BUSCH: Security measures for Las Vegas

LVMS increasing security for NASCAR Weekend LAS VEGAS& ...

LVMS increasing security for NASCAR Weekend

LAS VEGAS– Even though the green flag will drop an hour later than in previous years, Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are encouraging race fans to leave early for the March 3 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race.

The speedway will use the same successful traffic pattern from the 2001 event, but increased security measures may cause delays at the gates. Speedway officials unveiled their traffic and security plan for this year’s event during a news conference Wednesday at the speedway.

“ We’ve heightened security this year,” said Chris Powell, LVMS executive vice president and general manager.“ The most important thing is the safety of everyone in attendance for our NASCAR events.”

In order to hasten everyone’s entrance through the ticket gates, LVMS officials are requesting that fans bring as little“ baggage” as possible. All bags will be checked before they are allowed through the gate, including camera bags. Adhering to a policy that began when LVMS opened in 1996, the speedway does not allow coolers through the gates.

“ The fewer items to be checked, the less time it will take people to get through the gate,” Powell said. “ There also will be tighter restrictions on vehicular access to areas closest to the grandstands. We hope that fans will plan on arriving early to minimize any delays at the entry gates.”

The Winston Cup UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 3. Previous Winston Cup races have begun at 11:30 a.m.

A two-lane, northbound exit route on Las Vegas Boulevard is the only change from last year’s traffic pattern.

Race fans parking in the yellow, white and handicap lots will be directed onto the new northbound route on Las Vegas Boulevard. Anyone parked in the Blue Lot will have the option to use the new route as well.

“ In 2001, we had the best traffic flow ever for a NASCAR Winston Cup event,” Powell said. “ The success of the ingress last year has allowed us to make very few changes to the traffic patterns coming to the speedway. The addition of the two northbound lanes on Las Vegas Boulevard following the race will allow us to clear the parking areas more quickly.

“The traffic situation has improved steadily from year to year. Each year, we find ways to make the situation even better. We still suggest that fans take the various buses and shuttles that are available from downtown and The Strip as opposed to driving to the speedway. Even though the race is starting an hour later this year, we are encouraging everyone to get an early start.”

Speedway officials are expecting a crowd in excess of 130,000 fans for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. The weekend kicks off with qualifying for both the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and Sam’s Town 300 on Friday, March 1. The Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race will be held Saturday, March 2. There also will be three nights of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws on the half-mile dirt track beginning Thursday, Feb. 28.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , World of Outlaws