Thursday, January 28, 2010

NASCAR and TMC - One Month From Now

A lot of sports activities will be crammed into the short month of February. The Super Bowl, the winter Olympics in Vancouver, NASCAR's Speed Weeks and Daytona 500, and several critical college hoops games affecting March Madness will all occur between now and then.

Perhaps the most relevant event for me, however, will happen one month from the posting of today's blog entry: February 28. The Shelby American Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway!

I'm not much of a gambler (at least not at the tables), and I've been to Vegas enough times to scratch my itch. But I'm always up for a race weekend at a track I've never attended. Until this trip, the track farthest west where I've attended a race was Texas Motor Speedway where I watched the inaugural Busch and Cup races in 1997. I've driven by California Speedway and Sears Point - but not to a live event. So getting to cross Vegas off my list of tracks to see will be great.

As with any TMC trip, I'm doing this as frugally as possible. (Please don't call me cheap. It sounds so crass.) Our itinerary looks something like this:
  • Friday, February 26 - Fly to Vegas for free (using Delta SkyMiles)
  • Pit stop at area retail store (see below for more details)
  • Check-in at Excalibur with deep-discounted, race fan special, multi-day rate special
  • Redeem 2 free drink vouchers in casino lounge as part of hotel package
  • Saturday, February 27 - Sam's Town 300 Nationwide race with free tickets (where we'll get to see everyone's favorite race diva compete - and no I'm not referring to Vegas' own Kyle Busch)
  • Saturday night - Well, I can't tell you. Because as everyone knows, some things that happen in Vegas stay in Vegas. (Others end up on a blog, Twitter, cell phone camera, or in your bloodstream.)
  • Sunday, February 28 - NASCAR Shelby American Sprint Cup race with free tickets
  • Monday, March 1 - Sport sunglasses, pop a couple of Goody's Orange Flavor headache powders, wash it down with a luke-warm, leftover Schaefer, and settle into my cross-country seat on Delta with eyes closed for the long trip home.
I haven't stayed at the Excalibur before, but the reservation staff has been super to deal with so far. Plus, they are right next to New York New York, MGM Grand, Luxor, Tropicana, etc. So we will have no shortage of places to roam if we want to leave the castle.

For those wondering about the additional key detail of the trip - yes I've done my advance scouting for Schaefer. My initial plan of action involved packing a couple of ceremonial cans in my luggage as I did when I last traveled to San Diego.

Instead, SUCCESS! Schaefer is still distributed in Vegas, and Lee's Discount Liquors about 5 miles south of the strip sells it. So guess where our first stop will be upon arrival at McCarran Airport Friday afternoon?

While I'm excited about going to this track for the first time, the place already has one strike against it. Unlike most tracks in the south, mid-Atlantic, and even New Hampshire, coolers are prohibited inside the Vegas track. [cynicism] I'm sure we'll have the good fortune to see the track sell cold ones at a reasonable price. [/cynicism]

So far, all our plans are falling in line nicely. Now, if we can just figure a way to wrangle a ride in the convertible with The King and his ladies...


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