Drivers Stole The Show But The Fans Took Home The Prizes
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) – In the end, there was only one grand prize winner during the fifth annual Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway held at the Fremont Street Experience, and she chose Kyle Busch and his case.
Her prize? Tickets to Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AwardsTM at Wynn Las Vegas (Dec 6., with FOX Sports 2 and NASCAR.com providing coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET; Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 at 8 p.m. ET).
The game-show format event featured six contest-winning fans selecting cases containing assorted prize packs from among the 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. Each fan had the opportunity to select a driver and his sealed case during one of six rounds. Before revealing their prize, each fan had the choice to stay with that case or choose four others to eliminate. Between each round the cases were shuffled among the drivers.
With unseasonably low temperatures for Las Vegas the top-six drivers in the final series standings were rewarded with personal heaters onstage to bear the cold. Unfortunately, Chase drivers finishing between seventh and 13th were seated in the second row and had no such convenience, including a shivering Clint Bowyer.
“Clint, you look cold,” teased host and ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little. “If you finished in the top six, you would have had your own heater.”
Bowyer wasn’t the only driver suffering from the cold. Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who had a heater, received laughs from the audience when it was discovered his heater wasn’t working properly as Little picked it up to keep him warm.
As the rounds drew on, the drivers became increasingly helpful in providing the contestants suggestions on which cases to select, despite the banker’s warnings.
“Let me remind the drivers that if they reveal their cases, they will start at the rear of the field for the KOBALT Tools 400 (the March Las Vegas race),” joked the banker.
His warning did little to deter the drivers.
“I think the offer is a really good offer,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. informed the second fan, who ended up winning two tickets to the March race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The fourth fan chose Johnson, who suggested she select a different case based on his knowledge of the contents of his own case. The fan then chose Busch, who offered the same insight, as did Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman. Kasey Kahne came to the fan’s rescue when he raised his hand and recommended he be selected. The crowd went nuts.
“Trust us, we’re really setting this game up well for the contestants,” Busch said.
Ultimately, the fan accepted the banker’s deal and ended up with race tickets to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Neon Garage passes.
Every fan walked away a winner with prizes including key chains, hats, race packages and even tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards for the Grand Prize winner.
Also honored on Wednesday were this year’s finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award – Duncan Dobie, Lisa Hall, Richard Johnson and Don Post – at an afternoon reception at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the Award winner during this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Fans can cast their vote to determine the 2013 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting www.NASCAR.com/Award before 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 5.
Here are upcoming Champion’s Week events at a glance (all times local PT unless noted):
Wednesday – Friday, Dec. 4-6
• NASCAR Pit Stop Tour: The NASCAR Pit Stop Tour consists of Official Partner show cars featured in iconic locations throughout the Las Vegas Strip from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day. Fans can get up close and personal with the cars at the following locations: Tropicana (Chevrolet), The Palazzo (Ford), Harrah’s (Ford), the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign (2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion show car), the Coca-Cola store and M&M’S World.
• M&M’S® To Make the NASCAR CHAMPION’S WEEK™ ‘BETTER WITH M’: M&M’S will celebrate the 2013 NASCAR season and the strongest finish yet for Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry, by giving away one million free bags of M&M’S. The giveaway in Las Vegas will be part of the NASCAR Pit Stop Tour and NASCAR Victory Lap.
Thursday, Dec. 5
• NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will be held from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas, where several team and individual awards will be presented. Among those awards included are the Champion Sponsor, Champion Crew Chief, Sunoco Rookie of the Year and NMPA Most Popular Driver awards. The event will be live-streamed on www.NASCAR.com.
• NASCAR Victory Lap: The green flag on the fan-favorite NASCAR Victory Lap will wave at 3:30 p.m. with pre-lap festivities beginning at 2:45 p.m., when the 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers parade down Las Vegas Boulevard in their race cars. NASCAR Victory Lap will start and finish in front of the Miracle Mile Shops on Las Vegas Boulevard and will once again provide fans with a unique experience to feel the excitement of NASCAR, featuring driver introductions, an authentic pit stop in front of the Fountains of Bellagio (performed by members of the NASCAR Drive
for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program Presented by Sprint) and two burnout sections – with viewing areas along the route. Portions of the event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and www.NASCAR.com will live-stream the event.
• NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola: One of the premier events of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola will be held from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at The Pearl Palms Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Hotel. Fans can purchase tickets at www.NASCARAfterTheLap.com for $20 each (all ticket proceeds benefit The NASCAR Foundation) to attend the fan-favorite event featuring all 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. Among the many highlights from NASCAR After The Lap’s humorous history are Jeff Gordon break dancing and Denny Hamlin doing “The Dougie.” The event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and www.NASCAR.com will live-stream the event.
Friday, Dec. 6
• 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The postseason black-tie event will begin at 5 p.m. at Wynn Las Vegas, where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner will be crowned and the top-10 drivers in the final standings will be honored. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, the culmination of Champion’s Week, will feature the NASCAR Fan Reception, Red Carpet Walk, celebrity guests, music and entertainment. FOX Sports 2, www.NASCAR.com, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will provide coverage of the event.