BUSCH: Las Vegas to honor military

LVMS to honor military during NASCAR Weekend LAS VEGAS -- Military appreciation will be the overriding theme during the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400/Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. An enlistment ceremony, the naming of a...

LVMS to honor military during NASCAR Weekend

LAS VEGAS -- Military appreciation will be the overriding theme during the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400/Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

An enlistment ceremony, the naming of a portion of the speedway, flyovers by fighter jets and patriotic songs will play prominent roles in the activities of March 1-3.

The most notable recognition is the naming of the speedway's back straightaway as the "Nellis Straightaway." The backstretch sits parallel to the runways of Nellis Air Force Base and provides a foreground for daily air shows during race weekend.

"Nellis Air Force Base is a great friend to Las Vegas Motor Speedway," said Chris Powell, LVMS executive vice president and general manager." The naming of the backstretch in its honor is a small token of our gratitude for the contributions the United States Air Force has made to our country, our community and the speedway."

In addition, the National Anthem on both Saturday and Sunday will be sung by military personnel, F-15 and F-16 flyovers will take place, and Lt. Col. Richard McSpadden, the commander of the USAF Thunderbirds will be the grand marshal for Saturday's Sam's Town 300. The Thunderbirds, based at Nellis, are the Air Force's air demonstration squadron.

On Sunday, a special enlistment ceremony will be conducted for the USAF Thunderbirds' Delayed Enlistment Program. Approximately 25 enlistees will take their oaths in the presence of one of America's highest-ranking military officers, Gen. John Handy, a four-star general and commander of the U.S. Transportation Command.

"From the cover of our souvenir program to the color of the confetti in Victory Lane, there will be a strong sense of patriotism during this event," Powell said." NASCAR fans are some of the most patriotic people of any walk of life, and this is Las Vegas Motor Speedway's opportunity to share its love of country and appreciation for the armed forces with the nation."

The big weekend starts 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 takes center stage on Saturday with a 1 p.m. green flag. The weekend culminates with the fifth running of the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event on Sunday. The race is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. start. In addition the Pennzoil World of Outlaws will compete for three nights on the half-mile dirt track, Feb. 28-March 2.

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Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY