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Hot Lap: Take a ride around Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Brett Bodine takes you for a pace car ride around Las Vegas Motor Speedway before the Kobalt 400, explaining the intricacies of the oval-shaped track.
DraftKings: Las Vegas Motor Speedway Price Check
WATCH: Las Vegas Motor Speedway Price Check, sponsored content provided by DraftKings.
SMI rethinking Atlanta Motor Speedway repave?
RELATED: Atlanta announces repave plan HAMPTON, Ga. -- Drivers have made their feelings known about Atlanta Motor Speedway's scheduled repave, lobbying nearly in unison for the project to be delayed. Marcus Smith, president and CEO of track owner Speedway Motorsports, Inc., says he's listening. Smith addressed the topic and the possibility of a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at SMI's facility in Las Vegas in a meeting with reporters approximately an hour before the green flag of Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Atlanta. The 500-miler is scheduled to be the last on the Georgia track's 20-year-old pavement, which has drawn rave reviews from drivers. The gritty surface places a premium on tire wear and car control, leading to multi-groove racing and slipping and sliding throughout the field. Smith said he's heard the pleas from drivers over the tripleheader weekend to keep things the way they are, to at least temporarily stall the renovation. "I can't really say the status has changed, but it's caused us to think about what we're doing," Smith said. "We've looked at the track a lot, of course, over the years, and we feel like we've gotten about three more years out of the life of the track right now. So the challenges are still there on keeping the track raceable and making it something we can have a race on today and have a quality race. "But definitely (we) have heard from the drivers saying that they like this gritty surface and so we will look at it after the race today and be able to make a better determination of what we'll have to do going forward." RELATED: Bell wins Truck Series race at Atlanta Drivers have been nearly unified in their praise of the old surface, taking to their Twitter accounts to campaign for a paving reprieve at the 1.54-mile track. Matt Crafton joined the chorus in his post-race remarks after finishing second in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. "It's so much fun," Crafton said. "I think we need to start a drivers' council. If anybody from Atlanta Motor Speedway wants to come in here and wants to talk about repaving this place, then we need to get all the drivers together and talk about it because that was some of the greatest racing I've seen in a long time. … Everyone was all over that race track, and that's what it's all about." If and when the Atlanta repave occurs, Smith said his team of engineers and paving experts will likely take cues from Texas Motor Speedway , which has completed a resurfacing project ahead of NASCAR's visit next month to the Lone Star State. The use of different asphalt compounds and artificial aging processes should help to accelerate Texas' breaking-in period, with Smith indicating that he hopes its new surface will emulate Atlanta's current state. PHOTOS: See the Texas repave underway It's yet another item on a long to-do list for SMI, which owns eight speedways that host 12 dates on the 36-race schedule for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. A pressing concern out of the Atlanta weekend is a planned Wednesday meeting for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors to discuss the possibility of adding a second Monster Energy Series race at SMI's Las Vegas Motor Speedway as early as 2018. "We love the support that we get out of Las Vegas ," Smith said. "I think the fans love it, so it's a great track for us. I think when we see that the community is supportive of racing there, it's definitely encouraging to us." RELATED: Report says Vegas closing in on second premier series date NASCAR entered into a five-year sanctioning agreement with the 23 tracks that host Monster Energy Cup Series events in October 2015. NASCAR officials have long maintained that they have no intention of expanding the schedule beyond its current 36-race limit. Adding a second event in Vegas would likely need to occur at the expense of an existing track on the schedule, fueling speculation about whether SMI would shift a race away from its remaining seven tracks -- Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Sonoma or Texas -- or whether another venue would surrender a date. "You know, I'm not big on speculating. I'd rather just tell you when I know, but it's fun to speculate," Smith said with a grin. "So we'll see." </p>
Pennzoil, Las Vegas track strike sponsorship deal
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Las Vegas MORE: Full Las Vegas weekend schedule Pennzoil and Speedway Motorsports Incorporated's (SMI) Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) on Friday announced Pennzoil® motor oil as title sponsor of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at LVMS starting in 2018. The Pennzoil 400 will anchor a NASCAR tripleheader weekend ending with the main event at the 1.5-mile tri-oval race in early March, 2018. "This race entitlement is an extension of our successful relationship with SMI that began in earnest seven years ago," said Rusty Barron, Vice President of Marketing, Shell Lubricants Americas. "We look forward to continuing to expand our relationships within NASCAR while working with another top-tier SMI track to give fans an action-packed weekend capped off with an adrenaline-inducing race experience." The Pennzoil 400 is an expanded relationship with SMI and its motorsports properties as well as an extended business-to-business relationship with Sonic Automotive. In addition to key B2B elements, the entitlement offers Pennzoil exclusive, one-of-a-kind experiences to extend to its customers. "Pennzoil is one of the most respected brands in the automotive industry. Like our speedways, Pennzoil has served generations of satisfied customers for decades," said Speedway Motorsports Chief Executive Officer Marcus Smith. "We are proud to have Pennzoil among our stable of blue-chip marketing sponsors at Speedway Motorsports through entitlement relationships with the Pennzoil Autofairs at Charlotte Motor Speedway and now with NASCAR in Las Vegas . We look forward to expanding the Pennzoil reach further toward new customers with the international audience of fans attracted annually to Las Vegas Motor Speedway ." Las Vegas in particular is a valued market for Pennzoil with significant brand activations around NASCAR, NHRA, and SEMA in recent years. The race consistently has had one of the highest TV ratings on the circuit and has traditionally enjoyed sell-out crowds in attendance. "We're thrilled to have Pennzoil as our new sponsor in our March Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event," said LVMS President Chris Powell. "Pennzoil is a storied name in NASCAR with its many years of support for our sport, and we're really looking forward to a long-term relationship with everyone associated with the brand. The commitment that Pennzoil has recently made to its NASCAR program is a testament to its faith in the future of our sport, and we couldn't have a better title sponsor with which to head into the third decade of racing here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway ." Pennzoil is the No. 1 synthetic motor oil brand in fast lubes in the U.S. and Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the perfect venue for the premium brand. " Las Vegas has been a valued market for the Pennzoil brand in recent years," said Rusty Barron, Vice President of Marketing, Shell Lubricants Americas. "During that time Shell featured numerous promotions around the annual Las Vegas race including several Pennzoil-exclusive paint outs on the No. 22 race car, customer events at the track, charitable efforts with Paralyzed Veterans of America and in-market promotions with key vendors." </p>
Las Vegas adding second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in 2018
BUY TICKETS: See this year's races in Las Vegas Officials from Las Vegas Motor Speedway and representatives from the city itself announced Wednesday that the Nevada-based track would host two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races annually beginning in 2018. The news comes two days before on-track activity for this weekend's Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series and Kobalt Tools 400 Monster Energy Series events. The race addition has been met with positive feedback throughout the industry and is a move NASCAR supports, according to league officials. Speedway president Chris Powell said during Wednesday's announcement that the two questions he is most often asked are about job opportunities at the 1.5-mile venue and when the track would obtain a second major race date. “And it turns out in March of 2017 … we can make this special announcement," he said. The city of Las Vegas , he said, "becomes the only city in the history of NASCAR to have two tripleheader weekends." Specific dates have not been made final. Currently, Las Vegas hosts the Monster Energy Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series in March, and a stand-alone event for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the fall. RELATED: Learn more about Las Vegas Motor Speedway Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns LVMS, will move the fall Monster Energy and Camping World Truck Series races from New Hampshire Motor Speedway , which is also an SMI property, to Las Vegas in '18. To round out the tripleheader, a September NASCAR XFINITY Series event at SMI's Kentucky Speedway will also be moved to LVMS. " Las Vegas and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have become great destinations for NASCAR fans," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said. "The experience is unique to any other in our sport. We look forward to having NASCAR racing there for two race weekends in 2018." The 1.5-mile track opened in 1996, hosted a Camping World Truck Series race that year, then added an XFINITY Series date in 1997. Mark Martin won the first Monster Energy Series race held at the track in 1998. SMI owns eight tracks that annually host 12 of the 36 Monster Energy Series points events. In addition to LVMS, New Hampshire and Kentucky, other tracks under the SMI umbrella are Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Sonoma and Texas. RELATED: See the complete 2017 schedule SMI purchased the Las Vegas facility in December of 1998 for $215 million. Two years ago, track officials announced entitlement extensions for the March race with Lowe's, through its Kobalt Tools brand, and the Stratosphere Casino and Hotel for pole day. The schedule change is the first major shift for the series since 2015 when Atlanta Motor Speedway's Labor Day weekend date was moved to follow the season-opening Daytona 500 while Darlington Raceway's early spring date was returned to Labor Day weekend. Marcus Smith, President and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, said the company remains devoted to the race fans of New Hampshire and Kentucky. "Fans and tourism officials in New Hampshire and Kentucky should know that we are still very committed to creating motorsports entertainment in those regions," he said. "We will work hard to make sure the July NASCAR race weekends that we will continue to host in New Hampshire and Kentucky are bigger and better than ever before for our fans, sponsors and stakeholders.” Las Vegas resident and racer Brendan Gaughan said the importance of racing in the community isn't lost on his family, which operates the South Point Hotel and Casino. Gaughan currently competes in the XFINITY Series for Richard Childress Racing. "Look at the drivers that have come from Las Vegas ," Gaughan said. "And the winner is the fan. If you have a choice to go to a race track … where would you go? Las Vegas is the place." Brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch, both Monster Energy Series champions, also hail from Las Vegas . Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 for Stewart-Haas Racing and series champion in 2004, recently won the 2017 Daytona 500. RELATED: Kurt Busch building strong case for NASCAR Hall of Fame Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota) is the 2015 series champ and has 171 wins across the three NASCAR national series. Fellow competitor Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Ford for SHR, called Las Vegas "a huge venue for us. "There's always an awesome crowd, a good sell for us," Bowyer said. "We have to sell our product and it's always been a healthy environment, fun for fans and a huge impact for Vegas . At the end of the day that's what we're in the business to do -- put on a good show for a packed house and that track does that for us. "Certainly the town provides a lot of entertainment for our fans, too." The downside, he noted, is that another track has to lose a date to accommodate such moves. "The sad thing is, where to you take (a race from)?" he said. "That's the tough thing. I don't think any of them that are capable of (losing a race) deserve getting one taken. That's the sticky part." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Keselowski captures Las Vegas pole for first time
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Las Vegas RELATED: Full lineup LAS VEGAS -- Brad Keselowski blew the first and second corners on his money lap in Friday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Then he blew away the rest of the field. Perhaps "blew away" is a bit of an exaggeration. Keselowski covered the 1.5-mile distance in 27.881 (193.680 mph) to edge Martin Truex Jr. (193.458 mph) for the top starting spot in Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) by .003 seconds. The Coors Light Pole Award was Keselowski's first of the season, his first in nine attempts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the 13th of his career. With most drivers in the final round stronger through the first two corners before tightening up in Turns 3 and 4, it is conceivable that missing 1 and 2 actually helped Keselowski's lap. "I don't know what the answer is," said Keselowski, the defending winner at Las Vegas and last week's winner at Atlanta. "I'll have to look through a bunch of data, and the smart guys -- the engineers and crew chiefs -- will probably point some of that stuff out to me. But, yeah, every time I looked at the tracker, the cars that were fast in 1 and 2 weren't in 3 and 4, and we were the opposite. "We were really good in 3 and 4… but we'll take it either way." Ryan Blaney qualified third after setting the fastest lap of the day (194.147 mph) in the second of the three rounds. Matt Kenseth will start fourth, followed by Kyle Larson and Joey Logano. Like Keselowski, Truex missed Turns 1 and 2 on the lap that counted but was strong through Turns 3 and 4 in securing his front-row starting spot. "I felt like we had a pretty well-put-together lap, but it wasn't perfect," Truex said. "Not quite as good through Turns 1 and 2 with the bumps as I'd like to be, and it felt like we hit 3 and 4 good. I felt like the bumps in 1 and 2 got us. "All in all, I felt like we just missed the pace a little bit. We were really strong in practice and thought (the track) would pick up quite a bit of speed tonight, and it didn't. That threw us a little bit of a curve and kind of hurt our setup. It was a good recovery. We made a lot of changes as qualifying went on and got better at the end. That's all you can ask for." After a strong start to the season in Daytona and Atlanta, the Stewart-Haas Racing cars were sluggish in Friday's time trials, with none of the four advancing to the final round. Series leader Kevin Harvick will start 19th on Sunday, two spots behind Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch. Clint Bowyer was the fastest of the SHR drivers, earning the 13th starting position after missing the final round by .001 seconds. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Full schedule for Las Vegas
RELATED: See Las Vegas races live NASCAR Goes West for the start of a three-race weekend swing that begins with a doubleheader at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Check out the full weekend schedule below. Note: All times are ET SUNDAY, MARCH 12: PRE-RACE SCHEDULE -- 1:30 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver/Crew Chief Meeting (Neon Garage) -- 3 p.m: Driver introductions -- 3:30 p.m.: Presentation of Colors by: Nellis Air Force Base Honor Guard -- 3:30:20 p.m.: Invocation by: Kurt Schulke, Chaplain, Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- 3:30:45 p.m.: Intro National Anthem -- 3:31 p.m.: National Anthem by: Night Ranger (Large American flag unfurled by 433rd Fighter Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB) -- 3:32 p.m.: Fly-By TOT: 2 F-15’s & 2 F-22’s from USAFWS Nellis AFB (Backstretch to Frontstretch) -- 3:37 p.m.: "Drivers, Start Your Engines" by: John Fogerty -- 3:46 p.m.: Start of the Kobalt 400 (267 Laps, 400.5 Miles) ON TRACK -- 3:30 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kobalt 400 (267 laps, 400.5 miles), FOX ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 7 p.m. (approximately): Post-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race FRIDAY, MARCH 10: ON TRACK -- 2-3:25 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 4-4:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 6-6:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FS2 ( Results ) -- 7:45 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS2 ( Results ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 1:30 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series -- 3:30 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 12:15 p.m.: Chris Buescher -- 12:30 p.m.: Matt Kenseth -- 12:45 p.m.: Kurt Busch -- 1 p.m.: Brad Keselowski -- 1:30 p.m.: Brendan Gaughan and Spencer Gallagher -- 3:45 p.m.: Las Vegas Motor Speedway announcement -- 5:10 p.m.: Kyle Busch -- 9 p.m. (approximately): Post-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying SATURDAY, MARCH 11: ON TRACK -- Noon-12:55 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 1:05 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 ( Results ) -- 2:30-3:20 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 4 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300 (200 laps, 300 miles), FS1 ( Results ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- 6:30 p.m. (approximately): Post-NASCAR XFINITY Series race
Report: Las Vegas could add second race
According to a report from the Las Vegas Review Journal , Las Vegas Motor Speedway could add a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race as early as 2018. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors is slated to meet Wednesday to discuss the matter, the newspaper reported. The 1.5-mile Las Vegas facility hosted its first Monster Energy Series race in 1998. Its 20th consecutive event, the Kobalt 400, is scheduled for March 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "We are constantly working with promoters to discuss and develop NASCAR schedules," NASCAR Senior Vice President for Racing Operations Jim Cassidy said in a statement. "We have not finalized any schedules for 2018 or beyond, but will announce them as they become final."
Truex tops first practice in Las Vegas
RELATED: Practice 1 results " Top 10-lap averages MORE: Buy tickets for Las Vegas Martin Truex Jr. set the pace in opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday. Truex drove the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota to a best lap of 193.500 mph around the 1.5-mile track. The 85-minute session was the first on-track activity ahead of Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM), the first of three races in the NASCAR Goes West swing. Brad Keselowski, a winner last weekend at Atlanta, was second-fastest in the Team Penske No. 2 Ford at 192.995 mph. Keselowski is the defending race winner, having prevailed in two of the last three Vegas events for NASCAR's premier series. Jimmie Johnson, a four-time Vegas winner, clocked the third-fastest lap at 192.988 mph in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet. Chip Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson and Joe Gibbs Racing's Matt Kenseth completed the top five. Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch, a Las Vegas native, was 20th-fastest in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Ford. Coors Light Pole Qualifying to set the field is scheduled later Friday (7:45 p.m. ET, FS2). </p>
Logano dominates en route to Las Vegas XFINITY win
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Las Vegas RELATED: Race results " Standings LAS VEGAS -- Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway wasn't a drag race, but lane choice proved critical to Joey Logano's 28th NASCAR XFINITY Series victory in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford. Choosing the top side for a restart on Lap 196 of 200, after Ty Dillon's spin on Lap 192 necessitated the ninth and final caution of the afternoon, Logano cleared Kyle Larson off Turn 4 after an intense side-by-side battle and pulled away to win by .602 seconds. "It was hard to figure out what to do, what lane to pick," said Logano, who has won in each of his last three starts in the 12 car. "The one thing we did know is that we had a very fast Ford Mustang. "(Crew chief) Brian Wilson and all the guys that bring this 12 car out, that's three wins in a row for the 12 car, so that's something I'm proud to be a part of and work with these guys. ... It was a challenging day from the restart standpoint." If lane choice was essential in the late stages of the race, the decision not to pit at the end of Stage 2, after pitting under the previous caution on Lap 72, was a key element to winning the race. That choice flipped track position and gave Logano the lead for a restart on Lap 99, a position he maintained through four subsequent restarts. The ability to hold off polesitter Kyle Busch on older tires gave Logano confidence in the capability of his car. "Man, it's a lot of fun to have these Team Penske cars fast again in the XFINITY Series," said Logano who led 106 laps in winning for the first time this season in his first-ever Las Vegas start in the series. "Man, it feels good. "But those restarts were crazy, though. You don't know which lane to pick. You don't know who is a good pusher. You try to remember what happened on the last (restart)." Logano took over eighth place all-time in career NASCAR XFINITY Series victories. Busch led each of the 45 laps in Stage 1 but faded to seventh at the finish after the handling of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota deteriorated in the second half of the race. Brad Keselowski, Logano's teammate, won Stage 2, but Keselowski brought the No. 22 Mustang to pit road for an unscheduled stop on Lap 108 because of a loose wheel and recovered to finish 10th. Daniel Suarez ran third, followed by Justin Allgaier -- the highest finishing series regular -- Austin Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr. Larson said a push from Suarez on the final restart might have helped him, but that assistance didn't materialize. "I needed Daniel to push me and not pull out (of line)," Larson said. "I think if Daniel would have ever gotten to my back bumper to help me, he probably would have taken that opportunity to pull out and pass me. "It would have been hard to clear Joey, but I definitely needed some help behind me." Elliott Sadler finished eighth to retain the series lead by four points over Daytona winner Ryan Reed, who came home seventh. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;