In 2002, Las Vegas Motor Speedway had its most efficient traffic flow in the five-year history of the NASCAR Weekend. The opening of the northern corridor of the Las Vegas Beltway should make 2003¿s traffic patterns flow even better than last year.

            The beltway was opened on Oct. 3, 2002. It connects U.S. 95 and Interstate 15 and merges with I-15 just one mile south of the speedway.

            ¿The new segment of the beltway will alleviate a lot of the congestion 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.¿

            Race fans also will need to leave a little earlier than last year. The NASCAR Winston Cup UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 will begin at noon on Sunday, March 2, which is 30 minutes earlier than last year¿s event.

LVMS also has relocated its handicap lot and added a reserved parking area called ¿Lucky 7 Preferred Parking.¿

The new handicap lot is located in the staging lanes of the speedway¿s drag strip. This will provide all handicap guests a guaranteed paved parking space. In past years, handicap parking had overflowed into gravel parking areas.

            The Lucky 7 Lot will allow guests, who purchased passes in this lot, to have a dedicated exit lane on Las Vegas Blvd. This will limit the number of cars trying to access the I-15 exit ramp from the Blue Lot.

¿In 2002, we had the best traffic flow ever for a NASCAR Winston Cup event,¿ Powell said.  ¿The success of the ingress over the past couple of years has allowed us to make very few changes to the traffic patterns coming to the speedway. The addition of the Lucky 7 Lot and the opening of the beltway segment will allow us to clear the parking areas more quickly.

 ¿The traffic situation 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. Since the race is starting a half hour earlier this year, we are encouraging everyone to get an early start.¿

            Speedway officials are expecting a crowd in excess of 135,000 fans for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.  The weekend kicks off with qualifying for both the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and Sam¿s Town 300 on Friday, Feb. 28. The Sam¿s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race will be held Saturday, March 1. There also will be two nights of the O¿Reilly World of Outlaws on the half-mile dirt track beginning Friday, Feb. 28 and a 100-lap Super Late Model race at the Bullring on Thursday, Feb. 27.

            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.