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Matt Kenseth was the first to cross the finish line in NASCAR weekend's main event Sunday, edging out a made-for-Vegas name in Kasey Kahne, and becoming the first Sprint Cup driver to win on his birthday since Vegas born Kyle Busch did in 2009. Busch finished fourth, but made the best move of the race in temporarily taking a lead that had Fox commentators pointing to Busch down low.
bore dazzle you with highlights from the rest of the 267 laps and 400 miles, we bring you five things we observed at this year's Kobalt Tools 400:
The RVs are on their way!
NASCAR Weekend speeds into Vegas starting this Thursday for four days of adrenaline-packed racing and fan events, March 7-10.
The boys and girl of NASCAR will kick off festivities with a free-to-the-public Sprint Cup Series practice session on Thursday, followed by three days of competition: Pole Day on Friday, the Sam’s Town 300 at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at noon on Sunday. Tickets for are available online or by calling (800) 644-4444. As you'll read below, there are also a few chances to win tickets.
Regardless of whether you attend the race (or even care about it), there will be much happening around town, from public appearances by drivers to drink and food specials before, during, and after the races. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening, and be sure to check back as we will continue to update the list as this week progresses:
The NASCAR season kicks off this weekend with the Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 may be the biggest race of the NASCAR season but it's also just the beginning. In a couple weeks NASCAR comes to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NASCAR weekend is full of stock car action beginning with the NASCAR parade on the Strip on Wednesday, March 6 through the Kobalt Tools 400 on Sunday, March 10.
G2E / Mobile Gaming / Slot Machines / iTable / The Hangover / Aladdin / Pawn Stars / NASCAR / Facebook / Planet Hollywood / → All Tags
The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) is the annual conference for the
gaming casino business. Like most conferences, there are panels to discuss the future of the the business by industry experts along with the expo show floor itself where we can actually see, taste and touch the things coming to casinos soon. Today's gaming market extends out of the casino and into our houses and on our mobile phones.
Last year, the big talk off the G2E floor was about casinos and game manufacturers getting into your house with Facebook games and marketing. That started off slowly while companies developed the technology and waited on regulation but, today, Nevadans can bet on sports from their couch while people around the world took advantage of Caesars Entertainment's Escape to Total Rewards contest to earn comps from their desktop.
Those in attendance will be able to interact with the top 12 NASCAR Chase for the Cup drivers. Some fun from last year's event included 2011 Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart driving his car straight into the venue and usually reserved Jeff Gordon's breakdancing performance that took everyone by surprise.
Openings / Dream Racing / Race Cars / Adventure / Richard Petty / Las Vegas Motor Speedway / The Crystals / NASCAR / → All Tags
When renting a Viper or "normal" Ferrari to cruise The Strip just isn't enough, enter Dream Racing. Italian professional race car drivers Enrico Bertaggia and Ado de Micheli have brought a fleet of Ferrari F430 GTs to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. These big red machines aren't even street legal in Vegas and, for the gearheads, sport:
· V8 engine 260 CU IN (4.3L)
· 512HP at 8500RPM
· Top speed more than 200mph
· 0-60mph in under 3.5 seconds
· F1 (automatic clutch) paddle shift
NASCAR / Las Vegas Motor Speedway / Events / Danica Patrick / The Palms / Suncoast / Sam's Town / M and M World / Riviera / The Pub / Lynyrd Skynyrd / Rockhouse / MGM Grand / → All Tags
NASCAR trucks and drivers are already rolling into Las Vegas Motor Speedway from this past weekend's Phoenix race. If you're bringing your NASCAR colors to Vegas this week and have your tickets and rooms squared away, it's time to focus on where
Danica drivers will be signing and fans can score drink specials. And don't forget race fans, NASCAR Cafe is no more.
Kyle Busch appearance
When: Thursday, March 8 at 4-6pm
Where: M&M World. Fans are encouraged to call 702.736.7611 for wristband info prior to Thursday.
How many readers watched NASCAR for the first time this week thanks to the Daytona 500 fire? Not as many may have seen the start and late night finish, but plenty of eyes shifted from basketball and hockey at the bar we were at Monday once the flames flared up. New fans and
procrastinators long-time fans who wish to experience NASCAR in person can still score tickets to race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 9-11.
Looking at individual tickets to Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400, the best seats in the Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Terraces are long gone but all sections do have some availability, with Grandstand Section 4 between turns three and four offering the biggest selection from $25.
NASCAR / Daytona 500 / Sportsbooks / Gambling / Bets / → All Tags
This Sunday is the Super Bowl of NASCAR - the Daytona 500. It's a rare time that we dabble on NASCAR wagering. We don't follow the sport too closely throughout the year so we don't normally bet on the weekly races. However, we like having an excuse to watch such a major event so we place a couple of bets to keep us interested.
Wagering on NASCAR is pretty simple. There are three types of bets offered at most sportsbooks. You can put money on a particular driver to win the race, wager that a driver will place in the top three, or bet head-to-head that a driver finishes higher than another driver.
Odds for all three betting options are set as a money line like baseball. For example if a racer, like Dale Earnhardt Jr., is +900 (9-1) to win you have to bet $100 to win $900. If you're less comfortable choosing Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win, but you think he'll finish at least third you can place a top 3 wager which may be offered at +250 (or 2.5-1), where you'll bet $100 to win $250. If the plus number is confusing, you can just place a decimal point after the second digit from the right to figure out odds in a traditional manner. For example +3000 is 30.00 or 30-1.
Head-to-head contests just give you a money line for each driver so you may see something like the following:
Extreme Vegas / Adventure / NASCAR / Richard Petty / Race Cars / Cars / Las Vegas Motor Speedway / Off-Beat Vegas / → All Tags
NASCAR, and until recently the IndyCar Series, have made themselves at home in Las Vegas for quite some time now. Both have such a loyal following that you can even experience the thrill of driving a race car yourself. But what if your need for speed exceeds the limits of a 1.5 mile course and you can't afford to get hassled by Metro PD again?
If you are starting to catch our drift, you can drift here in Las Vegas. Haven't seen Fast and Furious' Caddyshack II and, therefore, aren't familiar with drifting? The gist of the drift is controlling your car even when the tires are sliding and spinning instead of gripping. You can get technical with the slip angle and history or just watch this vid:
Events / NFR / Rodeo / NASCAR / Rock and Roll Marathon / Marathon / → All Tags
It's cowboy hats, NASCAR jackets and spandex this weekend in Vegas. The National Finals Rodeo is in town for ten straight days while Wynn has turned into NASCAR central for the Sprint Cup Series Awards. And, if that's not enough, there's a little nighttime marathon rockin' and rollin' down The Strip, too. So, if that check-in line seems to last forever, it may be because some 100,000 people are waiting alongside you. Though, thankfully, not at the same hotel.
It's too late to register for Sunday's Rock n' Roll Marathon, but you can line The Strip to cheer on runners starting at 4 p.m. for the full marathon and 5:30 p.m. for the half. Check out the course map here. You're also out of luck for the Sprint Cup Awards, but you can have the next best thing by catching it on SPEED beginning at 9 p.m. EST tomorrow, Friday, December 2.
The good news is that if you're hankering to get your cowboy on, you'll be able to do it all over The Strip this weekend (and beyond). Here's just some of the many ways to grab the bull by the horns:
Are you already planning a trip to Vegas in 2012? NASCAR weekend is always a busy weekend in Vegas and is usually the same time every year. However, NASCAR has pushed their schedule back a week next year so while the Kobalt Tools 400 is still the third race of the year it's now a week later. NASCAR weekend will now be March 9-11, 2012.
The Stratosphere has been the hotel partner for NASCAR events and should be a partner for next year's Kobalt 400. Even sooner, the Stratosphere is holding events for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series October 15. You can even earn free tickets by playing at the Strat any time between now and the race.