Local viewing parties set for Daytona 500

Race fans who can't wait for the NASCAR season to begin will get to share their joy with others at one of nine Daytona 500 viewing parties located throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

Fans can win prizes at each of the parties Feb. 26, such as tickets to NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 is March 10 at LVMS, and the Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 400 is the following day.

Doors open at 9 a.m. for the viewing parties, and guests must be at least 21 years old. Go to lvms.com for information on locations and other details.

NASCAR fans can get an early taste of what's to come with the Budweiser Shootout at 5 p.m. Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Fox (Channel 5) will broadcast the race, and Speed (329) will televise the Shootout and Daytona 500 practices today and Saturday.

■ TOOL TIME -- Tim Allen, the former star of "Home Improvement" and "The Santa Clause" movies, will be the grand marshal for the Kobalt Tools 400.

"I love the track, the crowds, the cars -- I'm thrilled to be the grand marshal for this NASCAR race in Vegas," Allen said in a statement. "To have all those engines roar to life at my command? That's a powerful thing. Hell, yes, I'm excited. It's going to be a great day."

■ WEEKEND AT THE STRIP -- The Pacific Street Car Association makes its drag-racing season debut this weekend at LVMS' The Strip with the Ford Racing Record Breaker Nationals.

Testing is today, qualifying is at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the elimination rounds begin at 9 a.m. Sunday. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

This is the first of three Las Vegas stops for PSCA this season.

■ OPENING DAY -- NASCAR isn't the only motor sports series beginning its season next week.

Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) opens its six-race schedule Feb. 24 through Feb. 26 at the Dusty Times Battle in Primm.

A competitive field of drivers is expected to be announced next week. The registration list is up to at least 215.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.