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2012 Champions Week: The Victory Lap

Posted by Amy in Contests | NASCAR

Misty and I have attended every Champions Week since it moved to Vegas and we usually stand at the same spot for the victory lap on the Strip by where the cars do their burnouts. It’s a great spot and we have gotten some great pictures of the cars burning out over the years.  The bad part of this is that we end up standing out there for hours so our spot doesn’t get squatted by someone else and soon we are packed in our favorite area like live sardines in a can. Much like the red carpet at fan fest, chaos ensues. Last year I ended up getting hit in the back of the head by some guy’s lens hood on his camera- multiple times.  This year, though, we decided to try something a little different and hang out by the start/finish line (in front of Planet Hollywood). It was a completely different vibe and it was fun to change things up this year.

This is a beloved event and the fans line the strip for hours in advance of their favorite drivers:

Fans gather on one of several pedestrian bridges hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite drivers during the Victory Lap down Las Vegas Blvd (The Vegas Strip) (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

The start/finish line area of the Victory lap is much more like being around a driver introduction stage at an actual race:

Pre-Race Entertainment:

The cast of Rock Of Ages entertains NASCAR fans before the Victory Lap down Las Vegas Blvd as part of the 2012 Champions Week festivities. (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

Driver Introductions:

Dale Earnhardt Jr on the Drivers Introduction stage for NASCAR’s Victory Lap on Las Vegas Blvd (the Strip) as part of the festivities for 2012 Champions Week in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany).

These next two pictures Misty got crack me up! I would love to know what they were peeking at!

During driver introductions, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Martin Truex Jr, and Jeff Gordon peer through a hole in the backdrop prior to their victory lap down Las Vegas Blvd. (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

During driver introductions, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Martin Truex Jr, and Jeff Gordon discuss what they just peeked at through the hole in the backdrop prior to their victory lap down Las Vegas Blvd. (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

Then there is this picture during driver intros- where Tony is looking right at us (he’s behind Kasey there)- probably thinking AGAIN WITH THE DAMN CAMERA LADIES?

Kasey Kahne during driver intros (and Tony Stewart looking directly at us from behind him) prior to the Victory lap down Las Vegas Blvd as part of 2012 Champions Week festivities in Las Vegas, NV (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

2012 Champ Brad Keselowski accepts a proclamation and the key to the city prior to the Victory Lap down Las Vegas Blvd (The Vegas Strip) in Las Vegas NV (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

The drivers were then all lined up for a photo op before they took to their cars:

The top 12 drivers of 2012 prior to their Victory Lap down Las Vegas Blvd (the Vegas Strip) in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany)

The drivers were then called to their cars and iconic Vegas magician and showman David Copperfield gave the command to start the engines.  Once engines fired it seemed to take FOREVER for them to wave the green flag. I will say this though- I have been fairly close to a cup car when it was fired up…but this time I was pretty much inches away from Kasey Kahne’s car when the command was given and they fired up.  HELLO!  It’s a sound I love – and a feeling I love now too- being that close!

Before the drivers left to do their burn out Kasey Kahne got a little anxious and gave the driver in front of him, Clint Bowyer, a playful tap:

Driver Kasey Kahne (the blue car) gives the driver in front (Clint Bowyer in the 5 Hour Energy Car) of him a playful tap on the bumper as they await the green flag for their victory lap down the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, NV (Photo Credit: Misty Bethany).

David Copperfield waved the green flag finally and the cars rolled away.  It was fun seeing this end of the Victory Lap for the first time!  And you definitely get a good view of the drivers! Especially if you get their early and stake out a spot near the stage).

Click here to go to the previous entry in the series: 2012 Champions Week: The 2013 Chevy SS Revealed.

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