UPDATE (Wednesday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. ET): The Las Vegas Motor Speedway announced in a press release that it has officially partnered with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to bring a second NASCAR race to the speedway in September 2018.
ORIGINAL STORY: Speedway Motorsports Inc. appears set to confirm Wednesday what many people have speculated for days.
SMI reportedly will transfer one of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races to Las Vegas Motor Speedway beginning in the 2018 season, according to SB Nation’s sources.
It’s believed NHMS will hang on to its July race, as the track temperatures in Las Vegas would be too high at that time of year, and LVMS will receive the September race that’s part of the Cup playoffs.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s board of directors was scheduled to hold a vote Wednesday on a seven-year, $2.5 million annual sponsorship agreement with NASCAR that would include the addition of a second race at LVMS. Track officials were set to have a press conference at 5:30 p.m. ET, shortly after the board votes on the matter.
“We love the support we get out of Las Vegas,” SMI CEO Marcus Smith told reporters Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I think the fans love it. It’s a great track for us. When we see that the community is supportive of racing there, it’s definitely encouraging to us.”
Moving New Hampshire’s second race was seemingly the only option for SMI.
The company recently updated Bristol Motor Speedway, Kentucky Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and is considering repaving Atlanta, so taking races from those venues would decrease the return on its investments.
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s May event couldn’t be transferred to LVMS due to the heat, and CMS’s second race is one of NASCAR’s big-name weekends. Charlotte does host a fall race, but officials already are in the process of shifting that race to the road course, to join SMI-controlled Sonoma Raceway as two of the Cup season’s three road races.
Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images