Well, after nearly three decades of trying, it finally happened: NASCAR moved its season-ending party to Las Vegas after being in New York. This week the season-ending NASCAR events will be showcased.
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson showed his untiring racing mastery throughout they year, garnering first place honors for his efforts.
Befitting champions aplenty, the Sprint Cup Championship Week will kick off its inaugural visit to Las Vegas on Wed., Dec. 2 with a fan fest and driver roast.
On Dec. 2, NASCAR will host the Chasers for Charity Fanfest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This event includes a free-admission fan event, plus a charity roast of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Gates open at 9 a.m. Access to the speedway’s Neon Garage begins at 11 a.m. This portion of the event includes a red-carpet walk by the champion and the other drivers in the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup, car displays, live music, reduced-price concessions and a raffle drawing.
The Charity Roast will take place in the speedway’s Blackjack Club, located in the infield media center. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. The roast includes a private reception with the Cup champion and Chase participants, plus reserved seats and parking. It will be shown on closed-circuit television in the Neon Garage.
Because of space considerations, it’s limited to the first 300 people who respond. Cost is a $250 tax-deductible donation to Speedway Children’s Charities. Additional information is available at www.lvms.com
On Dec. 3, the drivers will participate in the Victory Lap Parade. All 12 Chase participants will drive a lap in their show cars on Las Vegas Boulevard known as “The Strip.” This will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and proceed north to Spring Mountain Road before returning to MGM Grand. It will include a pit stop and a “burnout” at the Spring Mountain Road intersection.
The week culminates with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas on Dec. 4. Frank Caliendo will host the season-ending roast and banquet on Dec. 4 at Wynn Las Vegas. As Caliendo puts it: “I’m on the pole, but don’t worry. Even though we’re in Vegas, I’m not dancing.”
Caliendo, a noted impressionist, was featured in several videos at last year’s awards ceremony. He has appeared at postseason events for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Noted singer David Gray and female electric string quartet Escala will also reportedly perform at the banquet.
Speed will televise the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony live, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m., EST. It will reair from 1-5 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Dec. 5, and from 1-5 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 6. The awards ceremony is the series champion’s formal celebration.