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DATE News (chronologically)
03/15/12
nassprint
Will Las Vegas get the 2nd Cup date it deserves?  
A large crowd was on hand in Vegas
The recently completed NASCAR weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was clearly evident that this race track, along with the city of Las Vegas, clearly understands how to cater to every need and want a racing fan could ever have. It was also absolute proof that the words racing and Las Vegas belongs in the same sentence.

The following are just a few major "bullet Points" to support the theory:

  • An estimated 150,000 were on hand to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series run the Kobalt Tools 400. In this day and age, there aren't many tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule that can make that claim.
  • An estimated 70,000 were on hand to watch the very exciting Sams Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway offered its fans a special package that combined reserved seating with the special amenities of visiting their Neon Garage, a spectacular opportunity to see the cars, drivers and race team members up close. One of these packages even allowed fans to sit in on the Sprint Cup driver's meeting, a first time ever experience. Commenting on that rare fan access was Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Senior vice President of Racing Operations, who said: "the entire NASCAR community has always worked closely to ensure that we are the most fan friendly sport. This is another terrific example of a race track providing fans with access that is unprecedented in sports."

The racing at Las Vegas was not just limited to the speedway's 1.5 mile oval. Fans who arrived earlier in the week were treated to some Wednesday and Thursday night action at the facility's famed one half mile dirt track. The two days of dirt tracking featured red hot action from the West Coast Late Model Shootout, the IMCA Modifieds, the West Coast 360 Sprint Car Showdown as well as a special appearance by the famed World Of Outlaw Sprint Car Series.

There was plenty of fan friendly activity off of the race track in Las Vegas as well. That included an unusually high amount of NASCAR driver personal appearances. Three solid days of scheduled appearances gave fans the opportunity to meet their favorite drivers while collecting autographs and photos.

The Las Vegas hotels and casino did their typical outstanding job of catering to the needs of the racing fans that visited their city. There were plenty of special accommodation packages loaded with special amenities. There was also a full schedule of special shows and concerts scheduled during the NASCAR week to keep the fans well entertained when they were not at the track.

This city's willingness to use an over the top, what can we do for you, approach towards the racing fans who visit was a major factor that led to NASCAR's decision to move their annual awards banquet from New York to Las Vegas.

Now that the action of NASCAR in Las Vegas has concluded, what's next for Las Vegas racing fans? The Las Vegas Motor Speedway has already made that move by offering fans free admission to two days of legend car racing at the Bullring, a three eighths of a mile oval located within the racing complex. The March 17th and 18th action features the U.S. Legend Cars International's Spring Sizzler Series. Yes, you read that right: admission is free.

Over the years the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the city they call home, has clearly proven they know how to promote racing and how to take care of their fans. There's only one question remaining: when is this race track going to receive the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series date they so richly deserve?    Dave Grayson

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