The Annual Vegas Racecation…Posted by in NASCAR
Vegas is a sentimental track for me- because it is the first track where I saw a NASCAR race in person. It scrolled through my history here on BadGroove and found the very first Racecation report I made- I had so much to say I had broken it up into three parts: My First NASCAR Race Part 1, Part 2: Qualifying Day, and Part 3: Race Day. I don’t believe I have missed a Vegas race since then. My first NASCAR race was not the beginning of my love of NASCAR; I had loved racing (NASCAR, IndyCar, and NHRA) since I was about six or seven.
This year we headed to the track on Friday for my favorite day for being in the NEON garage. I like being in the NEON Garage the most on Friday. You see the most action in the garage areas with the crews working on the cars. I also find that there aren’t as many people in the garage area on Friday, so it’s easier to see into the garage stalls from the upper level which is my preferred view since I am short.
I enjoyed that Kurt Busch was sponsored by Star Nursery for the Vegas race. Star Nursery Kurt’s first sponsor back when he was starting. It was fun to be able to see him represent the hometown company that weekend on the #1 Chip Ganassi Chevy. Also on Friday, Brad Keselowski made an interesting comment during his media. I forget the exact question, but he stated that he thought that NASCAR television coverage was making a big mistake by being so zoomed up on the cars- because the people at home don’t see all the racing on the track. And that people at the track who can take in more of the race and not just what the cameras are showing are getting more out of the experience. I tend to agree. I have always been a NASCAR fan but what really solidified it for me was going to the track and seeing the races in person. It’s so much more. More what? More everything- it’s a complete assault on the senses- you see the cars you hear the cars, and you can feel them. You can smell the oil and brakes in the air; you can taste the tire smoke and the sweat. It’s just an experience I will never be able to put entirely into words.
Anyway, Friday we spend most of our day in the garage area taking pictures and hanging out, with the exception a few of the pressers we take in. Sadly the price of concessions are still crazy expensive (at least they were at the places in the Neon Garage- a bottle of water? $5.00. If alcohol is more your thing, a frozen margarita was $14.oo (sorry I didn’t notice what a clear beer was). Two chicken tacos were $7.00. Not the cheapest of fair. Going to a race is not cheap. We also made a point of visiting Tony’s 2012 win mural. We were at that race, and it was a fun memory to revisit.
Saturday, the weather was raining on and off the whole day, so we decided to skip the track activities and instead go to watch the practice skate for The Las Vegas Golden Knights NHL team at City National Arena in Summerlin. Vegas is VERY proud of its hockey team- and with good reason. They are a new franchise and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals their first season. You can not go anywhere in Vegas without seeing VEGAS BORN gear or seeing the VGK logo of the Helmet with the V in it. Vegas Knights pride is everywhere. As someone who hasn’t previously given much thought to hockey- it was fun to watch the skate. We got there early so we could be sure to get a good seat in the rink and there were three small kids on the ice batting around pucks and making practice goals. They were tiny kids, and I was amazed at the ease by which they were gliding around on those skate blades. It turns out they were children of a couple of the players.
On Sunday though we were back at the track of course. We got to the track quite early and walked out to the merchandise haulers. I love seeing all the fans lined up at the different merchandise haulers. I admit that when I was out there, I was surprised to find that the Chase Elliott hauler was void of fans when he was last season’s Most Popular Driver. Granted it was early when I was out there so maybe that changed throughout the day. We returned to the garage area. We watched the cars go through pre-race tech inspection.
Then it was race time. It was the shortest race I can remember being at in Vegas- the only cautions were the two at the end of the first two stages of the race. I admit part of me wanted Kyle Busch to win the race, just so he could have the three-race sweep in his home town. That would have been an awesome accomplishment and it would have been fun to be able say that I was at that race. Joey Logano ended up being the race winner.
Here are some more photos from the race:
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