Las Vegas speedway infield media center gets corporate sponsor

Updated January 17, 2019 - 12:51 pm

One of the highlights of the upcoming NASCAR open test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is when drivers are brought into the infield media center to discuss their setups and what they did during the short offseason.

Except this year the infield media center is no longer.

Now it’s the ThriveHive Digital Center.

The marketing company (it has an office in Las Vegas) apparently paid a nice chunk of change to have its logo affixed to the pristine 60,000 square-foot media — er, digital — center previously known for blocking a clear view of the backstretch for those sitting in the cheap seats.

At least the media center has secured a sponsor, which is more than can be said for many of NASCAR’s race teams.

LVMS president Chris Powell issued the usual and perfunctory statement.

“ThriveHive is a proven leader in the digital marketing industry, and we’re honored to rename our media center as the ThriveHive Digital Center … yada, yada, yada.”

It’s a good thing Tony Stewart isn’t still driving and participating in the two-day test Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. I can almost guarantee that if somebody from the track told him to go the ThriveHive Digital Center, Stewart would get lost.

No affront to the ThriveHive people, but this probably will be the last time the Las Vegas Motor Speedway media center is called the ThriveHive Digital Center if people who hang out there have anything to say about it.

It also should be pointed out that Charlotte Motor Speedway once was called Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but it didn’t take.

Green, white, checkered

— It will be a full slate of Las Vegas drivers at the NASCAR test at LVMS as youngsters Noah Gragson and Riley Herbst have been added to a list of Cup Series regulars including Kurt and Kyle Busch who will turn practice laps. Gragson will drive one of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Xfinity Series cars after switching teams during the off-season. Herbst also will slide behind the wheel of an Xfinity car with an eye on competing in his hometown during Pennzoil 400 weekend in March. Zane Smith, a former LVMS Bullring competitor, also will drive during the two-day test.

— Henderson’s Jason Reichert has been named the Sports Car Club of America’s Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year for his performance during the 2018 season that saw him win the Pacific F2000 championship. Reichert, 19, also earned a major victory at the SCCA Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway when he assumed the lead and held off a late challenge from the second-place driver on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile circuit.

— Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears headline 12 finalists for election into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. They are joined on the ballot by Mike Bliss, Bob Bruncato, Gary Bechtel, Tom Sneva, George Follmer, Tom Gloy, Tommy Kendall, Doug McCoun, Eric Norris and Jim Pettit II. The new inductees will be announced during the NASCAR Auto Club 400 weekend at Fontana, California, in March.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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