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Off-Road Desert Racing comes to the Las Vegas Valley

Hundreds of racers are now busy preparing and testing their off-road race vehicles for the return of the 2010 SNORE/General Tire Mint 400, set to take place just 25 minutes North of Las Vegas on March 27, starting at 7 a.m.  

The Mint 400 is one of the top racing titles to win in off-road racing. 

The race course this year features the infamous Rock Garden, a treacherous section of course run over shale rock beds and small boulders, with ditches and “gotcha’s” strewn throughout. The last time the course ran through the Rock Garden was 23 years ago. 

The SNORE/General Tire Mint 400 will be at the Moapa Indian reservation at the Moapa Travel Plaza, Exit 75 (Valley of Fire Rd.) off of Interstate 15. Three special spectator areas have been set-up alongside the course in high-speed, action-packed areas for fans to view the race. The Moapa tribe will have shuttles running to these areas. There will be numerous food, beer and merchandise vendors set up at the Moapa Travel Plaza.
 
Over 250 entries are expected to enter the SNORE/General Tire Mint 400. 

 The race festivities start Wednesday, March 24 at 5 p.m. with a kick-off party at Hussong’s Cantina inside Mandalay Bay. Thursday March 25th , fans, racers and the Media are invited to be a part of the FanFest Meet & Greet on Fremont Street East (between Las Vegas Blvd and 8th St.) from 6 to 8 p.m. to meet the drivers, get their autographs, take pictures, and pick up some swag from the teams. At 8:30 p.m. on Thurs., March 25, General Tire will crown the 2010 Mint 400 Queen on the 1st Street Stage, located on Fremont Street and 1st Street, under the Fremont Street Experience. Friday, March 26 starting at 9 am and lasting throughout the day until 5:30 p.m., every race car entered in the race will parade down Fremont Street for Technical and Contingency inspection. The parade of race vehicles starts on 1st Street & Fremont Street, heads East under the Fremont Street Experience, crosses Las Vegas Blvd., and ends at 8th Street and Fremont. Saturday, March 27 at 7  a.m., race officials will drop the green flag once again for the start of the historic 25th Running of the 2010 SNORE General Tire Mint 400 off-road race. 

The historic race was started by Norm Johnson, former public relations director for the Del Webb Hotel, and was resurrected by the SNORE (Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts) racing organization just three years ago. 

The 2010 SNORE/General Tire Mint 400 will be televised on the Versus network and set to air May 5, 2010.

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Danica Patrick, NASCAR, Sprint Cars & Food Mix in Glorious Las Vegas Weekend

Yes, there really is NASCAR racing in Las Vegas next weekend, Feb. 26-28.  (Did you really think it was just an outing to ogle Danica Patrick?) 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., though, isn’t getting overly excited about his late charge to a surprise second-place finish at Daytona.  After the season-opening Daytona 500, the restrictor plates are now off during the 1½-mile Las Vegas oval track races and the focus is back on the the kind of tracks that dominate the 36-race championship season.  

It can be anyone’s race. 

Earnhardt said he feels good about his team and crew chief Lance McGrew, who is starting his first full season after replacing Tony Eury Jr. last May and having the interim tag removed by Hendrick in late October. That gave them a whole off-season together to get ready for 2010. 

“We built a lot of new cars. We did a lot of hard work, Lance especially, during the off-season to put us in a position to bring better cars to this race and to Vegas and so forth,” Earnhardt said. “Just give me a good car and I can run real good.” 

“Everybody in the garage kind of feels like this is the start of the regular season. Daytona is so different than every other kind of racing that we do and of course it’s the Daytona 500,” said Jimmie Johnson, the four-time Sprint Cup champion and California native who has won four times at his home track. 

“Everybody is really interested and anxious to understand where we are with the cars,” says Johnson. 

The added good news is that even before the entire NASCAR contigent fully descends on Las Vegas next weekend, racing fans will get two opportunities to add a little dirt to their diet as the USAC Sprint and Midget Series and the World of Outlaws Sprint Series come to town.

The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host the United States Auto Club (USAC) on Thursday, February 25 and the World of Outlaws the next night for three thrilling A-mains between the two groups of talented drivers. 

To keep up your energy while walking endlessly around the track, don’t forget to first eat your fill before heading to the track, stopping by the NASCAR Café inside the Sahara.

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Johnny Sauter Wins His First NASCAR Truck Race in Las Vegas

Johnny Sauter raced to his first career NASCAR Trucks Series victory, taking the lead away from Matt Crafton with only 16 laps left and held on to win the Las Vegas 350 on Saturday night. JohnnySauter

Crafton, who took over the lead following a caution period with 26 laps remaining, held on to finish second in the 146-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval. 

“My truck just didn’t have the speed that Johnny Sauter’s did,” said Crafton, second in the standings — 197 points behind leader Ron Hornaday Jr. “Wow, that truck was fast.”

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‘Bad Boy’ NASCAR Racer, Las Vegan Kyle Busch Prays for a Kinder Slap in the Face

Although the brash, daring and yet talented Las Vegan and NASCAR racer Kyle Busch won last Saturday’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, he’s got to really put the pedal to the metal if he wants to move from his 13th place in the point standings to at least 12th place- a requirement necessary to advance into Sprint Cup’s “post-season playoffs” that begin Sept. 20 in New Hampshire. 

To accomplish this rather Herculean feat and become eligible for NASCAR’s 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the Championship, Busch will need to place high in the upcoming 500-miler near Atlanta and a 400-lapper at Richmond. 

Kyle may have an inkling of a chance if his finish at Bristol is any indication.  The Joe Gibbs Racing star led the final 68 laps around the half-mile, high-banked track and endured four double-file restarts in the final 60 laps for his fourth win and his first trophy in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series since last May, completing the 500 laps at an 84.820 mph average speed, with a margin of victory of 0.098 seconds over second place finisher Mark Martin. 

Currently, he’s standing 34 points behind 12th-place Matt Kenseth for the last playoff spot.

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