Four NASCAR series return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in late September for a stacked weekend of races. The events are still months away, but track officials unveiled a significant change on Thursday, June 10. They will allow full-capacity crowds on all four days of races.
“We’re beyond thrilled that we’ll be able to open the grandstands to full capacity this fall,” said LVMS president Chris Powell in a release from the track. “We’ve been working to get back to normal for several months now, and knowing that we won’t be turning fans away because of social-distancing requirements has energized our entire staff. We can’t wait to welcome our race fans back to the speedway.”
The ARCA Menards Series West will kick off the weekend of racing on Thursday, Sept. 23. The Camping World Truck Series will then head to the Bullring on Friday, Sept. 24 for an important playoff race. The Xfinity Series drivers will take center stage on Saturday, Sept. 25, and then the Cup Series playoff race will cap off the weekend on Sunday, Sept. 26.
LVMS is the Latest Track to Allow Full Capacity Crowds
Prior to the LVMS decision on Thursday, June 10, six tracks announced that they would have no restrictions at upcoming events. The list included Martinsville, Richmond, Talladega, Michigan, Phoenix, and Daytona. Now LVMS joins the group ahead of the playoffs, creating excitement among racing fans.
The NASCAR season started with limited-capacity crowds at several tracks, including Daytona International Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. As the season has continued, more states have lifted restrictions and opened up opportunities for tracks to hold races in front of fully-packed grandstands.
The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway took place in front of a full-capacity crowd, making the fan-favorite race feel “normal.” Similarly, the upcoming Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway is completely sold out as the Cup Series drivers prepare to take on the concrete oval for the first time.
The Last Playoff Race in Vegas Featured a Win by the Hometown Kid
The last time the NASCAR Cup Series headed to LVMS for a playoff race, there were several drivers still in contention for the Bill France Cup. All they needed to do was win or stack enough points to move on to the Round of eight. Several headed to the Bullring with dreams of taking the checkered flag, but the hometown kid achieved his goal.
Kurt Busch, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro, started the race in the ninth position, but he did not remain there for very long. He led 29 laps, the third most behind Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott, ultimately holding off multiple contenders during an entertaining overtime finish.
Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, and Alex Bowman all made late charges with two laps remaining in the race. Ryan Blaney tried to push DiBenedetto to the front of the pack, but Busch used a great launch to keep ahead of his peers. Hamlin then came charging up and pushed Bowman, but neither could get around DiBenedetto, so he dove toward the bottom of the track and tried to take second place.
Hamlin had the advantage over the Wood Brothers Racing driver for a brief moment, but DiBenedetto pulled back ahead and recaptured second place as the group went around the final two turns. Busch avoided the mess behind him, took the checkered flag, and finally achieved a career goal.