The latest phase of Las Vegas Motor Speedway's expansion began in earnest Wednesday with the demolition of the upper Section 1 grandstand.

Construction crews will spend the next week clearing debris from the area, diverting parts of Checkered Flag Lane and relocating palm trees in preparation for the construction of the 17,000-seat Richard Petty Terrace.

"We're always making improvements here at LVMS, but this construction project is on a much grander scale," said Chris Powell, LVMS general manager. "We look at today's demolition as a sign of progress. We opened the Dale Earnhardt Terrace to rave reviews in 2004, and we think fans sitting in the Petty Terrace will be equally happy with this magnificent seating area.

"We are close to completing the renewal process for the 2006 event. Based on the current renewal rate, the demand for tickets is higher than ever as we prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Las Vegas Motor Speedway next year."

The Petty Terrace will be open for the March, 2006 NASCAR Weekend. Tickets in the Petty Terrace are slated to go on sale in July. All other tickets will be available in September. The Petty Terrace will be complete with individual, flip-down seats with cup holders. These seats will provide race fans a clear view of pit road and the cars as they leave the pits.