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NASCAR rolls into Las Vegas with a parade, country music and fast cars

Racing kicks off next Wednesday with the Kobalt 400 wrapping up the weekend events

NASCAR rumbles into Las Vegas on Sunday, Mar. 8, when the Kobalt 400 takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last year, Brad Keselowski won the race, passing Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ran out of gas on the final lap.

While the race itself is the big attraction for the weekend, fans can get in on the hauler parade without spending a nickel. The NASCAR haulers take a ride along the Strip on Thursday, Mar. 5, starting at 6 p.m. Note: Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed to traffic until the parade finishes.

The five-mile parade route starts at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign at the south end of the Strip and heads north to Sahara Avenue. From there, the 50 semi-trucks drive on I-15 to the speedway in North Las Vegas.

Stratosphere Pole Day starts with qualifying on Friday, Mar. 6, at 4:45 p.m. The Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 takes over the speedway on Saturday, Mar. 7, at 1 p.m., with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 capping off the weekend on Sunday, Mar. 8, at 12:30 p.m.

Before the green flag drops, recent “The Voice” winner Craig Wayne Boyd will perform and country band Rascal Flatts will sing the national anthem. Fans will be able to roam the Neon Garage on the speedway’s infield to get a closer look at the stock cars, pit crews and drivers before the race. 

True race fans can get in on more fast cars during two nights of World of Outlaws Sprint Cars racing on a half-mile dirt track starting on Wednesday, Mar. 4.

Adding to the excitement — driver Jeff Gordon announced this will be his final season as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Las Vegas native Kyle Busch won’t be competing. He broke his right leg and left foot during a crash last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. His older brother Kurt Busch was suspended indefinitely after allegations of abusing his ex-girlfriend.

Info and tickets: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, (800) 644-4444

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