NASCAR and Las Vegas, what a perfect match! NASCAR Loves Las Vegas and NASCAR fans love to come to Las Vegas to see their favorite drivers. So with the annual NASCAR Champions Week and Awards Banquet, comes the legion of fans to watch what has become a tradition, the “Victory Lap” down the Las Vegas Strip.
As always, fans of NASCAR show up early to stake their spot along the boulevard, I mean early. The event was scheduled to start at 3 pm, but fans begin to show up around noon to get the best spots, usually the corner slots. I was there about 1:00 and had lunch, then grabbed a spot where others had been, but left for whatever reason. NASCAR fans are always up for an interesting conversation while waiting for the smoke and smell of burned rubber. So its easy to kill an hour or two.
The Victory Lap is just that, the top 16 drivers do a “Victory Lap” down the Las Vegas Strip. Eight of them doing a burnout in front of the Wynn Resort and the other eight doing theirs in front of Planet Hollywood. From there, the relined back up and headed to The Park for fan Q & A and other events.
I was at the south end, by Planet Hollywood. The crowds this year were a little small than previous years, yet still just as loud and colorful as always. Not sure if the smaller crowds are because they moved it up a week from previous years or it’s because NASCAR has cut back on fan interaction. The other reason may be that in past years, it was held at the same time as National Finals Rodeo (NFR) was in town. This year NFR was moved a week later than last year. NASCAR and NFR share similar demographics.
In order of appearance (after the first 8 drive-by)
#31 – Ryan Newman
#42 – Kyle Larson
#1 – Jamie McMurray
#17 – Ricky Stenhouse
#3 – Austin Dillon
#5 – Kasey Kahne
#78 – Martin Truex Jr – NASCAR Cup championship
#41 – Kurt Busch (blown Tire)
NASCAR Doubles Up On Vegas
Next year, NASCAR will have two race weekends in Las Vegas. One in the Spring (daytime) and one in the fall (evening)
NASCAR Las Vegas 2018
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Friday, March 2, 2018
NASCAR X-Finity Series Saturday, March 3, 2018
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Sunday, March 4, 2018
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Friday, September 4, 2018
NASCAR X-Finity Series Saturday, September 5, 2018
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Sunday, September 6, 2018
A Big Thank You to Tom Donoghue for the photos!