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Las Vegas NASCAR Weekend approaching

Las Vegas NASCAR Weekend news

This is the first installment of a new feature at lvrj.com/motorsports to provide information about the upcoming NASCAR Weekend, March 4-6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that includes Nationwide and Sprint Cup races along with racing on the Dirt Track the nights of March 2-3.

Free Nationwide testing on March 3

A full day of Nationwide Series practice and a free driver autograph session in the Neon Garage will be March 3. Practices are noon-2 p.m. followed by the one-hour autograph session before two more hours of practice.

Each driver participating in the practice will participate in the autograph session.

Cup Hauler Parade on March 3

The popular NASCAR Hauler Parade will stage at the South Point on March 3 before heading north on the Las Vegas Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) at 6 p.m. for the trek to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

About 50 NASCAR 18-wheelers will proceed about five miles to Sahara Avenue before entering Interstate 15 to complete the journey to the speedway.

Fans will be able to watch the parade from both sides of the Strip and from any of the properties along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Las Vegan to sing national anthem on March 5

Las Vegas resident John-Philip Bowen won the recent Fox 5 TV/Speedway Superstar competition and will sing the national anthem prior to the start of the March 5 Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

"This opportunity is incredible and I know this will be life-changing for me," said Bowen. "I am looking forward to singing the national anthem in honor of the men and women who serve our nation so bravely. This is a dream come true and I am thrilled that I can share it with my friends and family all over the world."

Bowen, a 30-year-old employee at Open Top Sightseeing Tours, has been singing in national performances for several years but will experience his first NASCAR race at LVMS when a crowd of 100,000 is expected.

NASCAR driver charity auction to change

The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities will present its annual AutoTrader.com Racing Memorabilia Auction under a new format for 2011. SCC will conduct online and live auctions to give race fans the opportunity to ride around the track in the back of a pick-up truck with their favorite NASCAR driver during the pre-race driver introduction lap.

The Ride of a Lifetime online auction is under way and will conclude Feb. 27. To bid on your favorite Sprint Cup or Nationwide series driver go to www.sccrideofalifetime.com.

A live auction for Cup drivers for the March 6 Kobalt Tools 400 will be March 5 at LVMS in the Sprint Experience on the midway immediately following the Sam’s Town 300.

Cup Series drivers in the live auction are: Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer.

Cup Series drivers in the online auction through Feb. 27 are: Dale Earnhardt Jr., David Reutimann, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, David Ragan, Robby Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, David Gilliland, Ryan Newman, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bobby Labonte, Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Vickers.

Nationwide drivers in the online auction are: Kenny Wallace, Elliott Sadler, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, Mark Martin, Kevin Harvick, Jason Leffler, Carl Edwards, Steve Wallace, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Aric Almirola and Trevor Bayne.

For more information, call Las Vegas SCC director Rachel Commeford at (702) 632-8242.

Kyle Busch offers ‘suite’ opportunity

You can bid to win a lifetime opportunity to attend NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas and benefit children through the Kyle Busch Foundation.

The winning bid provides: four suite passes for each day, which includes food, non-alcoholic beverages and access to a cash bar.

All proceeds go to the Kyle Busch Foundation. Visit kylebuschfoundation.org for information and to bid.

Hit the sky, beat traffic

Maverick Helicopters is the only helicopter company providing air travel to and from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during NASCAR Weekend.

The NASCAR VIP package includes travel in a state-of-the-art helicopter outfitted with leather seats and wraparound glass. The package is $500 for round-trip transportation on Saturday or Sunday, with one-way flights being offered on Sunday at $300 per person

For information: (888) 261-4414 or FlyMaverick.com.

Poker for kids

A pair of charity poker tournaments is scheduled for NASCAR Weekend.

The first is the Dale Earnhardt Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Stratosphere at 4 p.m. Mach 2.

Black Ace Clothing will host a celebrity charity poker tournament with poker star Tiffany Michelle and NASCAR guests Kyle Petty and Ryan Newman at 7:30 p.m. on March 3 at Hard Rock Casino.

Net proceeds from the tournament will raise money for Victory Junction, a camp that serves children with chronic medical conditions and serious illness. It will be a No Limit Texas Hold’em event with a buy in of $250 and $100 re-buys and is open to the public.

Go to blackaceclothing.com for more information.

Meet the drivers

Juan Pablo Montoya will have an autograph session at Deer Springs Town Center 4:30-5:30 p.m. on March 5.

The first 200 people in line are guaranteed to receive Montoya’s autograph.

(The R-J and lvrj.com/motorsports will update the list of driver appearances but reliability relies on race teams providing information.)

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