once that show is behind us we slow down for our summer break. The drag strip is quiet until August 1 and the Bullring is on a break until August 2. For the first time in many, many years I'm skipping the NHRA National Event in Seattle to go back to Charlotte for a few days. The family and I are going to watch the Summer Shoot-out event at Lowe's Motor Speedway, tour the construction site for the new zMAX Dragway and visit with my parents who are meeting us in Charlotte. Our racing operations staff is using this time to finalize our 2009 event schedule as well as prepare for our huge September, October and November races. I'm also working with the great folks at Belfab Racing Products and Tanner Racing to put together a new quarter midget for Austin to replace the one he just outgrew and we're getting dialed in for his debut in Bandoleros next month.
I would like to thank all of the fans and participants who not only visit our live events but also check out LVMS.com. This is my first official blog entry and I'm honored that our public relations staff asked me to participate. I'm sure I'll be visiting with you again soon to talk about our incredible events, brag about my kid and to give you updates on the marriage counseling and/or divorce proceedings should the wife and I join one of the karting leagues. Until then, see you at the races.