By Jay Jones
10:00 AM EST, February 12, 2013
NASCAR returns to Las Vegas March 6-10 with the Sam’s Town 300 and the Kobalt Tools 400 running on March 9 and 10, respectively, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But fans also can enjoy plenty of thrills the preceding three days.
Things get underway at 6 p.m. March 6. That's when the trucks in which NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are hauled about the country will parade down Las Vegas Boulevard. The colorful 18-wheelers will depart from the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign (south of Mandalay Bay) and slowly head north to Sahara Avenue, from which they’ll turn on to Interstate 15 to complete the trip to the speedway.
You can see drivers practicing on the 1.5-mile track from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 7. At 5 p.m., Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall will host a NASCAR Driver Auction benefiting Speedway Children’s Charities.
Up for bid will be the chance for fans to ride along with their favorite drivers during pre-race parade laps on March 9 and March 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is among the drivers who will appear.
Drivers will again take practice laps starting at 9 a.m. March 8. At 3:40 p.m., those racing in the Kobalt Tools 400 will take two qualifying laps to determine pole positions.
Pole positions for the Sam’s Town 300 will be decided at 10:05 a.m. March 9. The race (200 laps, 300 miles) begins at 1:15 p.m.
The green flag for the Kobalt Tools 400 (267 laps, 400.5 miles) will drop at noon Sunday.
Tickets and various packages are available at the speedway’s website or by calling (800) 644-4444.