Taking place over a distance of 400 miles in 267 laps, the Kobalt Tools 400 is held annually at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Last year’s winner was Brad Keselowski. Be sure to catch this year’s action.
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Date: 8 March 2015
Venue: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Country: United States
Forming part of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, The Boyd Gaming 300 was introduced in 1997 as the Las Vegas 300. It consists of 200 laps around Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The winner in 2013 was Sam Hornish Jr, so be sure to watch and see who wins in 2014.
Date: 8 March 2014
Time: 04:15pm ET
Venue: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
City: Las Vegas
Las Vegas will once again be the host city for NASCAR’s Champion’s Week – the grand finale of the 2013 racing season. Taking place on 3-6 December the program features a host of events with the highlight being Friday’s celebration with NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the top ten drivers being honored for their achievements at the official closing event of the season. Fans can look forward to mingling with NASCAR drivers and their back up teams, getting autographs, viewing the cars and loading up on all sorts of NASCAR merchandise and memorabilia.
Drivers will have the red carpet rolled out for them to walk through the crowd to the stage when the week’s activities kick off on Wednesday with a FanFest on the Third Street Stage on Fremont Street. All 13 Chase drivers will be participating in the event which is free and open to the public, starting at 1:30pm One of the highlights of the FanFest will be a Deal or No Deal-styled show and six fans are in line to win big prizes as part of the event with the fan paired with the winning team walking off with tickets to Friday’s banquet and other great treats.
Thursday features the Myers Brothers 2013 Awards Luncheon at Encore Las Vegas, during which the Champion Sponsor Awards; Champion Crew Chief Award; Most Popular Driver Award, Myers Brothers Award and Buddy Shuman Award will be presented. Jeff Gordon received the coveted Myers Brothers Award in 2012 for his outstanding contributions to the sport and fans are no doubt keen to find out who the 2013 winner will be.
Starting at Miracle Mile, the NASCAR Victory Lap offers fans the opportunity to interact with drivers while getting a feel for what it’s like to be at a NASCAR start line. Heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard, the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion will perform a burnout at the Spring Mountain Road intersection, followed by the remaining Sprint Cup drivers performing donuts around the turn. Heading south, drivers will make a pit stop in front of the Fountains of Bellagio where members of the Drive for Diversity Crew Development Program will perform pit stop duties. Continuing south to the East Harmon Avenue intersection, all Sprint cup drivers will perform donuts before heading toward the finish line back at Miracle Mile.
Be sure to watch out for the NASCAR vehicles that will be appearing all week throughout Las Vegas, offering free giveaways, interactive video games and other fun auto racing activities as part of the NASCAR Champions Week
Matt Kenseth had reason for a double celebration on Sunday as he took the checkered flag on his 41st birthday. Driving for Joe Gibbs racing, Kenseth managed to hold off Kasey Kahne to clinch his third win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – his previous Las Vegas victories being in 2003 and 2004 – bringing his career victories to a total of twenty-five. Following Kasey Kahne’s second place, the top ten for the 2013 Kobalt Tools 400, in order, was Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard.
The 400-mile race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a defining event for the new Gen-6 car, as it was the first competitive race on an intermediate track. Most drivers appeared to be keen to see how the Gen-6 would perform on the 1.5-mile track. If any of the drivers had reservations about the new car’s performance, they kept it to themselves, with the notable exception of Denny Hamlin who was fined $25,000 by NASCAR for overstepping the boundaries in voicing his doubt in the Gen-6 after the race at Phoenix International Raceway, in which he came third after starting at the rear of the field. Hamlin is reportedly considering appealing the penalty.
Finishing if 4th place, Kyle Busch proved that it is definitely possible to pass in the Gen-6 as he twice moved his way up through the field, taking the lead after a restart with 102 laps to go. Kahne noted in a post-race interview that his car performed well throughout the race, saying that he drove hard on every single lap and commenting that it was a lot of fun.
Several drivers did report problems with their cars early on in the race, with Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart both being effected in opening laps. Bowyer finished 27th with Stewart managing an 11th place finish. Having earned the privilege of pole position at Daytona two weeks ago, Danica Patrick appeared to have problems with her car from the beginning of the race and finished 33rd.
In 2008 when NASCAR Champions Week left New York – its host city for twenty-five years – in favor of Las Vegas there were some who voiced their concern that the move was less than wise, with quips about rebounds and quickie divorces being made. However, after three years in Las Vegas, NASCAR officials are more than satisfied with the results and have made it known that NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Awards and Champions Week will be held in Las Vegas for at least three more years – a happy union between the hot-spot tourist playground and the country’s most popular sport.
NASCAR’s chief marketing officer Steve Phelps noted in an interview that the first three years in Las Vegas were very successful, and that the city is a great backdrop for the sport. The NASCAR Champions week is an all-out celebration of the end of the season, with fans having the opportunity to interact with their on-track heroes in a number of events, including the popular ‘Victory Lap’ and ‘After the Lap’ events. Building on previous success, organizers are constantly looking for more ways to engage the fans that support this fast-paced, adrenaline pumping sport, so it is very likely that there will be even more to enjoy by the time the event rolls around in late-November. While the full schedule has not been made available yet, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will take place on November 30 at Wynn Las Vegas.
Sports marketing director for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Julian Dugas emphasized the amount of work that was put into ensuring NASCAR would continue to host the event in Las Vegas. Although Las Vegas is a popular event for all manner of conferences, with some attracting up to 30,000 attendees, Dugas noted that co-branding with NASCAR opens up untapped markets in the Southeast for the city. He concluded that the partnership was a win-win situation.
NASCAR’s three national series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; the NASCAR Nationwide Series; and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – are broadcast in up to twenty languages in over 150 countries. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, NASCAR has offices in eight cities in North America, and sanctions over 1,200 races at tracks in thirty states, Canada and Mexico.