All hail King Jimmie the Fifth: Champion's Week heads to Las Vegas


Now that the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is over, planners for the Dec. 1-3 Champion's Week in Las Vegas can create name tags for the drivers who will be on the stage for the banquet at Wynn.

And the Sprint Cup trophy will have the name of Jimmie Johnson engraved on it for the fifth straight year.

Unfortunately, the general public isn't invited to the big gala, but it's the most boring part of the three-day celebration anyway.

For the second year of the festival in Las Vegas, there are three big events that are free to the public. Here's a list of fun-filled events you can attend and one you can't:

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1

Chasers for Charity Fanfest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is free and will be highlighted by a Family Feud-like competition between the year's top-12 Cup drivers, who will be split into two teams. The battle will be hosted by Kevin Burke -- who stars in the one-man show "Defending the Caveman" at Excalibur -- from 2-3:30 pm.

Gates open at 10 a.m. in the Neon Garage with live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and other forms of entertainment.

A special go-kart race adjacent to the Neon Garage will include Carrot Top, outfielder Aaron Rowand of the World Champion San Francisco Giants and Sprint Cup rookie of the year Kevin Conway.

A local race fan can win a ride in the go-kart race by going to http://www.lvrj.com/promotions/chasersforcharity-rj.html. Deadline to enter is Thanksgiving Day.

The Richard Petty Driving Experience will offer stock car rides with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity. The speedway will offer tours of the facility, and interactive displays will be available throughout the Neon Garage.

THURSDAY, DEC. 2

The NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon begins at 11 a.m. in the Bellagio ballroom. The annual industry/media gathering includes the presentation of awards to the champion crew chief and team sponsor, Raybestos rookie of the year and most popular driver. For the first time, fans will have an opportunity to attend this event through various online contests and auctions.

Victory Lap: The day's highlight begins at 3:30 p.m. with the Victory Lap that includes the top 12 drivers motoring -- loudly -- along the Strip in their teams' respective race cars. Victory Lap will feature an authentic pit stop along the route and two burn-out sections for drivers. Victory Lap will start in front of Planet Hollywood and end at Hard Rock Hotel.

NASCAR After The Lap: Starting at 4:30 p.m., this is a free event for fans in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. It features an unfiltered question-and-answer session with drivers and an interactive Coca-Cola Fan Zone experience. Select NASCAR fans will be awarded NASCAR-themed prizes, including a 2011 Ford Taurus SHO. The Coca-Cola Fan Zone opens at noon, with doors to NASCAR After The Lap opening at 3 p.m. General admission seats are free, on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans can register for tickets at NascarAfterTheLap.com.

FRIDAY, DEC. 3

2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony: The big show will start at 6 p.m., crowning Johnson as the NASCAR Sprint Cup driving champion and Hendrick Motorsports as the winning team owner. The top 10 drivers will be honored. Entertainment is by comedian Frank Caliendo, Rascal Flatts and Cirque du Soleil's "Viva Elvis." The event will be broadcast live on Speed (Cox 329).

 

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