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NASCAR Weekend happening this week in Las Vegas

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 15:58:52-05

More than 150,000 people are expected to gather at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 4 through 6 for the largest sporting event in the state -- NASCAR Weekend.

Practice sessions begin on Thursday and the Stratosphere pole day qualifying is Friday. The Boyd Gaming 300 will take place Saturday and the Sprint Cup series race, the Kobalt 400, will take place Sunday.

RELATED: 2016 Sprint Cup drivers

Last year's winners were Kevin Harvick (Kobalt 400) and Austin Dillon (Boyd Gaming 300).

SCHEDULE

Thursday
8:30 a.m. -- Gates open, Neon Garage opens
9-11 a.m. -- Testing session 1
Noon to 3 p.m. -- Testing session 2

Friday
10 a.m. -- Gates open, Neon Garage opens
10:30-11:55 a.m. -- Kobalt 400 practice
12:30-1:55 p.m. -- Boyd Gaming 300 practice
3-3:55 p.m. Boyd Gaming 300 final practice
4:45 p.m. -- Kobalt 400 Stratosphere pole qualifying

Saturday
8 a.m. -- Gates open, Neon Garage opens
8:30-9:45 a.m. -- Kobalt 400 practice
9:45 a.m. Boyd Gaming 300 qualifying
11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. -- Kobalt 400 final practice
12:30 p.m. -- Boyd Gaming 300 driver introductions
1 p.m. -- Boyd Gaming 300 race

Sunday
7 a.m. -- Gates open, Neon Garage opens
9-10 a.m. Speedway Children's Charities Track Walk
Noon -- Kobalt 400 driver introductions
12:30 pm. -- Kobalt 400 race
5:30 p.m. -- Neon Garage closes

ENTERTAINMENT AT SPEEDWAY

Approximately 10 bands and performers will keep visitors entertained during the races. On the Cooper Tires stage, fans can see bands like the Chris Heers Band, Backwater Blues, Vinyl Vault, the Scotty Alexander Band, Red Rock Ramblers, Sin City Kiss, WolfCreek, Ryan Whyte Maloney and The Moanin’ Blacksnakes. Those bands also will appear on the Neon Garage stage in the LVMS infield during the three-day motorsports extravaganza, so fans with Neon Garage passes can hear them perform as they enjoy everything else the beloved LVMS area offers.

In addition, Backwater Blues and a gospel choir will perform at the Winner’s Circle stage in the Neon Garage on Saturday and Sunday morning, respectively. Click here for a complete list of on-site entertainment.

TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION

Fans planning to attend the races should leave early and stay late. Nevada Highway Patrol is predicting heavy traffic (as usual) and is urging fans to arrive hours before the actual race time. Also, drivers should plan to stay until well after the checkered flag is waved.

There is also an app that will provide last-minute instructions and traffic updates. The speedway will also be sending out updates via its Twitter account at @lvmotorspeedway and on the radio (KBAD 920-AM) on Sunday.

If fans are driving from the west side of the valley, they should take the northern 215 beltway to Interstate 15. Drivers coming from the Las Vegas Strip or southern end of the valley should take I-15 north. Anyone coming from the east side should take Las Vegas Boulevard.

Race Day Express shuttles are also available all three days from Bally's, Stratosphere, Treasure Island, Tropicana and The Plaza in downtown Las Vegas, A three-day pass is $99 and a single-day pass is $75.

The city bus also runs to the speedway. Bus Route 604 will provide express service between downtown Las Vegas and Nellis Air Force Base area. Bus Route 603 will also provide service from Nellis Air Force Base area.

Maverick Helicopters, the exclusive helicopter operation for the speedway, is offering transfers to and from the racetrack during NASCAR Weekend. The flight on the company's Airbus EC130 Eco-star helicopters only takes 15 minutes. Cost is $549 per person roundtrip per day. Private and custom charters are also available throughout the weekend. Maverick's new $5 million terminal also offers exclusive space for drivers, team members and VIP guests to gather pre and post flights. 

AUTOGRAPH SESSIONS

Thursday
4:30-5:30 p.m. -- A.J. Allmendinger, Smith's store, Centennial Parkway
5-7 p.m. -- Jyle Busch, M&M's World Las Vegas (must have wristband)
7 p.m. -- David Ragain, driver and memorabilia auction at Sam's Town
7-8 p.m. -- A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell, Double Barrel Roadhouse at Monte Carlo

Friday
12:30 p.m. -- Matt Kenseth, Neon Garage
12:45  p.m. -- Gregg Biffle, Neon Garage
2 p.m. -- Ryan Blaney and Brian Scott, Neon Garage
2:45 p.m. -- Kurt Busch, Neon Garage
6:30 p.m. -- Jeff Gordon, Neon Garage
6:45 p.m. -- Jimmie Johnson, Neon Garage
6:45 p.m. Chad Knaus, Neon Garage

Saturday
10 a.m. -- Denny Hamlin, Neon Garage
11:30 a.m. -- Hermie and Elliott Sadler, neon Garage

Sunday
10:30 a.m. -- All Sprint Cup drivers, neon Garage

RELATED EVENTS

  • The Speedway Children's Charities Drivers Auction will take place March 3 at Sam's Town. The silent auction, benefiting the Las Vegas Chapter of the Speedway Children's Charities, will feature an array of racing memorabilia and other items.
  • The Marshall Tucker Band will perform March 4 and 5 at The Orleans during the official Boyd Gaming 300 after-party.
  • The 13th annual RaceJam 2016 will take place from Thursday through Sunday on Fremont Street. Country singer Craig Morgan will perform at 9 p.m. March 5 on the Third Street Stage.
  • Kevin Harvick's Busch beer racecar will be on display in front of Beer Park's Las Vegas Boulevard entrance on the corner of Paris valet on Saturday and Sunday. Beer Park will also be showing the races on more than a dozen television screens.
  • Davidoff Cigar Bar at Fashion Show Mall will be hosting viewing parties for the races during NASCAR Weekend. The cigar bar has numerous television screens in view of both the bar and their patio.
  • Sirius Satellite Radio Live Remote with Claire B. Lang from race and sports book at The Mirage from 4 to 7 p.m. March 3.
  • A driver experience simulator will be near the main entrance of The Mirage from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 5 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 6.
  • The race and sports book at The Mirage will show the Boyd Gaming 300 race at 1 p.m. March 5 and Kobalt 400 at 12:30 p.m.  March 6.
  • Live question and answer session with Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart at the race and sports book at The Mirage at 4 p.m. March 5.

     

FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS

Tacos & Tequila at Luxor will be offering food and drink specials during NASCAR Weekend. They include hot dog nachos, made with tortilla chips and French fries topped with barbecue baked beans, nacho cheese sauce, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño and grilled hot dog slices, priced at $10.Guests can also enjoy a trio of T&T’s Hot Dog Nachos, one bottle of Coors Light and the choice of a shot of Southern Comfort Pepper or a mystery tequila shot, priced at $15.

Ethel M Chocolates has unveiled the Kyle Busch Chocolate Collection just in time for NASCAR Weekend. The chocolatier’s famous name is also featured on Busch’s No. 18 racecar, which will be unveiled when NASCAR roars through Las Vegas, March 4-6. The Kyle Busch Chocolate Collection is a limited 16-piece chocolate assortment featuring Busch’s favorite Ethel M specialties and priced at $29.99. Wrapped in custom NASCAR® branded packaging, the collection is now available for fans to purchase online and at Ethel M locations, including its factory store in Henderson, McCarran Airport boutique and at M&M World on Las Vegas Boulevard.