Tag Archives: racing

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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Bone-Jarring Off-Road Desert Race Planned outside Las Vegas, Dec. 4-5

The Henderson Fabtech Desert Classic off-road 60-mile race for cars, trucks and utility vehicles will be Dec. 4-5 in Henderson, Nevada, located just south of Las Vegas. 

In its eighth year, the event marks the final race for this year’s Best in the Desert Racing Association calendar. 

Racing on BLM land, an estimated 15,000 people are anticipated to attend the event, including about 800-people who make up the driving teams. 

On the line is $10,000 for winning the Ford-sponsored event. 

The race is as much for the racers as it is for the onlookers.  Pit areas for onlookers are set up along the course, off Highway 604 south of Sloan. 

The free Henderson Fabtech Desert Classic off-road event kicks off at 11 a.m. on Dec. 4 with vehicle inspectons and an off-road race expo until 6:30 p.m. on Water Strret, near the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water Street in Henderson, Nevada. 

The first race, for the lower horsepower vehicles, is from 7 a.m. to noon on Dec. 5, followed by the larger horsepower vehicles from noon until about 7 p.m. 

Fans can watch from a spectator area or two pit areas along the course off Highway 604 south of Sloan. 

For more information, please call 702-267-2171, or visit www.hendersonlive.com or www.bitd.com 

Las Vegas Backstage Access plans to be there.  If you need a professional article and/or professional photography, please send us a note.  Just complete a reply to this post and we’ll be right back to you.

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Indy 500 in the Pink, Features Las Vegas Owner

SamSchmidtPink is the new red at the Indy 500 this year for an Indy race car owned by Sam Schmidt, right, of Henderson, Nevada. 

AlexLloydSchmidt’s driver for the pink car is an Englishman named Alex Lloyd, left, – aka Pink Lloyd – and the No. 99 HER car will start in the middle of the fourth row of the starting  grid with an impressive four-lap average qualifying speed of 222.622 mph. 

Pink isn’t a new to the venerable Brickyard.  In 1955 Bob Sweikert drove a pink car into victory lane.  Thirty years later, Emerson Fittipaldi, the two-time Indy winner, made his 599 debut in a pink car.  Recently, Jeff Ward drove an Aerosmith-sponsored car that was painted pink mostly to call attention to the rock band’s song of the same name. 

Schmidt, who has been coming to Indianapolis as a driver and car owner since 1996, said he never envisioned that Lloyd would qualify for the first day.  Nor did he anticipate the torrent of publicity the pink car would receive. 

The care was painted pink at the request of sponsor HER – Healthy Energy Revitalizer, an energy drink for women.  On race day, HER models will be strutting around the Gasoline Alley pits in skimpy pink uniforms in classic Las Vegas tradition that will make Lloyd’s look pale by comparison. 

Think Pink when watching the Indy 500.

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Las Vegas Mob’s ‘Cement Shoes’ Now Concrete Canoes?

The mob has been doing much less ‘planting’ nowadays.  And with the many stalled and failed casino construction projects dotting the Las Vegas landscape brought on by an ever constricting economy, it’s no secret that Las Vegas has a ton – maybe two? – of ready and willing concrete at its disposal. 

Grabbing this weighty waste opportunity, UNLV engineering students have built and are planning to race a buoyant unlvcanoeconcrete canoe in the fiercely competitive 2009 National ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on June 11-13.

But first they must clear the regional competition hurdle, finishing in the top five in competitions set from April 1 through 4 in Hawaii. About 20 teams are competing. 

To win it will take equal parts of technical skill, creativity and determination. 

Created from a year’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears, the slippery smooth, svelte 250-pound black, blue, and white canoe with a UNLV mosaic on the bottom, and the name Kiss Our Glass on the side, was engineered to be a precise 20 feet long and 30 inches wide. It has to be made that precise.  That’s the rules. 

The races, endurance, sprint, and slalom combined, count for 25 percent of the overall score. The remaining 75 percent is based equally on a submitted technical design paper that highlights the planning, development, testing and construction of the team’s canoe; a formal oral presentation, in which the team has to detail their canoe’s design, construction, racing ability and other innovative features, as well as defend their choices to the judges during a question and answer session; and the end product-the final racing canoe and project display, which is scored on aesthetics and visual presentation. 

Tiffany Hearn, 22, the senior engineering student and captain of the UNLV canoe-building team, haunchos the seven-member team of other UNLV engineering students that are trying to field a winning canoe. 

Engineering students at UNLV and all over the country do this every year. They enter local and regional competitions. A national champion is declared.  Last year the University of Nevada, Reno won.  

UNLV has never made it past the regional competition.  Last year they came in 11th place, their best finish yet. Maybe a win is in their cards this year. Maybe it isn’t.  That’s not the point. 

“This is a big project that takes months to complete. They have to be able to work as a team,” said Bill Culbreth, an associate dean in UNLV’s college of engineering. “Most engineering projects will work that way.” 

So it is that the national concrete canoe competition is more than a boat-building contest. It’s a metaphor for the real world — where there is not nor will there ever be a market for boats made of sand, glue and water. 

Noe Santos, 21, the team member most responsible for figuring out how to make this particular blend of concrete, doesn’t even plan on working in that area after he graduates in May. He’ll be doing research on solar cells. 

In the meantime, he and the rest of the UNLV team have spent at least 40 hours every week since May working on this canoe. “No Christmas vacation. No Valentine’s. No anything,” Hearn said. 

Santos further explained that you can’t use just any old concrete – and, no, they didn’t use our scrap casino concrete – to make a canoe that actually works. The competition’s rules say the canoe must float back to the surface after being submerged. UNLV has never done well on that test. 

The secret to the team’s confidence this year is the concrete concoction, which weighs in at 54 pounds per cubic foot, about 8 pounds lighter than water. 

The concrete, lined with a carbon fiber reinforcing mesh and with tiny metal cables, is then blended with tiny glass bubbles and hollow glass beads about the size of ice cream sprinkles so the concrete has little air pockets inside. 

In the past, UNLV’s teams have blended the concrete with rocks. They’ve had hits and misses, a couple of times suffering competition-ending catastrophic failures; the boats broke in half. 

But not this year, the team members say. 

The team took their boat out to a man-made lake at Desert Shores on March 14. They rowed in it. They sank it.  But the good news it that it came right back up. 

To work on their speed, team members have been practicing twice a week in a traditional fiberglass canoe. They’re getting pretty fast. 

Las Vegas Backstage Access hopes the UNLV team is just fast enough- taking home their first win!

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Las Vegas Native Kyle Busch Wins NASCAR Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

For any athlete it’s a dream come true when they have a major win in their hometown.  On Sunday the dream came true for 23-year-old NASCAR racer and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch when he celebrated his first win in six career Sprint Cup starts at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, racing to victory in his Toyota No. 18, sponsored by M&M’s. 

Busch performed his feat with gusto and racing mastery.  Racing before a near capacity 140,000 fervent fans at the speedway, he started deeper in the 43-car field than any of the event’s previous 12 winners. 

“I tell you what, this is pretty cool,” the Durango High School graduate said.  “I don’t exactly what it would mean but coming to the checkered flag, there were knots in my stomach.  It’s bigger than winning the Daytona 500.” 

After winning the race, Busch kneeled at the finishing line and kissed the track.

 It was Busch’s first Cup win of the season, and the 12th in 153 races.

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Las Vegas NASCAR Weekend, Meet the Drivers & More at Stratosphere

The Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas is featuring a full line up of NASCAR weekend activities from February 26 through March 1 including raffle drawings, show cars, race simulators, and drink specials.nascar2
 
From Thursday, February, 26 through Saturday, February 28, the Stratosphere will hold casino drawings for NASCAR and Coca-Cola merchandise including autographed helmets, BBQ grills and apparel. Participants may earn tickets from 7 a.m. Thursday, February 26 through 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, February 28.
 
The drawing schedule is Thursday, February 26 at 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday, February 27 at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, February 28 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. All drawings will take place on the casino floor.
 
Then on Friday, February 27 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in front of Rudy’s Inc. on the Stratosphere casino floor you can meet and greet NASCAR drivers, getting autographs from Hermie Sadler, Scott Wimmer, Todd Bodine, Kenny Hendrick, Reagan Smith, Jeff Green, David Green, Terry Cook, Eric McClure, Dexter Bean, Scott Riggs, Dave Blaney, Casey Atwood, and Kirk Shelmerdine. 

On Saturday, February 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the iRacing.com racing simulator will be outside the front entrance to the Stratosphere.
 
The Stratosphere is located at 2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South. For information, call 702-380-7777.

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