Kurt Busch relishes the prospect of second Las Vegas date

Kurt Busch (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – Never mind that Kurt Busch has three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories at New Hampshire – and none at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Busch, a Las Vegas native, was delighted with the Wednesday announcement that Las Vegas would get a second date in NASCAR’s top series –along with accompanying XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series races.

The second Las Vegas event, to be held on a yet-to-be-determined date in September starting in 2018, replaces the fall race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in NASCAR’s 10-race playoff. Busch’s enthusiasm for the additional Las Vegas date was tempered only slightly by the absence of New Hampshire in the playoff.

After all, the most recent of Busch’s victories at the Magic Mile came in 2008.

“That’s big, to have Trucks on Friday, XFINITY on Saturday, Monster Energy Cup Series on Sunday,” Busch said in advance of Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX). “That’s big. And then it’s a playoff atmosphere in September. It will be a little warm, but we’ll see how that plays out, but the way this city continues to grow around sports… there’s an NHL team that’s now here, the Raiders continue to flirt with coming down here. With the way that this town evolves, you see it as a win-win with the entertainment side and the sporting side.

“To lose a date at New Hampshire, I think that will really push the New Englanders out hard for their July race, and there will be much more support around their race then. I haven’t won there in many years, so I’m OK with winning three times early in my career. I haven’t won there as of late, so it doesn’t matter.”

The way Busch sees it, the addition of a fall race at Las Vegas also will amplify the importance of the spring event.

“Wherever the date is, you have to be ready for it, and now when you have a springtime race at a track such as Phoenix, Martinsville, Texas – Vegas now fits in this category. All those races are that much more important in the spring because they are playoff races in the fall (at the same tracks).”

About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.