Playing Softball in Dodger Stadium -- FCA Track Event at Las Vegas Speedway

By: Jeff Littrell

"Playing softball in Dodger Stadium," that's how FCA member Doug Hayashi described our first track event of the year. Held on January 25th and 26th, the event took advantage of one of the newest racing venues around us - Las Vegas International Speedway. And what a venue it is! Not to be confused with the older Las Vegas road course, the new Super Speedway in Las Vegas is a brand-new stadium-style facility that seats over 100,000 spectators for IRL, NASCAR, and IMSA races. Our event had didn't draw quite that many to the stands but the turn-out of drivers was quite good for an event held 300 miles from home on SuperBowl Sunday.

We're only the second car club to run at this new facility and we used a combination of the high-speed oval track and the fine in-field road course to make a challenging 2.48 mile, very fast road circuit.

Upon arrival at the track, we were able to the giant concrete bowl that makes up the facility. After signing two waivers with real security guards, we felt like real pros as we drove through one of the three tunnels under the banking and onto the in-field. Even though it is still under going further construction, the place is impressive. There are lights all around the track, hundreds of them. There are real garages, real BIG garages with professional signs above the doors which can be changed to indicate the names of the teams using them. Inside are painted floors and a Zomboni-like waxing machine for keeping them polished. There are covered pit garages too. Even the bathrooms are first-rate with rows of stalls and sinks with hot and cold water and even mechanics hand soap.

If you've raced at any of the local tracks you can appreciate how welcome these amenities are. I guess it just goes to show that the money in motorsports in America is in ovals. Pretty soon we'll have the new Penske track in Fontana too. After more than a decade of Willow Springs we are suddenly graced with a plethora of new, fine racing tracks to choose from.

As mentioned, the turn out was good, with over 50 cars in attendance, but the Ferrari contingent continues to be miniscule. At this event we had three Ferraris: Roger Moore's Testarossa, Joel Quaid's 348 ts, and Denise Stillman's 328 GTS.

Other FCA Southwest Region members showed up in their daily driver brand X cars. This included: Jeff Littrell and his Mazda RX-7, Doug Hayashi and his Acura NSX, Doug Ota and his BMW M3, and Paul Porteous and his BMW M3. Not a bad showing but we'd love to see more of you out there. Don't be scared off by the rest of this article.

You've probably already noticed the pictures. The event was not all fun for everyone. Most people had a great time but there were a few mishaps to dampen the enthusiasm. Unlike road circuits like Willow Springs and Buttonwillow that are cut into the desert in the middle of nowhere, Las Vegas International Speedway is built out of concrete in the desert in the middle of nowhe