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LVMS infield slated for multimillion-dollar facelift; Fan-friendly garage, higher banking, new pit road among changes

 

January 30, 2006

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Artist renderings of proposed LVMS upgrades

LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas Motor Speedway is going to raze its infield - and raise the bar for all speedways in the process.

A multimillion-dollar renovation project set to begin following this year's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 will create a new, fan-friendly garage, add banking to the superspeedway, relocate pit road closer to the grandstands and provide a state-of-the-art media center.

"We are going to make Las Vegas Motor Speedway the greatest speedway in the world," said Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith. "Las Vegas is all about glitz and glamour. This speedway will be as spectacular as anything on the Las Vegas Strip when we are finished."

The centerpiece of the project will be the new garage area for the Nextel Cup teams and fan interactive area. The garage buildings will be constructed in a diamond shape with the team haulers parked on the outside and fans allowed on the inside. The two-level, four-building garage area will encompass 32,000 square feet. A 52,000-square-foot roof deck will allow fans to look directly down into the individual garage stalls as the teams work on their cars. There also will be windows on the lower level where fans can watch the teams work.

In addition to the close proximity of fans and race teams, the fan area will feature concession stands, an area where live bands and other entertainers can perform and other amenities that will set Las Vegas Motor Speedway apart from all others.

"This area will offer a perspective on the sport of auto racing that never has been available to the average race fan," said Chris Powell, LVMS general manager. "And the fan interactive area will bring an element of entertainment that is befitting of the culture of Las Vegas. The possibilities will be limitless."

All architectural work on both the garage area and fan interactive area has been done by AI Design of Charlotte, N.C. AI Design also provided the plans for the Dale Earnhardt Terrace and the soon-to-be-opened Richard Petty Terrace at LVMS.

"I congratulate Chris Powell and LVMS for launching this improvement project," said NASCAR Chairman Brian France. "The new garage area will give race fans an opportunity to see their favorite drivers up close. The strong relationship between fans and drivers is a NASCAR hallmark, which will be alive and well at LVMS."

The most dramatic changes for the race teams will be the added banking to the superspeedway and the new pit road. The speedway's turns will change from 12-degree banking to 20 degrees. The new pit road will be 150 feet closer to the grandstands than the current pit road. Eberly and Associates of Atlanta designed the speedway's new configuration. Eberly was responsible for the redesign of Atlanta Motor Speedway as well as the current configuration of Texas Motor Speedway.

"The new track design will offer more side-by-side racing and give our speedway one of the most competitive tracks on the circuit," Powell said. "By moving pit road closer to the grandstands, race fans will have a much crisper view of the exciting action in the pits."

The relocated pit road also will allow for the construction of a quarter-mile oval in front of the main grandstand. This track will feature Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster races.

A new media center will be constructed behind the new pit road. The structure will accommodate more than 500 members of the media and will have room for drivers' meetings and a full-service spa for the racers and their families. The 58,600-square-foot facility will be equipped with meeting rooms, offices, interview rooms and a cafeteria. The media center will be capped off with a corporate hospitality suite and a veranda on which suite guests can view the races.

"Bruton has been a visionary since he began building speedways," Powell said. "But the improvements that he has authorized here in Las Vegas will set a new standard."

Construction crews will begin their work immediately following the March 10-12 NASCAR Weekend.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. In addition to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the company owns and operates the following premiere speedways: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The Company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through its 600 Racing subsidiary. The Company also owns Performance Racing Network (PRN) which broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to more than 710 stations nationwide including XM Satellite and NASCAR.com. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.gospeedway.com.

The author can be contacted at nascar@autoracing1.com

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