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
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.
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