Las Vegas Speedway was originally built in 1957 by entrepreneur Eddie Hansen. He envisioned the speedway as a way to draw more people to his city and make it an even more desirable place to live. The idea was to build a track that was both beautiful and functional, and that’s exactly what he built. For decades, the speedway remained untouched by the hand of man. It continued to operate as a functional racing track, drawing in car enthusiasts from across the country.
In the 1970s, the track began to struggle. Racers were getting faster and faster, which made it difficult for horses to keep up. The income from ticket sales dropped, and the track itself began to decline in value. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the track started to see any major improvements. In 2004, Hansen’s great-granddaughter, Amy, took over the family business and began a complete refurbishing program. She hired some of the best contractors in the industry to come in and give the track a facelift. The project took 14 months to complete, and in the end, it was well worth it.
In addition to her family, Amy also owns a majority stake in the property. She is joined by her father Bill, who owns the other majority stake, and her uncle Bud, who serves as the speedway’s general manager. Together, they form a powerful ownership group that is committed to keeping the Vegas Speedway brand alive. They have also put in place a vision to make the facility much more modern and up-to-date, which will hopefully rekindle the interest of both current and new customers.
When construction on Las Vegas Speedway began in the 1950s, the track was built with a 5.6-mile oval design. While other facilities constructed at the time were in the neighborhood of 7,000 to 8,000 feet, Vegas was going for more of a traditional 4.9-mile oval shape.
It was a groundbreaking design for the time, and it still is, although over the years, other tracks have adopted similar layouts. What makes Vegas’ design special is its width. The track is wider than most, with room for six lanes of traffic to move around freely. It also has the unusual shape where the grandstands are built on top of the track, rather than facing it as you would typically see at an oval track.
This is a big part of what made the venue so special. Because there were no other tracks like it at the time, Hansen was able to draw on a wealth of knowledge and experience to give the track an edge over other competitors around the country. It was a smart decision, as today, Las Vegas Speedway is one of the top-ranked tracks in all of NASCAR.
From the very beginning, it was clear that Hansen had the money to spend, and he did. He invested heavily in the facilities, building a completely new grandstand, offices, and turning wagons for the horses to live in. He also put in place a complete drainage system, so when it rained, it wouldn’t cause major problems on the track.
While the outside of the track has remained relatively unchanged, the interior has been modified and upgraded several times since its construction. In 1998, Hansen decided to give the track a face-lift. He hired a well-known artist to paint the interior of the building in bright, happy colors. He also removed all of the red velvet from the seats, replaced it with tan leather. This is now one of the most luxurious racing experiences you can have outside of the Las Vegas Strip.
There’s one more unique thing about Las Vegas Speedway that you should know about. Not only is it one of the top-rated NASCAR tracks, but it’s also one of the few that allow horses to race alongside cars. Back in the 1950s, when Hansen built the track, he had to make a decision on what to do about the cars and the horses living together. He wanted to keep the tradition of horse racing, but he also wanted to bring in more people to the sport. He decided to make his track a sanctuary for both humans and animals, so it’s still one of the few tracks where you can see both simultaneously. Sadly, this isn’t something you can experience every day. There are only certain days that the horses are allowed to run (usually every other Saturday), so you’ll have to make the most of it when the track hosts a live race.
It’s not just the track that makes Vegas unique, it’s the crowds that come to see it. The vast majority of the people who attend Vegas are there for the one and only event that the track hosts every year. Known as the Super Bowl of Racing, the Ford Classic Mile Stakes, named after the founder of the track, is held every year in the last week of September. One of the largest crowds you’ll ever see gather at one place and time, and it’s not just because it’s the last week of the month either. During this week, the track will host some of the best drivers in the world, competing for $1 million in prize money. The event will showcase some of the greatest racing series, including the NASCAR Cup, the ARCA Racing Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. In total, over $75 million is awarded every year at this event alone. It’s no wonder why so many people claim that Las Vegas Speedway is their favorite track.
With the right marketing and a change in ownership, it’s quite possible that the future of Las Vegas Speedway looks quite positive. One of the biggest changes that could help the track thrive would be to find a way to get more people inside of it. Even with the renovations that have taken place over the years, the place is still incredibly small and cozy, with just over 14,000 square feet of floor space and 44,800 seats. If there’s one place in all of North America that could use some expansion, it’s Vegas. Imagine what a multi-purpose arena or convention center could do for an already bustling city.
Although it hasn’t been updated in years, the track still does a great job holding races throughout the year. It attracts car enthusiasts from across the country, as well as internationally, so it continues to be a place where racers and racing fans can come together. Since its inception, the track has had over 1.5 million visitors. If they keep up this level of interest, it would be a shame to shut down such a historic track. The future of Las Vegas Speedway looks quite bright, and it’s a shame to see such a beautiful track go unused. If you’re a car enthusiast, it’s worth the visit. Just make sure to check the calendar before you go – it might not be open for racing.