Las Vegas Motor Speedway

A year ago I attended my first NASCAR race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Happily I'm going again this year. The racing surface and entire infield facility had a major facelift which started the day after last year's Cup race. LVMS used to be basically a flat track but now it's a true speedway. The banking in the corners used to be 12 degrees but are now 20 degrees while the banking on the backstretch went from 3 degrees to 9 degrees! Translation, the race track is really fast now!!! Pit road has been moved up 275 feet closer to the grandstands to give fans a better view and a new fan center as well as media center has been built. Amazing this was all done within a year in time for this year's event. Qualifying will be on Friday, the Busch series race on Saturday and the top series the NEXTEL Cup Series will race on Sunday. I checked the weather forecast and it looks good. No rain and it's not going to be as cold as last year. Last year on the day of qualifying the temperatures were down near the 30's with the wind chill plus it was overcast. Being from Hawaii that was hard to handle! Brrrrrr. It will also be very difficult to top last year's trip. We were staying at the Wynn and on Saturday just after I placed a bet on Jimmie Johnson to win Sunday's Cup race (he had 8-1 odds) as we were leaving the Wynn's betting area my boss pulls me back and says "there's Jimmie Johnson!" I couldn't believe it. There he was sitting in the last row of seats with some friends. We had been out shopping earlier that day and I had purchased a Jimmie Johnson t-shirt and a Jeff Gordon t-shirt. It was a good thing that I hadn't gone back to the room first and therefore still had my shopping bags with me. Luckily a friend had a sharpie and Jimmie was really down to earth and nice. He signed my t-shirt and I then shook his hand wishing him luck on the next day's race and I showed him my bet ticket. I put $150 on him, betting with my heart. The race was simply awesome! Watching it on TV does no justice to this sport. Being there is incredible and the sound of the cars! Jimmie Johnson had been gradually catching the race leader Matt Kenseth as the laps wound down to the end of the race and time was running out for him to catch up. However a late caution brought when Tony Stewart loss a wheel brought the field back up to the leader and Jimmie was now right behind leader Matt Kenseth with 2 laps to go! First Jimmie tried to pass Kenseth on the inside of turn of turns 3 & 4 (right where we are sitting) but Kenseth put the block on him. Now with just 1 lap left it was Jimmie's last chance to win. In a daring move he went to the outside of Kenseth in turn 3 and they were side by side up to the finish/start line! I forgot how many hundreds of a second the margin of victory was, let's just say it was an extremely close finish as Jimmie won the race!! We were going crazy in the stands! Now it just can't get better than that. Meet one of my 2 favorite drivers, get his autograph, shake his hand and he wins the race! 🙂 Below are some pics of the totally redone LVMS, an overhead view of the entire facility and a picture of my autographed Jimmie Johnson t-shirt with Aichan scarf. I leave this evening and arrive in Las Vegas early tomorrow morning. Last year's attendance was around 160,000. This year's race is sold out too!

LVMS- The Neon GarageLVMS- March 2nd

LVMS-This is where 1 of 2 giant TV screens will beLVMS-The new fan centerLVMS-The new facility March 7thLVMS-The Neon GarageLVMS-The media roonLVMS-March 2ndLVMS-Inside one of the Nextel Cup Series garagesLVMS-frontstretch overhead viewLVMS-A view from the backstretchLVMS-A kiosk to help fans navigate the Neon GarageLVMS -The new fan centerLVMS- The new fan center

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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8 Responses to Las Vegas Motor Speedway

  1. getbman says:

    Read your blog last week and was excited for you as my wife and I were unable to go this year. We went last year and – what a blast.

    Wanted to know what you're doing with the $1,200 you won on the Jimmie Johnson spread 🙂

    Congrats
    bw

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  2. Hello getbman! The plan was to save the money for this year's trip but I have trouble saving money. Too much H!P stuff. 🙂 After Johnson qualified an unimpressive 23rd this year his odds went up to 7-1 but I wasn't overly confident (shame on me!) so I put only $120.00 on him this year. I also put $50.00 on his teammate Kyle Busch (who nearly won the Busch race, shame on me!) who had 5-1 odds for Sunday's Cup race. I couldn't believe it, 3 in a row! I won $840.00 this year with a payout of $960.00. 48/24!!! Hendrick Motorsports. 🙂

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  3. Looks like you had a good time!
    I lived in Lost Wages (OOooops! -I meant Las Vegas) for about five years. -I left in 2000. I did day labor for a while during my stay, and quite often, wound up doing clean-ups at the speedway. -Wasn't bad work for day labor…

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  4. Wow you got to work at the track! I know that sounds foolish of me to say but I really think that's cool. You got walk the pavement although I know it wasn't fun but work. I found a happy machine today at TI. If it wasn't for my flight schedule I would'be played with it more. 🙂

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  5. getbman says:

    You still did well – considering the new banking I thought JJ was a long shot. Where did you sit? Did you go to the Busch race? What a finish.
    Last year we sat in row 37 above the start/finish line – I was curious if you thought the new infield buildings would obstruct the view of the backstretch in rows 35-40.

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  6. Our seats were in the Dale Earnhardt stands right after turn 4 and just before the beginning of the new pit road. We were in row 30 and the view was good as we could see around the entire track. On Friday when we watched qualifying seating wasn't assigned so we were near the start/finish line but I'm not sure what row we were in but we could see the entire backstretch. I guess if you sit too far down the new building right in the center may obstruct one's view of the backstretch. Sorry I didn't note the row we were in on Friday. We did go on Saturday to watch the Busch race and what a wreck fest it was. And yes the finish was great!!! Kyle Busch and Jeff Burton battling right up to the start/finish line with Kyle getting turned into the wall. It was a great show of sportsmanship as Burton circled around to go check on Kyle who had already exited his car and in return Kyle showed a great gesture as he patted Burton in congratulations through Jeff's car window. I thought that was such a great thing to see especially after all the rage that goes on a lot of times following these type of incidents on the track. I'm sure as the track ages and more rubber gets laid down on it the grip will get better. This was the surface's first Busch and Cup races and it was a great start! Last year's finish with Johnson passing Kenseth on the outside on the final lap is hard to top though. But with the #48 and #24 finishing 1st and 2nd, that's hard to top as well for me. 🙂

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  7. getbman says:

    Thanks for your comments. Good to know for next year.
    What other tracks have you been too? We are looking at Bristol in Aug – was hoping someone could give seating suggestions.
    Can't wait for Vegas 08 -)

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  8. Jeff Gordon has been my favorite driver for many years but I've only been watching the races on t.v. until these past 2 years as I've been able to attend the races at Las Vegas. Other than that I've never been to any other tracks. A friend that was with us at the Las Vegas races had a chance to go to a Bristol night race. I don't think there will be a bad seat in this stadium shaped .533 mile bullring. Sitting a bit higher would probably give better visability of the entire track and don't forget about those engines! The roar of those engines which will be nonstop as the cars will be strung out around the entire track most of the time so don't forget the earplugs! 🙂 They're debuted the COT in the day race at Bristol but I'm not sure if they'll be in use at the night race. They look a bit odd but I'm sure I'll get used to them. The wing on the back looks nice but that front area looks a bit strange and the car is much more boxier with a taller windshield and more room for the driver inside. Safety first and I think these less aerodynamic cars will eliminate the dreaded aero push factor and hopefull that translates into better handling cars and more side by side racing. 🙂 Enjoy Bristol! I'm jealous.

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