Las Vegas Motor Speedway

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Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas Motor Speedway logo.jpg
Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March 2011.jpg
The Speedway at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Location Las Vegas, Nevada
Capacity 131,000
Owner Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
Address Las Vegas Motor Speedway
7000 Las Vegas Blvd. N.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89115
Opened 1996
Major events NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Kobalt 400
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Boyd Gaming 300
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Rhino Linings 350
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Global RallyCross Championship NHRA Nationals
Tri-Oval Superspeedway
Surface Asphalt
Length 1.5 mi (2.41 km)
Banking Turns – 12-20°
Lap record 226.491 MPH (Arie Luyendyk, Treadway Racing, 1996, IndyCar Series)
The Bullring Oval
Surface Asphalt
Length 0.375 mi (0.604 km)
Dirt track
Surface Clay
Length 0.5 mi (0.8 km)
Drag strip "The Strip at LVMS"
Surface 1/4-mile asphalt

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, located in Clark County, Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada about 15 miles northeast of the Las Vegas Strip, is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) complex of multiple tracks for motorsports racing. The complex is owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Following the closure of Stardust International Raceway in later-1970, plans were developed for a new racing facility in Las Vegas: the Las Vegas Speedrome. It consisted of a road course and drag strip. Through changes of ownership, a 3/8-mile short track would become part of the complex by the later-1970s. A new $72 million superspeedway opened on the site in September 1996. The first race at the speedway was on September 15 with an Indy Racing League event which was won by Richie Hearn. The first NASCAR Sprint Cup (then Winston Cup) event was held March 1, 1998 with Mark Martin winning the inaugural event. In December of that year, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. purchased Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Veteran motorsports publicist Chris Powell was named the speedway's president and general manager and still holds that position today.

The Winston No Bull 5 Million Dollar Bonus was held at the track from 1999 to 2002. Jeff Burton won a million dollars in 2000 and Jeff Gordon won the bonus in 2001. Burton and Sterling Marlin were not eligible in 1999 or 2002. The drag strip was rebuilt and relocated into the current The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 3/8-mile oval was rebuilt with a new pit lane and start-finish changed to the opposite side. In 1998, Las Vegas Motor Speedway was sold by Richie Clyne and Ralph Englestad to Speedway Motorsports, Inc., owned by Bruton Smith, for $215 million in December. During the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Champ Car also held races at the speedway, which were both won by Sébastien Bourdais.

In 2006, plans were announced to reconfigure the track after the Sprint Cup Series race held in March, increasing the banking from 12-20°.[1] This reconfiguration entailed "progressive banking" which increases the degree of banking on a gradient towards the outside of the track. This increased side-by-side racing. The speedway also constructed a fan zone called the Neon Garage. This area has live entertainment, unprecedented access to the drivers and teams, such as viewing areas for fans to watch their favorite driver's car get worked on and talk to the drivers, and is home to the Winner's Circle. The speedway moved pit road 275 feet (84 m) closer to the grandstands, built a new media center and added a quarter-mile oval for Legends Cars, Bandoleros, and Thunder Roadsters, in the tri-oval area.

On August 8, 2006, the newly reconfigured track reopened to stock cars. Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and Las Vegas native, became the first Sprint Cup driver to test a stock car on the newly reconfigured track in his #2 Miller Lite-sponsored Penske Dodge. Burton won the first Nationwide Series race on the new surface, taking a Monte Carlo SS to Victory Lane. The following day, Jimmie Johnson drove a Chevrolet to Victory Lane, capturing the first Sprint Cup Series win on the new pavement.

In March 2011, Insomniac Events announced that their largest rave festival in North America, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), would take place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time on June 24–26. More than 235,000 people attended the three-day event. The 2012 event was held June 8–10 with an attendance of 315,000 people. The 2013 event was held June 21–23 with an attendance of approximately 345,000 people. The 2014 event was held on June 20–22, and the 2015 event is scheduled for June 19–21. Insomniac has signed a ten-year contract with LVMS to host EDC through 2022.[2]

A road course designed by Romain Thievin was added in 2012. The course is 1.4 miles (2.3 km) long with 11 turns and an 1,800-foot (550 m) straight.[3]

2011 IndyCar accident[edit]

On October 16, 2011, the final race of the 2011 IndyCar season, the IZOD IndyCar World Championship, was held at Las Vegas. However, the race was marred by a horrific crash on lap 11 that involved 15 cars, some of which burst into flames. The crash allowed a red flag to be waved almost instantly, due to the remains of the damaged cars and the amount of debris on the track.[4] The crash began when Wade Cunningham made light contact with James Hinchcliffe, and the situation turned into a big pile-up of cars.

Four of the 15 drivers were taken to the nearby University Medical Center for treatment, one of which was two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and 2005 series champion Dan Wheldon, who suffered severe blunt force trauma to the head after his car flew into the catch fence. He was pronounced dead on arrival two hours later and IndyCar's officials formally decided to abandon the race.[5] Instead of completing the race with 188 laps to go, the 19 drivers who were not involved went back out on the track and did a five-lap salute in Wheldon's honor.[6]

In December 2011, IndyCar announced that they would not be coming back to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the 2012 season and beyond and that the future of IndyCar depended on what they would learn from the ongoing investigation of the crash that took Wheldon's life.[7]

Night Racing[edit]


Track reconfiguration in 2006 increased the banking in the turns. Subsequent testing before the 2007 season showed significantly higher speeds, with Sprint Cup Series drivers recording unofficial laps at better than 185 mph (298 km/h).

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying: Jeff Gordon, 27.738 sec. (194.679 mph), March 6, 2015
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race: Brad Keselowski, 2 hrs. 35 min. 24 sec. (154.633 mph), 2014 Kobalt 400
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying: Brad Keselowski, 29.112 sec. (185.427 mph), 2010
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series Race: Jeff Burton, 2 hrs. 13 min. 13 sec. (135.118 mph), 2000
  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qualifying: Mike Skinner, 30.326 sec. (178.065 mph), 2006
  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race: David Starr, 1 hr. 37 min. 3 sec. (135.394 mph), 2002

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Records[edit]

(As of March 8, 2015)[citation needed]

Most Wins 4 Jimmie Johnson
Most Top 5's 6 4 Drivers
Most Top 10's 10 Mark Martin
Starts 18 Jeff Gordon
Poles 3 Kasey Kahne
Most Laps Completed 4,551 Jeff Gordon
Most Laps Led 516 Matt Kenseth
Avg. Start* 8.3 Kyle Busch
Avg. Finish* 11.38 Matt Kenseth

* from minimum 5 starts.


  • Inside Road Course: 1.1 miles (1.8 km), with a 0.76 miles (1.22 km) road configuration and a 0.33 miles (530 m) oval configuration
  • Outside Road Course: 2.4 miles (3.9 km)
  • The Bullring: 0.375 miles (604 m) paved oval
  • Dirt Track: 0.5 miles (800 m) clay oval
  • The Strip: 0.25 miles (1,320 ft) drag strip
  • Exotics Racing Course: 1.4 miles (2.25 km) road course, with a 1.2 miles (1.9 km) configuration
  • Off-road Course: an 850 by 750 ft (260 by 230 m) area which may accommodate multiple configurations

Superspeedway track length[edit]

The NASCAR timing and scoring use a length of 1.50 miles (2.41 km).[8] This length was also used by IRL between 1996 and 2000.[9] In their last race in 2011 Indycar remeasured track length to 1.544 miles (2.485 km).[10] This is the result of the reconfiguration of the track. Between 2005 (old layout) and 2011 (new layout), no indycar race was held there. NASCAR still use the old length of exactly 1.5 miles for the reconfigurated oval.

Other events[edit]


  1. ^ "2012 Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway". 
  2. ^ "EDC: 8 more years of Vegas". Neon Vision Entertainment. Retrieved 28 June 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ Jung, Carter (August 2012). "Exotics Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway". Road & Track 63 (12): 22. 
  4. ^ "IndyCar race red-flagged after 13-car incident". autosport. October 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Wheldon dies from injuries". autosport. October 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "IndyCar's 5-lap salute to Wheldon". reddit. 
  7. ^ "IndyCar won't return to Las Vegas in 2012". usatoday. December 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ Las Vegas Motor Speedway at
  9. ^ 2000 IRL race result on, 2005 CCWS race result on
  10. ^ 2011 race result on

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°16′17″N 115°00′40″W / 36.27134°N 115.01112°W / 36.27134; -115.01112