Laughlin: Pre-race news and notes

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Racing Saturday & Sunday
Friday's festivities for the 17th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge: Contingency, SCORE Trophy-Truck qualifying, Laughlin Leap
Pre-race action Friday includes SCORE Trophy-Truck qualifying at 1:30 p.m., Simmer Down concert at 4:30 p.m. $16,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap at 7 p.m.;

LAUGHLIN, Nev.--As a prelude for this weekend's season-opening 17th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, pre-race festivities Friday include a Manufacturer's Midway, qualifying for the premier racing division, a concert and the popular SCORE Laughlin Leap contest.

For the 17th straight year, motorsports fans and racers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Denmark and Germany are convening in Laughlin, Nev., the desert resort town near the shores of the Colorado River for the popular SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The first major motorsports event of the year in the United States will be held Friday through Sunday, launching the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series.

One of the event's most popular features, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, revs up the fun and helps get the weekend off. The SCORE Laughlin Leap will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday. The SCORE Laughlin Leap will include a fireworks display.

Drivers will enjoy the spotlight at the Laughlin Events Park, competing for a $16,000 purse, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, a dirt ramp built into the middle of the stadium portion of the race course, challenges the most daring of drivers. This year's competitors will be attempting to break the event record in the SCORE Laughlin Leap of 161' 6" set in 2009 by Larry Roeseler in the Norman Motorsports Ford F-150.

For the fourth straight year, qualifying for starting positions for the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division will be held on Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. SCORE Trophy-Truck qualifying will feature each truck being timed over one solo lap of the 6.25-mile course to determine the start order in that class for Saturday's first half of the race.

Friday's pre-race activities will start with the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway and vendor's village from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the heart of Laughlin. SCORE Contingency, which includes each vehicle being pushed down the lanes in front of the displays, will be held in front of the Edgewater and Colorado Belle Hotels on Casino Drive.

Adding to the festivities Friday afternoon, Las Vegas classic rock band Simmer Down will be playing starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Laughlin Events Park.

Tickets are on sale through the visitlaughlin.com website with three designated spectator areas and a special VIP section as well. Three-day passes are also available.

The Laughlin Events Park, with grandstand seating, vendor's village and food court is just minutes from the destinations eight resorts and includes an infield with switchbacks, whoops, minijumps and the SCORE Laughlin Leap.

Daily general admission tickets, good for grandstand seating, are $20 each per day for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, children 10 and under are free. Daily VIP tickets are $40 each per day for the each day, good for admission to the Laughlin Hospitality Chalet, including food, beverage and special seating.

Facing the infield stadium seating area will be a video monitor, showing footage from around the race course.

Tickets, priced at $5 each per person, will also be available each race day (Saturday and Sunday) for 'SCORE Hill', which overlooks the infield, start/finish area and the main pits.

The Laughlin Tourism Commission is also selling three-day general admission passes for $50 and three-day VIP passes for $100.

The newest spectator area, dubbed the Cougar Corral, opened in 2008 adjacent to Laughlin High School off of Cougar Drive, allows entry at $10 per person, as space allows for vehicles as well as walk-in spectators, to the backside of the course with a view of much of the 6.25-mile loop. Tickets for the Laughlin High spectator area will be available only on each day of racing (Jan. 15-16) at the entrance off of Cougar Drive.

Gates at Laughlin Events Park will open at 12:30 p.m., Friday and remain open through the conclusion of the Laughlin Leap. Gates at all three spectator areas will open at 6 a.m., Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Harrah's Hotel will be hosting a Saturday night meet and greet party with two Red Bull-sponsored SCORE Trophy-Truck race teams and SCORE's CEO/President Sal Fish. Available for autographs and photos at the Baja Blue Outdoor Patio at Harrah's will be Las Vegas' Bryce Menzies, driver of the No. 70 Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150, and Mexico's Gus Vildosola Jr., winner of the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in the No. 21 Vildosola Racing Ford F-150.

-source: score

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