LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — This will be a big weekend for NASCAR and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube is one of the three races happening with fans allowed in the stands at a 15% capacity.
That allows for 12,500 attendees to witness the racing action.
“Just to have fans on the property, fans in the RVs, fans coming in through the gates this weekend -- it just makes us so excited," said Chris Powell, the president of the speedway.
"We want to make sure that 100% of them leave here not only safe but having had a positive experience,“ Powell added.
For that, several COVID-19 guidelines have been implemented and will have to be followed by everyone, including the mandatory use of face coverings, health screenings, social distancing, frequent hand sanitation and protocols ranging from digital tickets to cashless purchases.
Certain areas will also be disinfected constantly, and a clean shield spray has been used in the suite loge, which is a proven way to effectively reduce the spread of viruses.
“It's a COVID spray, it goes in and makes all the facilities clean and safe," explained Steve Mclnelly with Alsco Uniforms. "It kills any bacteria, any germs, basically any COVID that can transmit to anyone else."
"It will last for the entire race weekend, they don't need to do it again," he said. "It's a seven-day spray."
A big change during this weekend will be at the Neon Garage, which will be closed.
It's an area where racing fans are usually able to interact with drivers after the races and is one of the most popular activities at the speedway.
“They recognize us," said NASCAR fan Charlotte Phillippi of the drivers. "They come up and say, 'Good to see you.' We'll probably miss that but it is going to turn around. We'll be back to normal."
The last time racing fan Vicky Nuño-Ramsouer was at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was exactly one year ago and while she’ll be here this weekend with her family, she says she knows that the experience will be very different.
"We're so used to, literally, in here, everything full," said Nuño-Ramsouer pointing across the stands. "Packed like sardines."
"But now it's just so surreal to look and see, and look outside, and be like, wow, “ she said.
"I feel safe," added Nuño-Ramsouer. "I'm a nurse, I feel safe bringing my family."
Race weekend kicks off with the Bucked Up 200 on Friday at 6 p.m., then it's the Alsco Uniforms 300 on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the weekend wraps up with Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at noon.
It will be the largest fan-attended sporting event in Nevada since the pandemic began.
All three events are sold out and a big boost to the Las Vegas economy at hotels and restaurants is expected.