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Carroll Shelby once kept up with Kim Kardashian in Las Vegas

Before there was “Ford v Ferrari,” there was Shelby v Kardashian.

It happened in 2010, when auto racing pioneer Carroll Shelby and TV reality star Kim Kardashian served as grand marshals of a NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Shelby American, the legend’s high performance car parts and customization enterprise, was headquartered at LVMS then. Kardashian had a fragrance line she wanted to promote.

With his company serving as the race title sponsor, Shelby was set up to be its grand marshal when NASCAR called about a marketing opportunity with Kardashian. The socialite had agreed to sponsor journeyman driver Mike Bliss’ car in the race.

“We thought no big deal, we’ll just get them to say ‘Gentlemen, start your engines’ together,” LVMS president Chris Powell recalled as “Ford v Ferrari” — a movie depicting the relationship between Shelby and test driver Ken Miles that helped the Ford Motor Company end rival Ferrari’s dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans — opened to rave reviews.

The paparazzi loved it.

Carroll Shelby, who had a home in Las Vegas before his death in 2012, seemed mildly amused.

A blown-up photograph of Shelby v Kardashian hangs in a hallway in the LVMS administration building just outside the office of vice president of public relations Jeff Motley.

Kardashian is wearing a snug black jumpsuit with hot pink accents. The zipper appears to be broken, or at least not doing its job very well.

Two showgirls are sporting plumage.

Carroll Shelby is holding the microphone, looking straight ahead, no doubt thanking his lucky stars that Enzo Ferrari had died in 1988 and would never see the photo.

Local lifts Gophers

The defensive back who saved Minnesota’s huge victory over Penn State on Nov. 9 played high school football in Las Vegas.

Jordan Howden, No. 23 in maroon and gold, No. 1 in the hearts of Golden Gophers fans — but apparently invisible to Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford — starred at Desert Pines before walking on at Minnesota and earning a starting spot and scholarship in January.

The sophomore safety made a diving interception in the end zone with 1:01 to play, preserving Minnesota’s 31-26 victory in a battle of Big 10 unbeatens.

Around the horn

— “Betting on professional sports is currently illegal in most of the United States outside of Nevada. I believe we need a different approach …” So began NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s op-ed in the New York Times five years ago this week that helped paved the way for major league sports in Las Vegas and changed the attitude toward wagering on them in general.

“I think it was groundbreaking,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said of Silver’s missive in an email to ESPN. “Leagues for decades were hypocritical about gaming, pretending it doesn’t exist. Adam ended that hypocrisy.”

— UNLV baseball product Kyle Isbel batted .315 with a homer and 16 RBIs for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League and also attracted media attention for his bowling prowess. Isbel told The Athletic his high bowling score is 281, and that his primary goals are to advance to the major leagues through the Kansas City Royals’ system and challenge Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts, who has rolled a perfect 300 game, to a 10-pin match.

— Former UNLV interim basketball coach Todd Simon guided Southern Utah to a 79-78 overtime victory at Nebraska on Nov. 9, one of the Thunderbirds’ biggest wins in years. Former UNLV player Dwayne Morgan led Southern Utah with 19 points and 11 rebounds.


Exchange between former Las Vegas 51s slugger Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, who was named National League Rookie of the Year this past week and has 80,600 Twitter followers, and a social media troller who has 17:

Troller: “Lose weight fat (expletive).”

Pete Alonso: “How does it feel watching this fat (expletive) hit 53 hrs and 120 rbi from your couch?”

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

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