Nascar Vegas Weekend in a Nutshell

05 Mar 2009


I was set to leave Bozeman and head to Billings at around 3pm where I was going to meet Mom and Dad and then fly out at around 9pm ish. Well the weather went from 70 degrees on Tuesday to super winter blizzard on Thursday so I decided to head out really early at about 1pm. I made it to Billings in about 2 1/2 hours, which wasn’t too bad given the weather. Went to Perkins with Ma and Pa and then headed to the airport. There we sat watching it snow and snow and snow. Started to get worried that the flight wasn’t going to make it or if it did, not take off. Well it eventually made it at about 10 and then we left out of Billings at about 10:30pm. This of course puts us into Las Vegas at about 11:30 PST. By the time we get to the Motel(Excalibur) and meet up with my 2 brothers and Sisters its about 1:30 and then decide its bed time.

End of day 1

Friday(aka race day #1 – Qualifying)

We all wake up and gather at about 9:30 – 10am and head out to the track at about 11. The traffic was completely terrible and took about two hours to get from the motel into a parking spot. If this was any indication of how the next few days were going to be its gonna suck since this was just qualifying. We finally get up near the track and I start to hear the faint sounds of cars and with all the people around its pretty exciting. I walk out into the grandstands and its like a scene out of the movies where you go from just a bunch of people walking around to sunshine and the track with cars racing around. My initial feeling about it was pretty weird. Can’t really explain how I felt, just felt weird, almost like I might not like the races but whatever.

They were just running practice laps at the time we got there so next up was the actual qualifying for Sunday’s race. Dad’s driver, Mark Martin, is first to qualify and sets a track speed record of somewhere around 185 mph on his first of 2 laps. Pretty cool. Then after that about 6 more racers break keep upping the record until they finally set it at around 186 mph. Qualifying starts to get boring at about the end and then one of the last qualifiers crashes right down in front of us. Hahaha, my first live wreck, now I’m excited.

Qualifying ends and we head back to the motel and traffic is terrible again, but we make it back in about an hour and a halfish. That night we all ate at the same place in the Excalibur and everybody has a great time.

End of day #2

Saturday(race day #2, Samstown 300, Cher, Mom’s Day)

Wake up, buffet of deliciousness, go to track.

Traffic is way better until we get to the parking lot, only took abour 30-45 minutes to get to the lot, then another  hour to get into a parking place, really retarded stuff going on there with all of that. Get to the stands and walk around all the driver shops which are in semi-truck trailers then head to the seats. The race starts and its ridiculously awesome when all the cars floor it coming around for the first lap. The next 100 laps are full of caution and wrecks, all of which are right in front of us…..AWESOME! The last half of the race was quite a bit faster, probably because about half of the starting cars are off the track from the wrecks(43 down to about 24).

I had bought tickets for Angela, Nikki and Mom to go to Cher @ Ceaser’s, so when we got back to the motel we nabbed the bus down to Ceaser’s to meet up with them. Sounded like it was an awesome concert, but then I got completely sidetracked by this 6’3′ blond that came out of the Coliseum. Amazing!

Me> OMG, you see that girl she is georgeous

Greg> Why are you still talking to me?

End of day #3

Sunday(aka the big one, race day 3, Shelby 427, Dad’s Day)

Got to the track in little under an hour, they sure had their poop in a group today and fixed all the traffic issues. Then Konrad pulled some epic parking lot magic. On the other 2 days we had entered our parking lot(#7) down on the far end and drove down towards the track and then into a blocked off area. Well on Sunday they tried to direct us into general parking for some reason. Konrad just went the way they said, but then drove across to the road we usually took and then down. Of course there is another attendant that directs us back towards the general parking, but Konrad just did a loop in and back out and then back down where we usually park. It was pretty funny because they were totally trying their best to rip us off, but he won the battle. We walked into the general area behind the track and we bought Dad a Mark Martin shirt(FYI everything pretty much sells out by about 10am on Sunday) and then head to the seats.

You can tell everybody is excited especially Dad. When they start the race and I goose bumps all over and then we take bets on how many laps till first wreck.

Greg – 11

Me – 8

Konrad – 12

Dad 7

….they make it to 1.75 and then chaos breaks loose on turn 4 in front of us.

Martin’s pit is straight across from us and get some shots of it with and without him pitting, too bad his car bombed out on him on like lap 25 or something :(.

The race ends up not having as many wrecks, but very exciting. I found it to be really hard to really focus on any individual car as they were zipping around the track so fast. If you are watching one car and you look away for a second it’s going to take a while to find that car again. That mixed with me not really knowing what to look for other than the occasional wreck was kind of confusing, but loads of fun.

Somewhere around lap 270 some weird caution/pit things happen. I don’t know the rules at all, but somehow Jeff Gordon pulled off some pit row stunts and ended up out in 3rd place after he caused a caution. Then they start the race again and another wreck straight away near turn 1.  When there is any oil or liquid on the track they have trucks that put out sand to dry it up and then use a street sweaper to clean that up. Well, they putzed around real good on this one for about 10 laps which put the race at ~182 laps and about 3 left. Everybody was confused and mad about how they screwed up the end of the race, not that Kyle Busch wouldn’t have won, but we wanted a good 10 laps at the end to give the race a good finish.

End of Day #4


Konrad, Angela, Greg and Nikki are all leaving so we all go out to breakfast in the NY, NY. The resteraunt is called America something or rather. I really liked this place and reccomend it. We all say goodbye to Konrad and Angela and then hang out with Nikki and Greg until they head out to the airport.

Then Mom, Dad and I catch the same bus route that William and I took to get to the frisbee fields 3 weeks ago and head out towards my great aunt and uncle’s place. They took us out to eat at the Boulder Station’s buffet and then head back to their place. We sit around and talk a bit and then head back to catch our bus.

End of Day #5

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