Having never been to a NASCAR race before I was excited when my publisher DJ called me to ask if I wanted to attend the race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway! Of course I said yes. I wasn’t entirely prepared for the experience I and my sons were about to have!
Our day started out with our arrival to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where we picked up out Garage/Pit and parking pass with minimal problems. In truth the only problem we had was the due to my own error. I was unaware we had to pick up the Garage/Pit passes in one trailer and the parking pass in another. Once this was accomplished we made our way forward.
We were pleasantly surprised, as we read signs and followed directions of various people checking our passes and waiving wands at us, to discover that we were to park in the middle of the track. This made my teens extremely excited, and myself I have to admit.
After parking, which is really easy when you are in the infield, we headed for the garages where we encountered the Neon Garage which is located in the infield of the 1.5-mile Tri-Oval, the Neon Garage is comprised of four garage buildings – constructed in the shape of a diamond. The center contains concession stands, a full-service bar, restrooms, display space and an ideal area for entertainment.
This is an area that I found out later, is unique to Las Vegas. We followed the stairs around and found that there are two levels of windows, one allows for you to look directly in at the front of the car as they are working.
The second is from above which allows you an aerial view of the engine and the crews as they prepare the cars for the race.
We explored for awhile longer then it was time for our VIP tour as well as some insight in to some of the things unique to LVMS, like the Neon Garage and the public viewing of the Drivers’ meeting. After which we received our tickets for the grandstand seating.
Almost race time and now came the fun part. We ran in to what for us was a challenging part of being parked in the inside track, there was no definitive way to get from the inside stadium parking to the gates for the seats.
After a lot of back and forth we ended up hopping on a shuttle bound for the gift shop and made our way from there.
We found our seats easy enough sat down and proceeded to enjoy the race. 35 drivers took their places at the starting line, and the iconic “Gentlemen, start your engines” was called and the cars were off on the first lap of this 400.5 mile race.
In case you didn’t know that is around 267 laps these cars do.
If you’ve never been to a NASCAR race I suggest you go, either to a National or Sprint Cup race they’re both pretty incredible!
Never before had I even so much as sat and watched a race on television prior to this day. I was continuously told that NASCAR was a visceral experience and that is absolutely true. You not only hear the cars as they pass, but you also feel the energy of the vehicles passing by at nearly two hundred (200) miles per hour.
I am of course familiar with some of the more well known drivers, but I cannot say before that day that I was a NASCAR “fan” and even at the end of this day, I still cannot say I would sit and watch a race on the boob tube, but I sure will take any and every opportunity to see a live race. NASCAR has a new fan for life.