The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a racing complex that hosts events in a variety of categories. It is located 15 milesnortheast of the Las Vegas Strip on a 1,200-acre property with multiple tracks
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a racing complex that hosts events in a variety of categories. It is located 15 milesnortheast of the Las Vegas Strip on a 1,200-acre property with multiple tracks. Clark County, Nevada, is theownerand operator of the facility. The facility is owned and operated by a business called Speedway Motorsports Inc., whichis based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has its headquarters there.The facilityopened in1972 andbecameknown as the Las Vegas Speedrome. Opened in 1972, The Speedrome was aroad course and drag strip that was located in the far northeastern corner of the Las Vegas Valley and comprised of aroad course and a drag strip. As a result of the closing of Craig Road Speedway in 1983,Alexander Rodriguez leasedand then enlarged the facility by adding a 3/8-mile short track in 1985, which is now known as the Las Vegas MotorSpeedway (VMS). The track was purchased by Ralph Engelstad, theownerof the Imperial Palace, in 1989, and thevenue was renamed Las Vegas Speedway Park.Engelstad formed a partnership with William Bennett, the founder of the Sahara Hotel, in September 1996, and theproperty was renovated into a new $73 million speedway that opened to the public. Richie Hearn of the IndyCar serieswon the track’s inaugural race on September 15. In November, the NASCAR Truck Series hosted a race, and it was anice one. Speedway Motorsports acquired the Las Vegas Motor Speedway from Engelstad and Bennett in December1998 for a total purchase price of $215 million, effectively ending the track’s history. Chris Powell, the speedway’spresident and general manager, is an accomplished motorsports publicist who has worked at the track since itsbeginnings. Powell has served in this capacity since.After substantial improvements, the newly reconstructed circuit reopened to stock cars in August 2006 after beingclosed for several months. When Kurt Busch drove his No. 2 Penske Dodge on the freshly redesigned circuit in hishometown of Las Vegas, he made history as the first NASCAR Cup Series driver to do so. Busch is the 2004 NASCARCup Series champion and a Las Vegas native. When Mike Skinner won the Truck Series race in September 2006, itmarked the first time that a NASCAR race had been contested on a flat surface in the history of the sport’s professionaldivision. At the first Busch Series race on the new surface, in Marchof2007, Jeff Burton drove a Monte Carlo SStovictory,marking a first forthem.Recent winners includeLas Vegas Motor SpeedwaywinnerJimmie Johnson, whodrove a Chevroletall the way toVictory Lane to record his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.