NASCAR’s After The Lap is a great event that is loved by fans (including us). It is also one of the FEW events of 2012 Champion’s Week festivities that require a ticket- the event moved this year from the Joint at the Hard Rock to PH LIVE at Planet Hollywood. If you remember last year, we had an issue where we bought our tickets the moment the went onsale- only to get an email from Ticketmaster later finding out that our original seats were sold to us in error and we ended up being relocated. Well I no longer think that was a TicketMaster issue any more. Especially after what happened this time.
This year the MOMENT tickets went on sale (again- you would think I would learn…guess not) I was online trying to secure our tickets. Something was wrong with the ordering system so I actually had to call Ticketmaster and was helped by a very helpful agent- who secured me the best seats available at the time – DD in section GOLD (or fourth row- nearly center stage). That was back in August or whenever the tickets went on sale.
After the cars rolled off for the Victory Lap down Las Vegas Blvd. Misty and I made our way to the PH Live Theater to find our seats. We get in- and the usher tells us our seats are at the end of the aisle- pretty easy right? Since the numbers are on the seats we start down the aisle to find that the aisle ends at 12 and we have seats 13 and 14. We figure that our seats must have been on the other side of the small aisle in the middle- so we look and nope. Those seats start at 17. The usher tells us to go ahead and sit down and he would find out what was going on. A manager was called, then her boss was called. Upon further scrutiny of the floor- it was quite obvious that our seats had been phyiscally ripped out of the floor to make a center aisle. There was a lot of waiting as no one seemed to know what was going on. Their final answer was that they were sorry but they would have to relocate us. We wondered where we would end up since the event was being touted as sold out. We ended up being relocated from our totally awesome but now missing fourth row center seats- back 20 rows and off to the side (so basically row 24). Needless to say we weren’t pleased.
We weren’t the only ones in the same situation- there were others in rows 1-3 in the offending and recently ripped out seats and others from our row. How they managed to reseat us at all considering that After The Lap was sold out I am not sure- but they did. All in the same row- right next to each other. So of course we talked amongst ourselved. NO one was happy. We WERE given our money back for the tickets…but the fact of the matter was- we were all sold seats and NOT HAPPY to be so far back. Misty tweeted about it. I retweeted her tweet. No one was happy. We were EVEN more unhappy when they added insult to injury when they came onstage right before the drivers were introduced and “upgraded” random fans and one from their party to the “Coca-Cola Fan Zone” which happened to be up in rows 1-3 it looked like- off to the side. Very close to our seats. There were also several seats in the fourth row that were never sat in. Yet we were back in the 24th row.
Right as the drivers were being introduced, someone who was there with NASCAR came to talk to Misty because of our tweet. He couldn’t really do anything about our seat situation- but they did take everyone in our row’s contact information. The drivers were then introduced and walked out onto the stage and through the audience as part of their introduction and then walked back to the stage and took their seats.
Jamie Little was the hostess again this year and did a great job- especially considering that the guys seemed a little more wiley this year. I am not all to sure that Brad Keselowski wasn’t three sheets to the wind by the time he got out there. Jeff Gordon let the audience know that there was a certain Champion who kept feeding Brad shots and telling him they were “tradition.” It was pretty obvious to those in attendance that the certain champion was none other than our Tony Stewart.
If you remember last year- Jeff Gordon was talked into breakdancing! That was fun…this year we got to see Denny Hamlin dance and Martin Truex Jr do the fist pump. It even looked like for a bit that Tony was going to be talked into showing us the tattoo on his back that has me so piqued. Unfortunately he wouldn’t take the bait and kept his back covered. Tony did however take up a pushup challeng by Rutledge Wood. He completed 6 or 7 – and was even wearing dress shoes while he did it. Don’t believe me? Misty was able to catch Tony doing his push ups on video:
Tony Stewart does pushups with Rutledge Wood onstage at NASCAR After The Lap at Planet Hollywood LIVE in Las Vegas, NV (Video Credit: Misty Bethany).
My only complaint about NASCAR After The Lap (Ok- not my only complaint because the seat relocation is a HUGE HUGE complaint) was that it was really hard to hear some of the banter between the drivers because Clint Bowyer kept yacking over the top of them. They never should have given him a sparkly mircophone because he thought it was the Clint Bowyer After The Lap show.
Another funny moment is when Denny Hamlin claimed that Brad was dating Jimmie Johnson’s long time PR person Kristine Curley. Brad was challenged to dance with her. Tony and Denny took it upon themselves to go backstage and get her. After what I assume took quite a bit of coaxing- Kristine did come out onstage escorted by Tony. Apparently Kristine came out under the auspice to collect a donation to the charity of her choice (She choice Victory Junction Gang for the check from NASCAR After The Lap- and Tony Stewart promised to throw in a matching amount). She quickly beat it off stage though when she found out they wanted her dance with Brad. Judging by a tweet later in the weekend from Jimmie Johnson- he also threw some money in for the donation to Victory Junction Gang Camp in Kristine’s name. (We found out onstage that when Kristine first started working in NASCAR she worked with Adam Petty- whom Victory Junction Gang Camp is an homage to. That is why she chose the VJGC for her donation).
As always After The Lap was a fun event giving fans a glimpse into the off-track personalities of their favorite drivers and was a fun time.
I will say that after the fact I remembered the part about this happening to us last year at the Joint too. All I can say is that if you luck into seats at the front- be wary- the may get taken away from you. At least when it happened last year we were notified before all the other close seats were sold out. Last year we were given a hat per ticket because of the difficulty. This year I received a framed picture of the top 12 drivers and a gift card for NASCAR.COM. I was the first name on the list that NASCAR took from us while we were seated. Misty never got anything. So I am not sure if they were just sending one item per party or honestly if ANYONE who was in our situation got anything. It really seems weird though that we have had similar problems with this event two years in a row.
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