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Locals Only: In this test run, fast is prologue

So you’re curious about the whole NASCAR experience, but you’re intimidated by the ticket prices, the crowds, the traffic jams and the very real chance that you’ll forget where you parked and spend a couple of hours wandering the massive lot in vain, desperately searching for your car, until you’re on the verge of tears?

Well, you’re in luck.

A testing session is set from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 7000 Las Vegas Blvd. North.

The Sprint Cup drivers will be on the track, so you can get a sense of the speed, not to mention the noise, that will greet fans during Sunday’s Kobalt 400.

Several drivers are expected to take part in a question-and-answer session following the testing.

Best of all, the grandstands and Neon Garage will be open for free to the general public.

For more information, visit www.lvms.com.

Celebration in order

It’s party time at the Discovery Children’s Museum, which celebrates its first birthday from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at its new downtown location, 460 Promenade Place, next to The Smith Center. But the first 500 guests will receive a special gift: free admission to the museum, including the traveling exhibit “Mindbender Mansion.” Even if you have to pay to get in (admission is $12 for those who’ve already celebrated their first birthday), you can join in the fun of face painting, balloon art, birthday games and mini-cupcakes. For more information, call 702-382-3445 or visit www.DiscoveryKidsLV.org.

Fish to fry

Since Tuesday was Mardi Gras and Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, Lent has begun, so it’s time for the annual fish fry at Christ the King Catholic Community, 4925 S. Torrey Pines Drive. The dinners, which will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday (and every Friday during Lent) include fried pollack or baked cod, macaroni and cheese or french fries, cole slaw, rolls, lemonade, iced tea or coffee and dessert. It’s $7 for adults, $3 for children. For more information, call 702-871-1904.

Miles marker

It’s the rebirth of cool on a Sunday afternoon, and you don’t even have to be kind of blue. “The Sounds of Miles Davis” are rekindled by a jazz quintet helmed by Chandler Judkins on trumpet and Brian Czach on drums. Admission is $10 for the 5 p.m. Sunday sets at the E-String Grill, 2301 W. Sunset Road, Henderson. Call 702-453-8451 for reservations and information.

Words up

The dude’s stage name is the Gift of Gab, so expect plenty of intricate, tongue-tangling rhymes when the Blackalicious MC and running mate DJ-producer Chief Xcel headline a great hip-hop bill that also features Vegas’ RnR and Ekoh at 8 p.m. Sunday at Backstage Bar &Billiards, 601 Fremont St. Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 day of show; call 702-382-2227.

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