7:29 p.m. -- Comments from provisional Pro Stock Motorcycle pole-sitter Angelle Sampey following the second round of qualifying:
"This is actually my favorite race of the whole year because I love Las Vegas and I love Halloween - it's my favorite holiday, next to Christmas. We had a great run. We've had, I think, all of our bad luck in the beginning and the middle of the year and I'm really hoping these last couple of races has mercy on us and we get to do well for our sponsors who have been so wonderful. I've won a race -- at least one -- every season and it's really, really killing me that we haven't (won this year) because I know that I can and I know that my team can. We haven't shown what we're capable of."
7:15 p.m. - Comments from provisional Pro Stock pole-sitter Jeg Coughlin following the second round of qualifying:
"The conditions today are fantastic - Mother Nature really blessed us today. We got a little bit of heat out there but the cloud cover kept the track very, very tight. A lot of teams really weren't picking up in the second session and we picked up just a hair and got a track record."
7:11 p.m. - Comments from provisional Funny Car pole-sitter John Force following the second round of qualifying:
"The track, I thought, was excellent. It's good to be back and it's good (to be on the provisional pole); it's been a while. I'm not the person that I used to be (before the accident last year) because the doctors say I can't take another hit like that - I'm too old. I think that holds (crew chief Austin) Coil back when he really wants to go to crunch time. I said to him, ‘let's go for it or let's go home.'"
7 p.m. -- Comments from provisional Top Fuel pole-sitter Tony Schumacher following the second round of qualifying:
"We went out there and it shook at 60 feet. That's always uncomfortable because we have not had the most success on Friday nights, we just haven't. It shook and then it just went into warp speed. The circumstances where you've got to qualify to be the champ and you've won 14 races, you don't want it to be anticlimactic where you just squeeze in; you want to prove the point, I guess."
6:51 p.m. - John Force took advantage of cooler track temperatures and powered his Ford Mustang Funny Car to the provisional pole under the lights at The Strip.
Force's pass of 4.062 at 307.37 mph gave him the top qualifying position after two rounds. Cruz Pedregon was second and Melanie Troxel was third. Ashley Force was fourth fastest and Funny Car points leader Tim Wilkerson was fifth.
In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher regained the provisional pole with a run of 3.781 at 316.60 on the final pass of the evening. Antron Brown, who had grabbed the provisional pole earlier in the session with a run of 3.812 at 315.49 mph, was second and Larry Dixon was third.
5:50 p.m. - Midway through the second round of pro qualifying, Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Bike) and Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) are the top qualifiers and both have established track records.
Because an earlier oil-down stretched out the second round of qualifying until early evening, Coughlin had ideal conditions when he made his second run and improved to a track-record 6.703 at 205.47 mph. Sampey's first-round run of 6.993 at 188.34 mph kept her on top of the speeds charts.
4:55 p.m. - The two annual NHRA National events at The Strip always are the most important races of the season for Las Vegas resident Rod Fuller. But this weekend's ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals has taken on even more importance for Fuller now that Tony Schumacher has all but clinched the Top Fuel season championship.
"I kind of feel like we're a wounded animal backed in a corner right now and we've got nothing to lose," said Fuller, who was sixth after the first round of Top Fuel qualifying. "I'm at my home track, the championship is pretty much sealed up for Tony and we're just going to go out there and have some fun and be loose and go for it." Fuller said he is taking a more active role in the tuneup of his David Powers-owned Caterpillar dragster this weekend.
"I'm going to have some decision on the tuneup this week with my crew chief, Fuller said. "That thing is either going to run low e.t. or nor e.t., I'll tell you that."
3:55 p.m. - After a lengthy oil-down delay, the final pair of Top Fuelers finally got on the track and points leader Tony Schumacher laid down the fastest run and grabbed the provisional pole as the first round of pro qualifying concluded.
Schumacher's run of 3.847 at 317.19 mph was the quickest and fastest of the session. Clay Millican was next at 3.889 at 315.42 mph and Larry Dixon was third at 3.905 at 311.20. Schumacher can clinch his fifth consecutive World Championship on Saturday by qualifying for Sunday's final eliminations.
2:40 p.m. - The Pro Stock cars driven by Greg Anderson and Jason Line have been considered the "hometown cars" at The Strip because Las Vegas businessman Ken Black owns them.
Another Pro Stock entry figures to have some local rooting interest this weekend - but not because of the owner or driver. The ACDelco Cobalt, driven by Kurt Johnson, also has a strong tie to Las Vegas because one of the team's three full-time crew members lives in the Valley.
Brian Strait of Las Vegas is in his first season as a member of Johnson's team after Strait came to Johnson's aid earlier this season after the unexpected departure of a junior crew member. While his role with the team was supposed to last only a few races while he trained a replacement, Strait became a more permanent fixture when the new hire didn't work out.
Strait, who has known Johnson since the two were in high school in Minnesota, is in charge of the back half of Johnson's Cobalt and handles everything from the tires and rear suspension to repacking the parachutes after each run. Strait truly is a "weekend warrior," who flies in to each race. While he's in Las Vegas, Strait serves as the general manager of the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort at Lee Canyon.
2:10 p.m. - Robert Hight turned in a pass of 4.094 seconds at 301.60 mph and is the top Funny Car qualifier after the first round. Gary Densham is second and Tony Pedregon third heading into the second round of qualifying ,which is slated to begin at 4 p.m. (PDT).
1:45 p.m. - Among the notable spectators on hand today to watch pro qualifying are former NASCAR driver Geoffrey Bodine and current NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham
1:25 p.m. - The first round of qualifying in Pro Stock is complete and Jeg Coughlin finds himself atop the speed chart with a 6.706-second run at 205.29 mph. Allen Johnson is the second-fastest qualifier and Greg Anderson, a six-time winner at The Strip, sits third.
12:50 p.m. - Angelle Sampey got Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying off to a quick start by turning in the first sub-7-second pass in the category at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sampey, a three-time World Champion, made a 6.993-second pass at 188.23 mph on her first qualifying run today and is the top qualifier after one round.
12:29 p.m. - At the conclusion of racing this afternoon, fans are invited to stick around for a free post-race party on the general admission side of the track (the side closest to the right lane) featuring two sets by Danny Dean & The Rockin' Rebels. Concession stands will be open and food and drink specials will be available.
11:45 a.m. - Good morning from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where it's shaping up as a beautiful day for the first round of professional qualifying for the eighth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. It's partly cloudy and 80 degrees with a slight breeze (5 mph out of the east) as NHRA officials prepare The Strip for the first professional runs, which are set to begin at 12:30 (PDT). Check back here often, as we'll be updating this blog throughout the weekend with news, results and driver interviews.
Blah, Blah, Blah, BLOG!
I have always been accused of talking too much...now it may be the case of writing too much.
My name is Lewis Bloom and I was asked on behalf of The Strip's Chris Blair to write a blog for the upcoming NHRA AC Delco Las Vegas Nationals. Several people in the drag racing media have asked me to write some type of column, blog or article about the sport we all know and love. Why I chose to write for Chris, I have not a clue.
My normal gig (job) at the races is to work on the TV show for ESPN. I am now known in the business as the "Stat Guy," a nickname given to me by show host Paul Page. My friends back home in the Garden State call me "Stat Boy." I provide statistical information for the show; everything from hard-cold facts to what I like to call "vibe" statistics. What I mean by a "vibe" stat is anything that tells a story but does not really need hard, cold, sometimes boring facts behind it.
Here's an example: how cool it would be for Hillary Will (the blogger for all others to be judged by) to finally beat Tony Schumacher in a Final Round here at The Strip? Now here is a "vibe" statement: Las Vegas is the home of car owner Ken Black and the sight of her first-ever race win (TAD 2005 spring race). I spend a lot of time trying to connect the dots in the sport of drag racing. I have to thank Bob Frey for his friendship but also for the use of some of the great databases he has created to do research with on a daily basis.
The other job I have in the sport is and will always be drag racing announcer. I have been working on the mic since the spring of 1974 when the late Vince Napp (of Raceway Park fame), for some bizarre reason, thought a 14-year-old would be someone he could mold into the perfect announcer. My debut race at Englishtown was the Spring Funny Car Bonanza. If my memory serves me correctly, it was probably eight Nitro cars, including of course, Jungle Jim Liberman. Back in the day (really a poor cliché') you could see Nitro Funny Cars almost every couple of weeks at places like Raceway Park.
Remember, I did not even have a driver's license so the thought of a road trip to Atco or Maple Grove was out of the question. That brings me to my current situation, sitting in the Maple Grove control tower on a rain filled Saturday waiting for Bob Lang and crew to dry the track so we can continue racing this weekend at the National Open know as the Dutch Classic. I still love announcing and this weekend I had a chance to call the quickest SS/AH pass of all time by Charlie Westcott Jr. in the "Warfish," 8.383 seconds to be exact! (Does anyone really know how fast the "Warfish" can go?) The thrill of announcing still has not been lost, but in the current world of drag racing the EPSN show has worked out really well. Yes, I have even announced at The Strip, not only at the National Event but also at the pre- season PS race. I love the facility, the air show (thanks Nellis) and the ice cream (blue truck- right behind the grand stands). So we shall see how this goes. I really hate to write, I do love the concept of it, especially when done well, like in the case of Bob Frey, Brad Littlefield, Kevin McKenna, Todd Veney (former writer, now paid Funny Car team guy), and too many others to mention. Now onto the race and the Las Vegas drag racing experience.
I love the nightlife...that would be something I would like to establish right off the bat. I live on the Jersey shore, hard to believe but, a vacation spot for many and home for yours truly. Going out to have fun, (note: I did not use the phrase "party", too old to pull that one off!) makes the Vegas race THE event on the tour for me. The "Ale House" in Gainesville probably is THE one stop on the tour for the entire NHRA group as a whole, but Las Vegas as you know, is LAS VEGAS! The toughest part of the weekend is getting enough sleep. That is even more difficult in the hotel the ESPN crew stays at, which could be the worst bed on the tour for the entire season (notice no names mentioned!) I really do keep track of the best hotel, best bed and best shower pressure, but in no way do to I write any of that information down. Some day I will come to a Vegas race and hopefully stay at the Palms or the Hard Rock (both right up my somewhat old, but always trying to be hip, alley).
The typical NHRA race weekend, for me, is travel on Thursday, (Continental Airlines is the official airlines of "Stat Boy!") work the race all weekend and go home on Monday. The Vegas race is so much fun that I usually spend my own money and come in a day earlier so I can get adjusted to the time change. Translation: stay out late, sleep late. I have never really caught onto the show aspect of Las Vegas, but I have seen Penn & Teller, Phantom of the Opera (Tim and Kim Richards were in the house that night ) and a couple of years back, a comedy show featuring Howard Stern and sidekick Artie Lang. The Lang Show was truly an act of male bonding since I went with some of the gentleman from The Strip including Mr. Blair. We laughed, we cried....not really, but it was fun.
My typical Vegas experience would be going to a really trendy restaurant and a club of some type. Just so you know I HAVE seen Bob Frey dining at Nobu in the Hardrock! The only club I can get into is the Palms...Playboy Club, thanks to Jim Baker. He is involved with the Pedregon Brothers and could not be a nicer gentleman...other than the Palms; I fail the velvet rope test every time. I can say back in the late 1970's I did catch the last moments of the world famous Studio 54 in New York City. I got in on the guest list. I was out of my element being a kid from the suburbs but really wanted to see what the big deal was! In some ways nothing has really changed in all these years, whether 20 years old or close to 50 I like to go out and have a good time. So that's my Vegas, have fun, try to get in the coolest clubs (with no luck) and enjoy spending time with my friends. THE FACT that you also get to work at a world class Drag Strip in a sport that I really enjoy makes the Vegas race even more special than most. Notice in the last paragraph I never once mentioned gambling or drinking....just wanted to point that out, not that there's anything wrong with either one.
Now onto the reason why we are here this weekend. Race number 23 of 24 in the NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series.
Personally for me this year has been a breakthrough year in terms of what I do to make a living in Drag Racing. It was 1 year ago at this event where my producer, we will call him for "Eric," decided that he was tired of hearing me on his headset going on and on about Drag Racing Stats. He came up with the brilliant idea that I could add the stats on the show. It would be a new element and hopefully something fun for everyone watching at home. The idea comes from the show PTI seen by many on EPSN, which features their own version of "Stat Boy". Since then we have found a groove for what I do and it has been a success. The season has had some incredible highs and some really sad lows. I have to mention the loss of Scott Kalitta, words cannot describe what it was like when I realized he was gone. The fact that it happened at my beloved Raceway Park made it even worse. Like the loss of Eric Medlen and Darrell Russell, we can hopefully learn from their passing and make the sport safer for everyone else. From Scott's passing came 1000 foot Nitro racing. I am a purist and like so many it has taken time to adjust to the new length of the Drag Strip. The Richmond race featured about as good a racing and qualifying as we have seen in a long time. I think now when I look at the scoreboards or the scoring computer I can react quickly to a 3.7 second run in TF and a 4.0 second run in FC and say WOW that was impressive. If the powers that be decide Drag Racing in TF and FC will be 1000 foot forever, I can live with that...... new records, new barriers will be broken. For example I am still waiting for someone other than Gary Scezli to run sub-3 seconds in the 1/8th mile!...(STAT!). I do hope PS car and PSM along with the rest of Drag Racing stays ¼ mile. Since I consider myself a hardcore fan I do appreciate 1/8 mile racing and have announced some 1/8 mile door car events over the years...it's all good. The highlights are pretty obvious. Bruton Smith did build an incredible facility in Charlotte. I was not only impressed by the place, which everyone loved, but what was even more impressive was the crowd! That new facility might be the highlight of the year. Hopefully new fans enjoyed what they saw and will not only return next season but watch the TV show and find some drivers they can root for or against.
This season will be the last for Tony Schumacher and Alan Johnson as a team...you know that already but their total domination especially in the 1000-foot era is simply incredible. To be 39 - 1 (STAT!) since Denver is just amazing. Anyone know who is going to drive for Alan next season? I don't. I have to give props to Hillary Will. I really hope her team finds some funding for next season. Over the long haul they, Jim O' and crew, have done a really nice job. Antron Brown has also made the transition to TF look almost too easy (maybe I could drive the Alan Johnson TF car? Not!). In FC I have to say that Tim Wilkerson has been inspirational to all future Drag Racers who think they might not be able to take on the Super Teams. He has had a dream season and I hope he can close the deal; you do get bonus points for driving the car and tuning the car. Mike Dunn always points out the fact that he had a heavy car last season so the weight change and 90% Nitro played into his hand. Jack Beckman and his team have also been a nice surprise especially since they went a good part of the season without winning a round of racing. Jack surfs so he also get's points for that too! PS is a favorite of mine.... The racing is close and Richmond provided a lot of Stats for yours truly. CB's were flying. CB, stands for career best, as in Elapsed Time or Speed (Not Chris Blair). Jeg Coughlin is as cool as they come. He does not get rattled, so pretty much it is his Championship to lose. I secretly root for Kurt Johnson because, A, he has never won a Championship and B, his speech at the Awards Ceremony would be ALL TIME! KJ like his Dad is a piece of work! PSM is dear to my heart since most of the PSM racers in the class at one time have raced in the AMA/ Drag bike series, which I also work in. Matt Smith has been consistent, steady and very good on the tree this year. He has been no lower than 5th in qualifying all season and seems determined to win his 2nd Championship this year. Eddie Krawiec rider of the Vance & Hines V- Rod is in the best position of any #2 driver in the points to win a Championship this season. He has yet to win a race but has a really fast Motorcycle....if he would win the Championship without a race win that would be something else. Ask your parents about Rob Bruins? I could go on about Frank Manzo winning the Championship again but.......Like fellow announcers Bob Frey, Alan Reinhart and Leo Taugher, we really do love sportsman racing.
Finally, Chris asked me to pick the race winners for this weekend's NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals. Since it is Las Vegas think about this bet: take Tony Schumacher and give the field! Wonder if any casino would come up with that one? You would have to assume that the soon-to-be champ will win another race. Really going out on a limb, huh! In Funny Car, I like Robert Hight's chances. He has the quickest Funny Car at any distance and the last two years at the fall Vegas race, it has been a disaster for him. He is due to rebound. In Pro Stock car I have not a clue, or a pick I will say out loud. We have seen first-time winners this fall including Justin Humphreys (his Lexus four-door Turbo Car RULES!) and Greg Stanfield, who both scored their first Wally's. Maybe someone who has not won in a while will take home the trophy (WJ, Larry Morgan, and Jim Yates for example). In Pro Stock Motorcycle, I would have to say there are a few riders who really need a win. Angelle Sampey, Chip Ellis and Andrew Hines just to name a few, could really use a breakout weekend. Maybe one of them will win the race, and in the case of Mr. Hines, help out his teammate in terms of the championship.
That's about it for now. They are drying the track here at the Dutch Classic and hopefully we will run cars. If not ,so be it. The nightlife in Reading is OK...it's no Vegas though! See you at the track.... please just call me Lewis!
It might be getting chilly outside, but here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, tickets are selling like hot cakes!
Tickets for the 2009 NASCAR race are on sale and seats are filling up quickly! Call our ticket representatives to reserve your full weekend package early to guarantee the best availability in either our Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt Terraces. Don't forget to ask about our Neon Garage passes and Lucky 7 parking pass to get the most out of your weekend with us. My staff can answer any questions you may have regarding the amenities that we offer to make your experience with us even more enjoyable.
I also want to note that we still have limited seating available for this weekend's NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals. Be sure to call and reserve your tickets today before we have another sold out year! To order by phone call 800-644-4444 or you can visit our user friendly website at www.lvms.com/tickets/
When I tell people that I work two jobs, everyone always asks me why I do it. They ask me if I ever get tired having to work almost every weekend out in the sun or cold (depending on what time of the year we are racing). My answer to them is always, absolutely not! I work at the track because I love it! I work hard during the week in the advertising and marketing industry to be able to "play" at the race track on the weekends. And I wouldn't give that up for anything in the world!
I have been working at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race in 2003. I was given a great opportunity to work in the media center for Jeff Motley, helping wherever I was needed. It is fun to try and remember exactly what the old media center looked like...ah the memories! I worked in there for a couple of different events and have also worked as an usher supervisor, gate supervisor and other places in between. I don't think there is enough paper in the world for me to express my gratitude for all the knowledge I have gained since become a part-time employee so many years ago. As 2008 draws to an end soon, I can't wait to see what the future brings!
I moved to Las Vegas in November of 1999 from Texas to work for a local television station. I will never forget that day and would have never imaged that I would ever become interested in the sport of racing, let alone work at a race track. My first NASCAR experience was the race in the spring of 2000. My brother-in-law and a friend of ours sat in the Turn 3 bleachers and it rained so the race was shortened. It was fun!
My racing spark was ignited when I was asked to help a photographer at the news station covering the NASCAR weekend. As crazy as this may sound, the atmosphere in the garage is very contagious. The roar of the engines, the hustle and bustle of the teams running around doing what they have to do to help their team come out on top or at least have a great race, was incredible to watch. The more I watched, the more interested in the sport I became. I then continued to go to races taking my sister and brother-in-law any time I could. Needless to say, my entire family are all race fans now!
I have worked during almost every major event at LVMS, rom NASCAR to NHRA, to World of Outlaws to PSCA. Believe me, I am not a girl who sticks to one type of racing. As many of you may know, I typically can be found at the Bullring on Friday and Saturday nights. When I first started there, I worked in the Tech Barn checking drivers in. For the past four years though, I have had the wonderful opportunity to spend my time at the Bullring in the flag stand. I learned under the tutelage of Robert Thomas, who had been the starter for a while. You can ask him, it took me a little bit to get used to being up there, but now, there is no other place I would like to be. One way for me to describe a race night in the flag stand is chaotic! Ha Ha! This season will close out my second season as Chief Starter for the Bullring and the Dirt Track at LVMS.
This weekend I look forward to the Fall Classic, it is always a good show with great racing! Hope to see you out there...come join us for a night of family-friendly fun! Don't forget to come by and say hello...you'll know where to find me! See ya at the races!
This week I realized that our incredible "special event season" is now at full throttle. In some ways it gets me excited as we have lots of great racing ahead of us but, at the same time, there's a lot of work to be done.
This weekend The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway sees the return of the most insane group of drag racers on the planet...the stars of the Pacific Street Car Association (PSCA). This will be the third stop of the season for PSCA and the final tune-up before next month's $300,000 Street Car Super Nationals IV. This means that we'll see a lot of new cars and new drivers who are in town gearing up for that event. My good friend Larry Pfister of Horsepowerheaven.com has been keeping me updated with the huge number of cars that are heading this way from Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest and there's some excitement buzzing.
If you have never attended a Pro Street event then you really should check it out. Pro Street cars are basically a pro stock or pro mod bodied car with huge motors, turbos, nitrous, blowers, flux capacitators, and plutonium. Well, I made that part up about flux capacitators and plutonium...but most of the guys tuning these cars are mad scientists. They push these things to the limit, and then some. When they go, they go fast. When they blow, they blow in a big way.
The only people that are crazier than the tuners are the drivers themselves! These guys strap themselves into full bodied rockets and the last thing they are going to do is lift. When they hit pre-stage on the Christmas tree you hear motors redlining, turbos winding, flames shooting out exhaust and then they launch. When they jump off the starting line, you just hope they go straight. They keep me on the edge of my seat hoping that they make it from point A to point B without crashing through points C, D, E and F! There have been a few days when I thought that PSCA actually stood for "PLEASE STOP CRASHING AUTOMOBILES!"
If you love fast cars and want to really increase your pulse rate, this is one show you can't miss. 230 miles per hour in a full-bodied car on small tires is something everyone should experience.
In addition to the PSCA event, we're also getting everything dialed in for the Fall Classic Open Competition at the Bullring, the huge week of activities surrounding the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals and the 22 days of racing we have on tap in the month of November. When we say it's busy season, it's busy season.
This past weekend was pretty unusual for us as The Strip and the Bullring were both empty for a change. We originally left this past weekend open in the event that a track rental took place and when it didn't, it was too late to put something together. It all worked out well though because the weather in Las Vegas was really weird, and our crew was ready for a much needed break.
Since I won't have too many opportunities to do something special with my family for the next couple of months, I decided that this would be a weekend of rest, but it didn't actually work out that way.
Most folks look at a weekend of rest as a time to lie around the house, watch football and maybe fire up some brats on the grill. That was our original plan, but it soon changed.
On Friday, some of my former co-workers invited us down to the MGM Grand to watch the U.S. Open of Supercross. My son, Austin enjoyed the show especially since it was the first time he had seen a motorcycle race in nearly four years. It was also good for me and my wife as we got to catch up with some of our old friends. I used to work for the company that produces the Supercross, Arenacross and Monster Jam events back in the mid-90's and hadn't seen some of these guys in many, many years. Austin was excited because it was the first time he had seen James "Bubba" Stewart live and was really happy to see him sweep Friday's show.
Saturday I attended my first-ever quarter scale remote control car event at Boulder City RC Raceway. I've always been interested in the radio control cars and had been promising Austin that we'd check them out. We drove down there to find factory teams and huge trailers from as far away as Washington racing on this impressive little oval. It was fun watching the cars in action and the craftsmanship these guys put into them. From there, Austin and I drove back out to LVMS to watch the Stars of Karting Series presented by Indy Racing League in the infield of the superspeedway. It was a great show and the cubic dollars floating around in karting is absolutely unbelievable.
The final leg of my weekend of rest came on Sunday. My two favorite teams in the NFL are the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers and it just so happened that they were playing one another and some tickets fell in my lap. I was able to find a cheap fare, left Vegas at 7 a.m. and arrived in Seattle at 9:40 a.m. My friend Tony Adams from Renegade Raceways (in lovely Yakima) met me at the airport and off to the game we went. I found out that Jay Livingston from Woodburn Dragstrip and Jason Murray (who covers drag racing for a variety of websites and magazines) were also in route to the game. It was like a Northwest Drag Racing reunion at Qwest Stadium.
The last time I saw these two teams play was two years ago during the Monday night game when it snowed like crazy. This time around it was a perfect fall day in Seattle and the perfect setting for the perfect game. The good news is that my number two team won. The bad news is that they beat my number one team.
When I got home at 11 p.m. on Sunday night, I realized how much I crammed into just a couple of days. I got to catch up with a lot of old friends, got to see some great events, was able to spend some quality time with the family, and got to visit my favorite city all in a period of about 54 hours. Oh, and I forgot to mention that our post game meal was at the Metropolitan Grill in downtown Seattle and the best part was that Tony picked up the tab!
There are lots of things going on and I promise that I will try to keep updating the blog with information on all of the exciting things coming up at LVMS. We're also in the process of working with a few of our celebrity friends to come up with some interesting blogs throughout the Fall Classic, the Nationals, the Lucas Oil race and the other shows so keep checking back!
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.
As Femmoto comes up every year, we get more excited! The event has gotten bigger and bigger and with twelve different brands of motorcycles hosting demos, famous motorcycle racers in attendance and loads of enthusiasts to attend to, the event is always exciting.
Femmoto would not be possible without all the staff and riding coaches who volunteer to help and I want to thank everyone. The mission to get more women comfortable with sport bikes and riding in general has drawn the attention of a lot of people, companies and organizations including manufacturers - I guess that's why they are supporting us with so many bikes!
This year is extra exciting because the Las Vegas Bike Fest is on the same weekend as Femmotot and the weather looks perfect for riding. Las Vegas Bike Fest usually has 30,000 riders or more come to the event, so we hope some can come by Femmoto during the weekend event to check us out. With street demos happening for the second year we decided to open the street demos to men as well, but the track demos are reserved for women only, sorry guys!
We look forward to visiting with everyone at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend and if you have any questions about the event log on to www.femmoto.com. Have a great weekend and ride safe!