NCWTS drivers enjoy ice time at Vegas Golden Knights' practice facility
A day before taking to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Las Vegas 350, a group of five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers got some ice time at the Vegas Golden Knights practice facility on Friday.
Defending NCWTS Champion Johnny Sauter, Las Vegas native Noah Gragson, NCWTS Playoffs drivers John Hunter Nemechek and Chase Briscoe and NCWTS driver Ryan Truex spent an hour on the ice at the Golden Knights' City National Arena getting a hockey lesson from Stanley Cup Champion Shane Hnidy following the team's practice session.
Hnidy, part of the Golden Knights' television broadcast team, won a Stanley Cup title with the Boston Bruins in 2011 and played for six National Hockey League teams in a career that spanned from 2000-11. Hnidy taught the drivers how to hold a hockey stick, shoot the puck and put them through some drills at the practice facility before doing his best to block their shots during a breakaway drill.
It was a good way for the drivers to bond and have some fun before getting down to business at LVMS on Saturday.
"I had a good time, and it was a lot of fun," said Gragson, who briefly played hockey as a 6-year-old. "It was a really good opportunity and was a privilege to get a lesson from a Stanley Cup winner. That's something that won't happen again in my lifetime.
"I haven't skated in about four or five years. The facility was really nice, and I was blown away with the building. It's a great place for fans to go check it out and see the team. If I get a few more lessons, I think I could get out there in a game."
Former NHL player and Golden Knights Senior Vice President Murray Craven also made an appearance and chatted with drivers during their visit. Craven played for 18 years in the league and has been instrumental in building the expansion team from the front office. The Vegas Golden Knights begin their inaugural season on Oct. 6 in Dallas.
The green flag for the NCWTS race - the second race in the truck series' playoffs - drops at 5 p.m., and the event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1. The track's wildly popular Neon Garage opens at 8:30 a.m. and is free to all attendees, and practice sessions run from 8:30-9:25 a.m. and 10-10:55 a.m.
In addition, the driver autograph session will take place from 1-1:45 p.m. in the Fan Engagement Area, and qualifying begins at 3:10 p.m.
For race tickets, call 1-800-644-4444 or log on to www.LVMS.com.