When I went to the Bullring on Saturday, I knew that it was Cowboy Night and we always have fun things for the fans: jump houses, a petting zoo -- and (for the past three years) an 18-wheel cattle truck parade around the track and then leave.
I had no idea what the evening had in store for everyone! As the night began with qualifying and opening ceremonies drew closer, I began to see some 18-wheelers staging in the pits. Believe me, I didn't think much of it. As we were getting ready for opening ceremonies, all of the trucks came onto the track. I thought 'how cool'...but then, when I heard over the radio they were going to race, I thought, 'okay, this is going to be totally cool!'
As I gave them the one to go signal, I still couldn't believe we were actually going to race these trucks! Then, I dropped the green flag and the race began. The race was very funny to watch - especially when they were three and four wide in the turns! It was an interesting feeling seeing them come out of turn four and look like they were heading right at the flagstand. I think that was the case because they were so tall that it was a way different felling than if there were race cars on the track. I can now say that I have flagged just about everything: quarter midgets, bandos, Super Late Models, Super Modifieds and now, six 18-wheelers! As the checkered flag dropped, the crowd went crazy! It was great!
We do have more racing this Labor Day weekend and I hope to see everyone out at the Bullring. With only three races left in the regular season, it should make for some great racing as the drivers try to gain as many points as possible, competing for the elusive track championship! Make sure to come out and check out the racing - you never know what might happen. You might catch another race of non-racing vehicles, or at least ones that you wouldn't expect.
Also, the PSCA will be visiting The Strip this weekend, so there is plenty of racing for everyone! Race fans, have a great week! See ya at the races!
The summer break is officially over! Today was the first day of classes for the kids and all of us here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway are putting the final touches on the next two weekends of racing action.
It's the time of year where area residents start to crawl out from under the air conditioning and venture out into the open again after the summer heat. It's a gradual process that begins with outdoor evening activities and then everyone gradually starts venturing out during daylight hours.
The Strip is hosting two days of racing for folks who love the nightlife. Midnight Mayhem returns on Friday night with another exciting round of street-legal drag racing. At this weekend's event all participants will receive a participant decal courtesy of NHRA and also have the chance to make a run at the NHRA 100 mile per hour club. On Saturday, the Wicked HP Championship Drag Racing Series returns for our annual Pajama Party Classic late night drag race.
Normally, I'm hounding on our crew to get the Wicked HP series events done by 10:30 p.m., I'm always pushing our folks to eliminate as much down time as possible and keep the show rolling. One night a year we purposely start running cars three hours later than normal and shoot for an end time of around 2 a.m. It has become a tradition here in Las Vegas and our local drag racing community loves this event. Many of our teams plan post-race tailgate parties in the pit area with many of them hosting breakfast at sunrise. The show takes on a whole new feel and we are always trying to do new and exciting things for the racers and the fans on this special night. Along with the drag racing, the local street rod and motorcycle community will also be at The Strip for another edition of the "Hot Rods, Hot Dogs, Bikes and Budweiser Cruise Night." Anyone with a classic street rod or muscle car, or anyone driving a custom motorcycle, receives free admission to watch the drag racing and compete for car show awards. There's also $1 hot dogs and Budweiser all night long...which makes the evening that much better.
Over at the Bullring we are getting back to our specialty theme nights and this time around it's "Cowboy Night." Between races, our crew will be hosting all sorts of cowboy-related games and will have a variety of special attractions ranging from custom trucks and calf roping, to a kid's petting zoo. The on-track action is exciting as well with all of our NASCAR Whelen All-American racing series classes, plus the final 2009 appearance of the USAC Focus Midget Series. Saturday night's Focus Midget event is a combined points race for the California racers as well as the Utah-based rocky mountain region racers. The best of the best from both series will be on hand for one of only three races all season long where the two groups race together. That means the car count should be big and the on-track action will be exciting.
The best part of all these events is the tremendous bargain for a family to enjoy the races. At both The Strip and the Bullring the admission price is only $10 for adults and $5 for kids. And unlike other entertainment venues, which may charge as much as $20 for parking, parking is always free here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
This weekend is just the start of three months that are packed full of events. Visit www.lvms.com to find out more about upcoming events at the speedway.
This is my first blog entry since late June and part of that is due to the fact that I've been all over the place chasing races for both work and pleasure.
After making a trip to Langley, B.C. in late June for the Quarter Midget Western Grands to race with my son, I mapped out a series of events to visit this summer in hopes of bringing some new and exciting shows to the speedway. In mid-July I put together a road trip that followed the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) on part of their Northwest Tour. The ASCS Series features 360 cubic inch powered, winged sprint cars that run a variety of regional racing programs as well as the Lucas Oil/K&N tour that is showcased on the Versus HD Network. Their racing format features a short practice session, four heat races that are lined up based on a pill draw system (no qualifying!), a couple of last chance races and the A-features that are lined up based on a blind draw among the heat race winners. Everyone has to race their way into the show and their races are never some boring, single file race with the fast guy on the pole (unlike many racing series). Their races always start on time at 7 p.m. and, unless there are weather delays or red flags, the events usually wrap well before 10 p.m.
My first ever ASCS event featured a packed grandstand at Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford on a Monday night...that's right, a packed grandstand for a Monday night show. More than 30 cars were on hand for the opening event and one of the most talented Sprint Car racers in the country today, Jesse Hockett, put on a driving exhibition to come from mid-pack to win in his first ever visit to the track. The checkered flag fell at 9:25 p.m. and it gave me time to visit the pits to say hello to former Bullring Legend racer Zac Zimmerly who is now running his Sprint Car exclusively these days.
On Tuesday night the racing moved just up Interstate 5 to Cottage Grove for another night of racing. Hockett once again won with a pass late in the race after starting mid-pack. It was a great crowd at Cottage Grove as well and the show started at 7 and was over at 9:30 p.m. I instantly fell in love with the ASCS series and immediately contacted ASCS President Emmett Hahn to draw up plans for a future visit.
Following the ASCS experience there was a trip to Sun Valley Speedway in Vernon, B.C. to check out the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and the ARCA West support program than ran as part of the A&W 300. Add in a couple of trips to Perris, California for USAC/CRA events and Knoxville, Iowa for promoter meetings and a night of the 49th Annnual Knoxville Nationals and you can see that it was a busy Summer.
The trips have allowed us to come up with some great ideas that fans will see when they attend events such as the Open Comp (Bullring), the Duel in the Desert (Dirt Track) and more specialty events (World of Outlaws, USAC, DIRTcar and ASCS) at the Dirt Track. We even locked in a date with the Traxxas TORC Off-Road Series that will visit us in October just one week prior to our NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. So while we didn't do alot of racing at LVMS when the temperatures were above 110 degrees, we were busy planning for the future and fine-tuning the events we have on tap this Fall. As we've said before, all of our venues do more big races in a three month period than most tracks will do in a full year.
Keep a close eye on our website as important 2009 and 2010 schedule announcements are happening on a daily basis. Make plans now to see it all for yourself.
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.