Garage Chatter: Vegas

Canada? It's no secret that NASCAR wants to branch out to foreign territories. Word on the street is that NASCAR will take the Craftsman Truck Series racing in Canada next year. It's a compliment to the Mexico City race which is rumored to be ...

Canada? It's no secret that NASCAR wants to branch out to foreign territories. Word on the street is that NASCAR will take the Craftsman Truck Series racing in Canada next year.

It's a compliment to the Mexico City race which is rumored to be in consideration for a Cup series date in 2007.

More schedule changes? It's early in the season for the 2006 schedule rumors to start swirling. Alas, they have begun.

Hottest topic of speculation is if SMI is considering dumping their fall Atlanta Cup date in favor of a second date in Las Vegas. Spies say it's not completely out of the question.

Martin looking for win at Vegas: Mark Martin would like nothing more than to grab the win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Martin won the inaugural race here in 1998 and this weekend marks his last Cup race at LVMS as he is set to retire at the end of the season.

"The win there in '98 is probably the most memorable win I have," said Martin. "We went there, it was a brand new track and we had a brand new team looking to see what we could do.

"Once the race was all over with and we took care of all the Victory Lane stuff and all the media, we were leaving in the helicopter and I looked down at the track and it dawned on me what we had accomplished."

NASCAR working for schedule to be more unified: Robin Pemberton, Vice President of Competition for NASCAR, asked everyone to be patient while NASCAR moved toward more unified weekend schedules.

NASCAR is trying at about 23 tracks this season and amended schedule where the cars are impounded, Happy Hour no longer exists, and in some locations having the Cup garage closed altogether on Saturday's.

The schedule thus far, however, has been different every weekend creating minor annoyances in planning and executing weekend travel. Next weekend, with Cup cars qualifying and practicing on Friday, and then impounding the cars until the race on Sunday creates the ability for race teams with private aircraft to return home Saturday.

Anyone flying commercial just gets a free day off in Atlanta. The overwhelming sentiment is the 'day-off' is not a fan favorite among those traveling on the tour.

Pemberton, when questioned about the schedule, said that they are hopeful that in the next few years that they will be able to make it more consistent but for now it has to stay unique to each track.

Newman paces initial practice for Cup teams: Ryan Newman paced initial practice for Cup teams on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a lap of 171.29 mph. The lap was one mile-per-hour quicker than the rest of the field.

Greg Biffle was second fastest with a lap of 170.595 mph. Jimmie Johnson, Joe Nemechek and Elliott Sadler complete the top five times.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Elliott Sadler , Mark Martin