Vegas NASCAR Race Provides Last-Lap Drama and Physical Confrontation
Posted on: March 13, 2017, 12:00h.
Last updated on: March 13, 2017, 11:55h.
The Vegas NASCAR event on Sunday was a yawner of a race throughout much of the 400 miles, but a last-lap incident between hometown boy Kyle Busch and Joey Logano provided plenty of excitement that ended up in the two drivers exchanging blows.
The Kobalt 400, Las Vegas’ annual NASCAR race, was deemed a dreadfully boring event by racing observers. There were few passes, and long stretches of running under green-flag conditions.
That all changed on the final lap. Martin Truex Jr. had the race won, but Logano, trying to get to the finish on a nearly empty tank, slightly lost control on the final corner and spun Busch off the track.
When the two exited their cars, Busch approached Logano and took a swing at the younger driver. Pit crews wrestled the two apart, but not before blood was drawn.
“He flat out just drove straight in the corner and wrecked me,” Vegas native Busch said afterwards. “That’s how Joey races, so he’s going to get it.”
Truex’s win provided a big return for sports bettors who took the #78 car. He was +1400 at online book Bovada, while the land-based casinos had him at about 8-1.
Show Me the Drama (and Money)
NASCAR is currently trying to reverse a downward trend in both television viewership and physical attendance. The premiere racing league is betting on Vegas.
Last week, NASCAR announced that beginning in 2018 it would be holding two official events in the Monster Cup Series at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on an annual basis.
NASCAR sanctions 36 Monster Cup races each year, with about half are held in the southeastern United States. But Sin City is currently undergoing a transformation of sorts, as professional sports leagues are considering expanding or moving teams to the Mojave Desert.
The NHL will give Vegas its first major professional sports team when the Golden Knights begin play at T-Mobile Arena next year. The NFL’s Oakland Raiders are also trying to relocate to Nevada. Money, of course, is the driving force behind Vegas’ attractiveness.
“Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world and it is now emerging as a premiere destination for major league professional sports,” Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz told the Associated Press. “The addition of the second NASCAR race supports that. And as a NASCAR fan, I personally am excited about the news.”
Vegas welcoming marquee sporting events is a substantial revenue booster to the city. Roughly 115,000 fans attended the Kobalt 400, with over 96,000 out-of-town guests.
In addition to the millions of dollars spent on lodging, food, and entertainment by the sports fans, each ticket sold also provides direct revenue to the Las Vegas government.
Under the Live Entertainment Tax, Las Vegas receives nine percent of all admission charges. With the cheapest tickets for the Kobalt 400 selling upwards of $100, and over 115,000 in attendance, Clark County nets over $1 million from the NASCAR event.