Most recent winner: Tim Shaffer.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is always a welcome addition to any HammerDown! schedule. The attractions of the city make racing nothing more than a suppliment to the festivities. First rate dining, and lodging is always available. In Vegas, you can get what you want when you want it. Pizza at 4:00 AM? Fried Rice at 5:30 AM?, No worries.
Hotels: (on or near the strip), Monte Carlo, The Rio, Bally's.
Lodging off the strip: La Quinta Suites at the NorthWest Tech Center, is clean and closer to the track.
Lunch: The California Club in old downtown has great terriyaki. Romano's Macaroni Grill is a chain, but we love any city that has one. Vegas has two or three.
Dinner: The Seafood Buffet at the Rio is open every night. It is awesome! Every kind of seafood, cooked every way possible. Also, beef, and poultry and desserts always on hand - so even if you don't dig seafood, you'll like this place.
LateNight: The Sao Paulo Cafe at the Rio. Great coffee shop with a wide and varied menu. Open 24 hours.
Night Clubs: The Rum Jungle at Mandalay Bay is the place to go if you want to dance and get buck wild. Multiple level dance floors, loud thumping house, and hip-hop, and girls flying through the air are all common here. ...If you want to just chill and listen to some good music, the Voodoo Lounge on the top floor of the Rio is an experience to not be missed. You can stand on the roof, and see all of the strip, while thong wearing waitresses serve enourmous drinks. ...Studio 54 at the MGM Grand is a cool spot to catch a band, or go dancing. The joint is designed like the classic New York nightclub. ...Most racers congregate at the Brew-Pub on the ground floor of the Monte Carlo. The club keeps the racers inside the Hotel that has become the headquarters for the World of Outlaws. Expect to hear some tired pop music in there.
From the Positivity column, November 2002.
Vegas baby. World of Outlaws boss Ted Johnson has been gambling his entire life. 25 years ago he started the traveling sprint car series that has become the worlds premier winged tour. So it is no surprise that Ted picked Las Vegas in 1996, as the city that will host the final WoO race. Good decision. ...To say Vegas was 'off-the-hook' would be an understatement. It was off the hinges. ...Crew members, drivers, car-owners, I'm sure would let their collective hair down in any town, or city, but that they get to do it in LV is a big bonus. When the racing night is done, the adult fun center of the universe kicks into high gear. World class nightclubs abound, including a spinoff of the legendary Studio 54 at the MGM Grand. Leave it to JD Kramer, to drop a name, and presto the exclusive VIP lounge is accessable. This writer, and WoO voice, John Gibson too are suddenly in the VIP overlooking the peons. We snuck in by paying off a foreign cat that could bring 'friends' into the exclusive area.
Club music is pounding, lights flashing, bootys bumpin'. The beautiful people were out in force on this Saturday night / Sunday AM. Meanwhile back at the Monte Carlo, in rare form are a celebrating Steve Kinser, the newly crowned 17-time champion driver, along with the normally mild-mannered Joey Saldana. Saldana admits, the next day, "I was out of the ballpark". An unnamed crew member doesn't make it to his room. He stops to sit in a chair after getting off the elevator on the 16th floor, while heading to his room.The chair is comfy, so he sleeps until awkening a few hours later, after numerous onlookers have passed, and giggled.
Inside 54, wannabe starlets are mixing with dudes who have glow sticks in their hands, and sunglasses on, in the dark club. The music changes from high energy dance to hip-hop and back again three or four times. There are also paid entertainers, and dancers doing their nightly routines. They fly like trapeze artists, and drop confetti. By 6:00 AM Studio 54 is finally slowing down a bit. With the sun shining brightly, we head to Seven, a club that has gained favor as the after hours spot. Another $20, and we're in. It is 6:45 AM and people are awakening for their Sunday. But there is no sign of church goers inside Seven. More bodies moving, more darkness blending with strobe lights, and drinks STILL flowing. Finally at 8:15 AM we give up. Head hit the pillow at 9:00 AM, and most if not all needed to set heir alarms to get up in time for the World of Outlaws awards banquet which started at 6:30 PM.