Completed Las Vegas Beltway to aid NASCAR Weekend


            Las Vegas Motor Speedway¿s ever improving vehicle flow for its NASCAR Weekend should be enhanced significantly this year with the completion of the Las Vegas Beltway, according to LVMS officials.

            The loop, which opened this past November as Nevada Route 215, connects Interstate 15 North with U.S. 95 and reconnects with I-15 south of the city. The beltway¿s northern loop was open for the 2003 event and helped make 2003 the most successful year for ingress and egress in the speedway¿s history.

            ¿The completion of the beltway will certainly help disperse a lot of cars on I-15,¿ said Chris Powell, LVMS president and general manager. ¿We hope that everyone living in the western part of the valley will use the beltway going to and from the speedway. Even if you¿re headed to the Strip, it¿s not a bad idea to take the beltway to U.S. 95 and go downtown from there. And race fans heading back to Southern California will be able to follow the beltway all the way around the valley until it reconnects with I-15 just south of the airport.¿

            Speedway officials still encourage as many race fans as possible to use buses and shuttles such as Citizens Area Transit (CAT) for transportation to the races.

            ¿The flow of cars into and out of the speedway has improved steadily from year to year. Each year, we find ways to make the situation even better. We still suggest that fans take the various buses and shuttles that are available from downtown and The Strip as opposed to driving to the speedway.¿

            This year¿s event also will see a crackdown on the fraudulent use of handicapped placards. Speedway security will be checking the validity of handicapped passes on each vehicle.

           ¿We take caring for the handicapped very seriously at the speedway,¿ Powell said. ¿It¿s important to us that handicapped fans coming to our race are not inconvenienced by those who are perfectly capable of parking in the general parking area.¿

General parking is free at LVMS.

            Speedway officials are expecting a crowd in excess of 135,000 fans for the March 7 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup event.  The weekend kicks off with qualifying for both the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and Sam¿s Town 300 on Friday, March 5. The Sam¿s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race will be held Saturday, March 6. There also will be two nights of the O¿Reilly World of Outlaws on the half-mile dirt track beginning Thursday, March 4 and the Southern Nevada Dodge Dealers Showdown on Saturday, March 6. This event will include a 100-lap Super Late Model race and a 20-lap celebrity race featuring several members of the NASCAR on FOX broadcast team.

            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.