LVMS to double banking

Las Vegas Motor Speedway has devoted previous on-site construction projects to enhancing the fans' experience. But after hosting a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race in March, the speedway's focus is likely to shift to improving the quality of racing.

The speedway is expected to at least double the banking in each turn of its 1.5-mile tri-oval. Construction is to begin immediately after the March 12 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and be completed before the Sept. 23 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

"Our company has announced it is going to make a significant capital expense investment at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but on the specifics of those projects I'm not ready to comment," said Chris Powell, the speedway's general manager since late 1998. He did say he expects the speedway to make an announcement about major improvements soon, possibly during an official NASCAR testing session at the track that runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1.

The Review-Journal has reported that most of the structures in the infield of the 1.5-mile tri-oval will be razed and rebuilt, including most of race-car garage buildings and the combination media center and suite building, after the March race. Pit road also is expected to be replaced by one moved closer to the main grandstand.

A source close to the speedway said banking in the corners will go from 12 degrees to 21 degrees, which would allow cars to race faster through the corners at higher speeds and produce more exciting races.

Corner banking is 24 degrees at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., Texas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, which also are 1.5-mile ovals like the one in Las Vegas that are owned by publicly-held Speedway Motorsports Inc. More at Las Vegas Review Journal [Editor's Note: Another good reason for Champ Car to deep six this track. Should make it a perfect facility for the IRL. Get the body bags ready.]

Leave a Reply