What a surprise, Las Vegas does things big.
A few miles north of The Strip, Las Vegas Motor Speedway seats 150,000 people and has multiple tracks on site. While the road courses, dirt track and drag racing seems nice and all, the main event is the 1.5 mile D-shaped oval.
The track was reconfigured in 2007 to create more speed. At the time, some drivers questioned if the track was too fast. Add the Gen 6 model and the single lines we saw at Phoenix and Daytona, and things could get intense Sunday.
That said, Vegas is nothing like Daytona or Phoenix in terms of structure; so, this will be new territory for many teams. Think Fontana in terms of set up, even though it is a 1.5 mile track. Also, keep in mind many teams chose to stay out west, working remotely rather than go from Phoenix to North Carolina back to Vegas.
The race is the first of the season on a 1.5 mile track. It’s also the first race that runs 400 miles. Teams spent all winter trying to perfect their cars on this type of cookie cutter track; they’ll find out how that work panned out on Sunday.
Now some other fun facts from the track’s website to impress your friends with on Sunday.
- The banking is 20 degrees in the corners and 9 degrees on the frontstretch and backstretch
- The frontstretch is 2,275 feet. The back stretch is 1,572 feet
- Tony Stewart won this race last year.
- Jimmie Johnson won here four times as has the highest average finish of any active driver.
- Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Marcos Ambrose have the second-fifth best average finishes here.
- Johnson, Edwards, Kenseth and Burton are the only four drivers with multiple wins at the track.
- Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Bobby Labonte are the only drivers to win multiple poles at the track.
- Kurt Busch hasn’t had much success in his hometown, with an average finish of 27th.
- Nearly 2,000 tons of concrete were needed to build the place. Insert joke about bodies being buried there at this point.
- This is Vegas. So the track does allow weddings during the race. This is actually the first question on the track FAQ page.
- Las Vegas also has a rain policy.
- Fans rave about the access they get at the Neon Garage.