Bruton Smith wants 2nd Cup race for Vegas

Bruton Smith had a field day yesterday celebrating his sellout crowd of some 156,000 here, which contrasted sharply with the mediocre crowd of 70,000 two weeks ago at California Speedway, just three hours down I-15.

Perhaps to emphasize Chris Powell's salesmanship as head of this track, Smith, who owns this track and six others, announced a new 14,000-seat addition for next year's Las Vegas 400. The track has 144,000 seats, but some of those seats will be lost in the building process.

Smith said that the sellout shows that NASCAR's Brian France should award this city a second Nextel Cup tour date next season.

"We're investing $30 million here this year, and we'll invest $50 million next year," Smith said. "NASCAR works here, definitely works here. And I'm investing heavily just to keep up with this city. I'll have to invest easily another $100 million in this facility, just to keep up with the city. We've got a lot of things planned here, and you'll love all of them."

One of those investments could be a major hotel here at the northern end of Las Vegas Blvd. And Smith hints he'd like to see the new downtown monorail extended to this track. "That monorail is something they need in Charlotte, too," Smith said.

The bottom line: Smith says that Las Vegas Motor Speedway clearly deserves a second Cup tour date. "We'll be begging and pleading on this one," Smith said. "I think the sport deserves to be here that second time. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. Whatever the sport, you need to be here. There are 132,000 hotel rooms here now, and by October there will be 142,000. Everybody loves to come to Las Vegas. This is a super city, and our sport needs to be here in a big way." Winston Salem-Journal

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