NASCAR's 2004 Nextel Cup Series champion Kurt Busch today became the first driver to turn laps on Las Vegas Motor Speedway's new pavement and high-banked turns." The Las Vegas native drove a car from the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) which was painted to resemble his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge." Busch had nothing but praise for the new asphalt surface and 20-degree banked turns as he exited the car.

"First, I am honored to be here to take the first laps on the new track," Busch said." "I just can't wait for the completed product, because what's available right now is so much speed." Everything about it is right -- the transitions into the corners, the new banking, the speed that it's going to (generate).

"When we qualify here, it'll be beyond the track record." It's hard to tell right now exactly how fast it will be, but I think it will be five-to-10 miles per hour quicker." And what that means for a lap time is probably two or three seconds." It's that much quicker." And what teams are going to have to do to adjust to all this newness is going to be incredible." I can't wait for the test session we have here in January.

"There is so much newness and so much adrenaline around this facility right now." I just can't wait for the finished product." I'm out here, driving around, and there's construction everywhere." To have them put aside this time for me is incredible, and I feel honored to be able to drive the first laps here on the new track." Moving pit road closer to the grandstands will make the fans feel more like they're in the action, because they'll be right on top of the pit stops." Everything is new, everything is different." Bruton Smith's dream was to see side-by-side, adrenaline-packed racing here and now he'll have that." With this new surface and the new banking, the fans will definitely get their money's worth."

Busch wasn't the only NASCAR driver to tour the track today." Fellow Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan, who competes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, also turned laps in an RPDE car."

"I liked the old track, so I'm not one of those guys that didn't like the old LVMS configuration," said Gaughan, who drives the Orleans Racing Dodge." "I got to talk to the guys who constructed it and they're really proud of it. There are no seams where the banking rises. Las Vegas Motor Speedway's front straight lends itself to a much more friendly and racy straightaway. At Charlotte, Atlanta and Texas, with their flat double-dogleg, it can get dicey where you get a little nervous getting through there. This place seems like you're going to be able to go two or three-wide at the start-finish line much easier than those other tracks. You'll definitely be able to run more grooves." Like Homestead ( Fla.), where they went to multiple banking, the top groove could be pretty quick." I can't wait for the Goodyear tire test here next week. Then the Smith's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is the first event on the new surface."

Tickets for the Sept. 23 Smith's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on LVMS' repaved, high-banked 1.5-mile superspeedway are now on sale and may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at