Fun continues for NASCAR drivers at post-season festivities in Vegas
Tony Stewart’s on a roll. And that’s a good feeling when you’re in Las Vegas.
Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman won Wednesday’s “This Ain’t the Newlywed Game,” a riff on the television original hosted by Bob Eubanks. Stewart and Newman edged the team of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch by most accurately recalling the estimated attendance of March’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The game had a myriad of humorous moments – some broad, others ribald – and in some cases more resembled a roast of the top 12 finishers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™.
Stewart, who suggested engineering graduate Newman would be a better driver “if he didn’t think all the time,” got in the final zinger to his teammate’s incorrect answer that he would be the driver the champion most likely would bump out of the way on the final lap to win the race.
“I figured you’d pick me,” said a disappointed Newman. Stewart answered, “There you go thinking again.” Stewart thought Newman’s answer would’ve been “Brian Vickers.”
Carl Edwards said Roush Fenway Racing partner Matt Kenseth would be a better driver “if he didn’t qualify in the back.” Kenseth responded, “Are you kidding me? I beat Ryan Newman for poles this year.” Actually, they both won three Coors Light Poles during the 2011 season.
Kenseth set up Eubanks by telling Edwards his most annoying habit was always being late. Eubanks said, “Even late crossing the finish line” in reference to Edwards’ second-place finish to Stewart in the championship deciding race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“This could be the end of my career,” said Eubanks. “I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again but it’s been fun.”
The Newlywed-style event, held on downtown Las Vegas’ historic Fremont Street Experience, drew several thousand fans. Some carried signs welcoming their favorite drivers.
The six teams were comprised of Stewart/Newman, Hamlin/Kyle Busch, Edwards/Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr./Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon/Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski/Kurt Busch.
There were other activities as well, as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week rolled into its second day working toward Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet at Wynn Las Vegas, a signature event that will feature same day coverage (9 p.m. ET) by SPEED, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio.
Travis Pastrana sat for a featured one-on-one interview during Wednesday’s second and final day of the Motorsports Marketing Forum at Caesars Palace. Pastrana noted his recovery process from a broken ankle, which delayed his NASCAR Nationwide Series career, saying, “I actually became a bigger fan and feel like I learned a lot by watching on television.”
Pastrana said the biggest challenge he faces in 2012 is working with crew chief and crew to make the optimum adjustments. “In Rally, if you want to make up time, you can take chances to jump up further,” he said. “In NASCAR, you really have to not only know what the car is doing, but how to relate that.”
Stewart hosts the popular 5th Annual “Stewie Awards” with co-host Matt Yocum at 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday on the SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. The Stewies honor the best, boldest and funniest moments from the NASCAR season.
Thursday is Champion’s Week longest day with the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, NASCAR Victory Lap and NASCAR After the Lap on the schedule. Details can be found below.
Media members still have the opportunity to vote on the greatest moments during the 2011 NASCAR national series season. Among the nominations are Stewart’s come-from-behind championship run and Trevor Bayne’s surprising and dramatic Daytona 500 victory. Results will be announced beginning early next week. To vote: http://bit.ly/2011topstories.
Thursday, Dec. 1
·NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: Beginning at 11 a.m. in the Bellagio Ballroom at the Bellagio, this annual industry/media gathering includes the presentation of awards to the Champion Crew Chief (Darian Grubb), Champion Sponsor (Office Depot and Mobil 1), Sunoco Rookie of the Year (Andy Lally) and Most Popular Driver (to be announced). Co-hosted by NASCAR and the National Motor Sports Press Association, fans can attend this exclusive event for the second-consecutive year. Fans can watch the event on NASCAR.COM via this link: http://www.nascar.com/Myers_Brothers_Luncheon.
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. Fans can watch the event on NASCAR.COM via this link: http://www.nascar.com/Victory_Lap.
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 the 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 www.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. Fans can watch the event on NASCAR.COM via this link: http://www.nascar.com/After_The_Lap.
The 5th Annual Stewie Awards: A champion’s week tradition, 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum return to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for the 5th Annual Stewie Awards, broadcast live on the SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 at 9:30 p.m. ET. The annual highlight of NASCAR Champion’s Week honors the best, boldest and funniest moments from the NASCAR season. Here’s the link for the list of awards: http://www.siriusxm.com/stewieawards.
Friday, Dec. 2
2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony: The big show starts at 6 p.m. (9 p.m. ET), 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. The star-studded entertainment lineup for the ceremony includes country music icon Reba as host, a performance by Grammy-award winning rocker Kid Rock, as well as performances by two recent additions: up-and-coming country artist Ella Mae Bowen and Broadway sensation Jersey Boys.
Sixteen-year-old Ella Mae Bowen is an emerging country singer-songwriter who is featured on the new “Footloose” soundtrack with her enthralling remake of "Holding Out For a Hero". Bowen is originally from Walhalla, South Carolina, and is currently signed with Big Machine Label Group, which is the record label home to country superstars like Reba, Taylor Swift and Martina McBride.
“Jersey Boys” is the smash-hit musical winner of the 2006 Tony Award on Broadway and Best Musical accolades in both London and Australia. This critically-acclaimed musical tells the tale of four blue-collar boys working their way from the streets of Newark to the top of the charts taking audiences behind the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Jersey Boys, voted #1 show in Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Review Journal, is currently performing at The Palazzo and is coming to Paris Las Vegas in March 2012.
SPEED, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio provide same-day coverage, starting at 9 p.m. ET.