Double Down in the Desert to be

Nevada¿s second-biggest sports weekend


            Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials expect the Sept. 25 Double Down in the Desert to be the third-largest sports crowd in Nevada this year. With that in mind, speedway officials are approaching the event in the same manner as the annual NASCAR Weekend in March.

            ¿This event really took on a life of its own last year with the enormous crowd we drew for the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race,¿ said LVMS general manager Chris Powell. ¿This year, we have added the Champ Car World Series to the racing card, which will enhance this event even more. With that comes more fans which leads to more focus on vehicle flow into the property and security around the speedway grounds. We are going to approach this event just like we would the Saturday Busch race in March.¿

The Sam¿s Town 300 NASCAR Busch race drew an estimated crowd of 105,000 this past March.

            Speedway officials are encouraging all out of town fans to use the CAT busses, which will run from the downtown terminal. Race fans can take any bus to the downtown terminal and transfer to a speedway bus. Local race fans on the south, west and north sides of the valley should use the new Nevada 215 beltway, which links I-15 from the north end of town to the south end of town. Race fans coming from Henderson and the east side of town are encouraged to use Las Vegas Boulevard to access the speedway.

¿The completion of the beltway certainly helped the flow of vehicles in and out of the speedway during NASCAR Weekend,¿ Powell said. ¿As always, we encourage fans to plan on arriving early. There will be racing action on the speedway all day long with practice and qualifying for the Truck race as well as a warm-up for the Champ Cars.¿

            The Double Down in the Desert will be a first-of-its-kind event featuring a nighttime doubleheader involving the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Champ Car World Series. The Las Vegas 350 Truck race is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The Bridgestone 400 Presented by Corona Champ Car race will follow the Truck race. Qualifying for the Trucks will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Champ Car qualifying is slated for 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:TRK), a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. In addition to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, SMI owns and operates the following premiere facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and Texas Motor Speedway. SMI also provides event souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary.