LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host two top-tier NASCAR races beginning in 2018, taking one of the races usually held in New Hampshire.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors approved a race sponsorship agreement with the track and parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. on Wednesday, with this year’s race coming up Sunday.

SMI said it will move its September race date at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Las Vegas to create the second race. The company also will move the Truck Series race from New Hampshire, as well as an Xfinity Series race from Kentucky Speedway to create a tripleheader weekend.

Las Vegas will become the first facility on the NASCAR schedule to host two yearly weekend events with all three national series. The official race dates will be announced later by NASCAR as part of the full 2018 schedules.

The sponsorship deal is for $2.5 million per year for seven years with the option of extending the agreement three years. The convention authority is expected to pay a sponsorship fee of $1 million per race and commit to spending $500,000 annually to market both races.

SMI owns the Las Vegas track along with seven others, and said racing will continue in New Hampshire and Kentucky. Those facilities will host just one race weekend each year now.


Las Vegas tourism officials said their 2016 race attracted more than 96,000 out-of-town guests and had an overall economic impact of more than $139 million.

LVMS first hosted a Truck Series race in 1996, added the second-tier Xfinity Series in 1997 and will mark its 20th Cup race Sunday. The first race held at the 1.5-mile oval was the Indy Racing League’s Las Vegas 500K in 1996.

NASCAR FINED three teams for penalties tied to last weekend’s races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The hardest hit was taken by A.J. Allmendinger for loose lug nuts on his car.

NASCAR docked Allmendinger 35 points, and crew chief Randall Burnett was suspended three races. Burnett also was fined $65,000 after NASCAR found three loose lug nuts on Allmendinger’s car.

The penalty dropped Allmendinger from 11th into a tie for 34th in the standings. JTG Daugherty Racing competition director Ernie Cope will replace Burnett during the suspension.

Also penalized was Joe Gibbs Racing because Kyle Busch’s winning car was too low after the Xfinity Series race. Crew chief Scott Graves was fined $10,000 and suspended one race. JGR was docked 10 Xfinity Series owner points.

FORMULA ONE: Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time in preseason testing, with Williams rival Felipe Massa close behind.

Bottas had a lap of 1 minute, 19.310 seconds at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya, eclipsing his time from a week ago by nearly four-tenths of a second. His lap last week, when preseason testing began, was the fastest at the track since layout changes were made a decade ago.

Since a new format was introduced in 2007, the best lap time had been set by Red Bull driver Mark Webber in 2010, with 1:19.995 during qualifying.

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