Postcard from Las Vegas

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson basking in his championship this week in Las Vegas. (Photo: Getty Images)


LAS VEGAS - The fun is just beginning here for Champion’s Week.

Wednesday, drivers got together in the afternoon at the Fremont Street Experience and participated in a fan event put on by the folks at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The drives walked down a red carpet, signing autographs for the many fans there on this chilly day.

Once they got to the stage, they took part in the game “Deal or No Deal.’’ It’s just like the TV show. The drivers served as the models and had a “briefcase’’ that hid a prize. A fan picked one driver to have their briefcase and then went about picking briefcases to open, hoping it didn’t reveal the top prize.

After a couple of games of this, the drivers started acting on their own and giving hints to the contestant. So when a Jimmie Johnson fan picked Jimmie Johnson’s briefcase to be her possible prize, Johnson shook his head since he saw what his briefcase revealed. Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman did the same thing when picked. Kasey Kahne eventually volunteered.

So, naturally the folks running the game changed the rules. I can hear it now from some people. It wouldn’t be a NASCAR event if the rules didn’t change. Pat yourself on the back if you thought of that one. No, not really.

Drivers were not given their briefcases until after some had been chosen.

“They’re on to us,’’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “We’re in timeout.’’

Earnhardt was picked by one contestant to have his briefcase be a possible prize. Earnhardt offered some help: “What I got ain’t worth the briefcase it is in.’’ His contestant took another deal.

There’s more taking place Thursday. In the morning, NASCAR Chairman Brian France will meet with the media. The new Hall of Fame process should come from this meeting and we’ll see if France has more to offer.

After that, it is the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Lunch. Various awards are presented, including the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award. Earnhardt has won it 10 consecutive years. Following that is the NASCAR Victory Lap where drivers will parade down Las Vegas Blvd. Then comes NASCAR After The Lap where drivers let loose in front of an audience. Often is a funny time.

One last thing about Vegas. Yes, everything might be bigger in Texas, but excess is what made Vegas. In my hotel one can get a slice of a seven-layer chocolate cake or a six-layer stawberry cheescake. Both cakes look as if they could rival the weight of a 2-year-old. No, I didn’t eat any, but I need to stop now and head to the gym because I think I gained weight just looking at those cakes. 

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.

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