For the third year the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Las Vegas to celebrate its season and officially crown a champion.
This year there is a great deal to celebrate. The 2011 season was the most competitive on record and featured highlights such as first time winners and historic moments like the title fight that wasn’t decided until the final lap in the final race of the season. For the first time in NASCAR history the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup title was decided by a tiebreaker and for the first time in the last five seasons, a new champion was decided.
Tony Stewart will be officially crowned the series champion Friday night. His third title was well earned and deserved. Prior to Friday night however, there will be plenty of other events around town, many that will welcome fans to participate.
“Our goal from the outset was to bring fans closer to the action, and have them engage with our drivers in a personal way,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Las Vegas has done just that. As the home to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, Las Vegas has upped the excitement level, and has embraced the sport during one of its signature weeks.”
Fans will join drivers, team owners and industry leaders in celebrating the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion at the awards ceremony. Approximately 300 tickets are available to fans. They are being distributed by tracks, NASCAR partners and teams through various fan promotions. Tickets will offer fans access to the following Champion’s Week experiences:
• NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon
• NASCAR After The Lap
• Fan reception & Red Carpet walk prior to the awards ceremony
• NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony
Following is a rundown of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week activities, all times are local.
Tuesday-Wednesday, Nov. 29-30
• NASCAR 2011 Motorsports Marketing Forum: The NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum is the motorsports industry’s most comprehensive business forum. This is the twelfth year that Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal has hosted the conference, which will feature an array of insight and perspective from sports and marketing executives both within and outside the motorsports industry. Registration is required at www.motorsportsmarketingforum.com.
Tuesday-Saturday, Nov. 29-Dec. 3
• NASCAR Pit Stop Tour: The Pit Stop Tour program will run from Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 29-Dec. 3, consisting of Official Partner show cars placed in iconic locations throughout the Las Vegas strip. Brand ambassadors at each location will be on site from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day, engaging fans. The planned locations include the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the World of Coke, New York, New York hotel, Fashion Show Mall, Fremont Street, Bally’s and Harrah’s. Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota will be showcasing their vehicles to fans (Ford at Bally’s; Chevrolet at Fashion Show Mall; Toyota at New York, New York; and the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion’s stock car at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign).
Wednesday, Nov. 30
• Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Champion’s Week Kickoff Event: Held on Fremont Street, this free event starts at 2:15 p.m. and will feature a Newlywed Game-type competition among the top-12 drivers. Drivers will be randomly paired by drawings in groups of two, and will answer questions about each other mirroring the famous Newlywed Game style. Each team will also be paired with a fan. The winning drivers and fans will receive suite passes for next year’s NASCAR weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Thursday, Dec. 1
• NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: This will begin at 11a.m. in the Bellagio Ballroom at the Bellagio. This annual industry/media gathering includes the presentation of awards to the Champion Crew Chief, Champion Sponsor, Sunoco Rookie of the Year and Most Popular Driver. Co-hosted by NASCAR and National Motor Sports Press Association, fans can attend this exclusive event for the second-consecutive year.
• NASCAR Victory Lap: Set for 3 p.m., the fan-favorite NASCAR Victory Lap will feature the top 12 drivers parading – with engines growling – down the famed Las Vegas strip in their teams’ respective race cars. NASCAR Victory Lap will feature an authentic pit stop along the route and two burn-out sections for drivers. NASCAR Victory Lap will start in front of Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard and end at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
• Coca-Cola Fan Zone: Fans can get a front-row seat for the conclusion of NASCAR Victory Lap at the Coca-Cola Fan Zone, a free event located at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Beginning at noon, the Coca-Cola Fan Zone offers interactive displays from The Sprint Experience, Game Show Network, Ford, Coca-Cola, and is a prelude to NASCAR After the Lap.
• NASCAR After the Lap: Starting at 4:30 p.m., NASCAR After The Lap is one of the highlights of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week. Tickets for the third-annual event will be available for purchase at NASCARafterthelap.com for $20 each, with proceeds benefitting The NASCAR Foundation, a non-profit organization which raises funds that support children’s charities and important causes throughout the nation. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Coca-Cola, the event is renowned for its unfiltered, “tell-all” format featuring the 2011 top-12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers.
Friday, Dec. 2
• 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony: The big show will start at 6 p.m. at the Wynn Las Vegas, crowning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner – and honoring the other drivers who finished in the top 10 in the final series standings. SPEED and MRN Radio provides same-day coverage, starting at 9 p.m. ET.
For more NASCAR News visit CupScene.com or follow me on Twitter!