Las Vegas Motor Speedway is inviting the president to see firsthand how visiting Las Vegas for entertainment is a boon to the economy.

LVMS president Chris Powell is inviting President Barack Obama to be the grand marshal for the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Feb. 28. The invitation comes less than 24 hours after the president told a gathering in New Hampshire that Americans shouldn't "blow a bunch of cash on Vegas" during the current economic climate.

"It's a shame that the president doesn't realize the impact of tourism on the Las Vegas economy," Powell said. "Telling people not to visit Las Vegas is the same as telling them not to buy vegetables would be to a farmer in the Midwest - or telling them not to buy cars would be to an autoworker in Detroit.

"On the last weekend of this month, NASCAR Weekend at the speedway will bring in more than $150 million to the local economy. It will generate 3,000 jobs at the speedway alone. Hotels in town have reduced room rates. We've reduced ticket prices. And the races themselves will be a showcase of American knowhow and ingenuity.

"I would love to have the president come to Las Vegas Motor Speedway during NASCAR Weekend and see firsthand how important tourism is to our community. We'll even let him give the command to start engines. NASCAR Weekend is the largest sporting event in Nevada, and the 300,000 people who visit here during the weekend will surpass any event in Las Vegas in 2010."