Las Vegas – you may want to double up on your ear plugs.
In a unanimous vote on Wednesday afternoon, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board cemented a new deal to bring about a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend to it’s yearly schedule.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway will receive a second NASCAR weekend beginning in 2018 that will include the top-3 national series; including Monster Energy Cup, XFINITY, and Camping World Truck Series. In addition to the new fall triple-header weekend, the Camping World Truck Series will also be added to the regular Spring race weekend, making Las Vegas the first city in NASCAR history to host two triple-header weekends.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Speedway Motorsports and Las Vegas Motor Speedway to create a NASCAR spectacle worthy of the greatest racing in the world and the Entertainment Capital of the World,” said SMI president Marcus Smith.
But as one track benefits, another must suffer. NASCAR has no desire to add another race weekend to its already long 36-point race season, meaning Smith had to drop the axe on some of his other SMI speedways. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which has held two Monster Energy Cup races since 1997, will lose its fall race weekend, which included both the Monster Energy Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series. Kentucky Speedway, another SMI venue, will also lose it’s XFINITY Series standalone weekend. Both New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway will fall back to one NASCAR weekend in 2018.
Many will argue against the decisions Smith and his SMI team have made, but it’s hard to go against the numbers. Aside from being one of the top destination places in America, Las Vegas Motor Speedway has always been one of the most-welcomed races on the NASCAR circuit. On race weekend, the 1.5-mile track becomes home to over 100,000 fans from all around the world. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has reported before that NASCAR’s lone race weekend in March brings well over $125 million in economic impact for the city.
“It’s going to be really cool to come out here two weekends of the year next year,” said Camping World Truck Series driver and Las Vegas native, Noah Gragson. “It’s going to be a really, really cool deal. It’s a privilege to race out here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway…”
The exact dates for the two race weekends have not been finalized yet, but NASCAR has said it will have the 2018 schedule set by April 1.