Las Vegas is a world renowned travel destination and nothing demonstrates that more than when NASCAR comes to town.
While it is only the third race of the season, the Cup Race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has become a fan favorites. Over 125,000 enthusiasts converge on Las Vegas from every state and several countries.
LVMS is one of the jewels of the NASCAR schedule, offering fans an experience like no other. During the entire week leading up to the race there are events at various casinos, giving fans a chance to meet their favorite driver, grab a selfie, and obtain those valuable autographs. On Thursday night, all of the NASCAR car haulers make a parade lap down Las Vegas Boulevard with fans pouring out of the casinos to cheer on their favorite team.
The experience at the Speedway is like no other. Fans have the ability to purchase a pass to gain access to The Neon Garage, an area was designed with the fan in mind. The garage stalls where teams work on cars during the weekend back directly onto the Neon Garage with huge picture windows, allowing fans to get closer to their favorite driver and car than at any other NASCAR venue. Each window also has a small opening that enables fans to pass souvenirs through — another valuable autograph opportunity.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway also has the only Driver’s Meeting open to the public. At most tracks, the Driver’s Meeting before the race is only open to drivers, crew, and select media but in Vegas it turns into an Oscars-like scene, complete with a red carpet and huge stage — thousands of fans will pack into the Driver’s Meeting for a last chance sighting of a NASCAR star before they climb into the race car.
Queers4Gears caught up with a few gay race fans at LVMS on Saturday to ask them why they make the trek to this race every year from Sacramento.
“This place is fast, once they changed the banking a few years ago the racing has been incredible," fan Patrick Marsengill said. "I grew up watching racing in Atlanta, which is a really fast track and this new banking has made it fun racing to watch." Keith Sullivan said he comes for the “party=like atmosphere,” adding, “I just love the atmosphere at this place, then entire week….there’s nothing like it.” Sullivan and Marsengill have been bringing a gaggle of gays to this race for more than five years.
No other track on the NASCAR circuit offers fans such a complete experience on and off the track. To learn more or buy tickets for next year’s race, visit LVMS.com
Based in Las Vegas, MICHAEL T. MYERS is the founder of Queers4Gears.com, a site for LGBT car enthusiasts and race fans.