Tallavegas Lights 2: The Final Lap
Sequels can be very tricky things. When they work, which isn’t very often, they are like a gift from the heavens. If they don’t, they remind us why the original film is so much better. And that the filmmakers should have never tempted fate by trying to recapture lightning in a bottle. The same holds true for my blogs, sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone. In this instance, I am referring to my blog of two years ago; Tallavegas Lights: The Ballad of Belinda Fabulous. It was a blog penned to divulge my guilty pleasure and love for the movie Talladega Nights, and my hidden desire to be a screenwriter, more importantly to “highlight” the importance and economic impact of NASCAR here in Las Vegas. Here’s my fear, although I am my own best audience, it was one of my better and well received blogs. In movie terms it was far from The Godfather, but it was certainly no Godfather Part III. My hope with this blog is to live up to the original, and turn out a piece of work that is worthy of The Godfather Part II (Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.) So, here it goes…
During the opening credits, the following quote is displayed:
“Vegas is all about 24 karat magic in the air. Don’t fight the feeling. Invite the feeling.”
-Bruno Mars 2017
NASCAR stock car racing sensation Belinda Fabulous has become a national hero because of her “win at all costs” approach. Still the fastest woman on “The Strip” and four wheels, Belinda Fabulous (Jennifer Lawrence reprises the role) is a five-time winner at the Las Vegas Speedway, and one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. Her universal rivalry and epic races against ex-Indy car turned NASCAR driver Danica Patrick (played of course by Danica Patrick) transcended the sport, but unfortunately the retirement of Danica has put Belinda’s career in a tailspin.
To add to the misery, her loyal racing partner, and childhood friend Bobbie Sue (Amy Schumer) are no longer a team. The fearless duo — “Shake” and “Fake” known to their fans for their ability to finish so many races in the #1 and #2 positions are now in the annuls of NASCAR history. All good things must come to and end. Or, have they?
Set against the sexy, glamorous racing sport of F1 (Formula 1), the sequel is based on the new-found rivalry between the stunning Columbian bikini model turned actress turned racer, Carmen Chameleon (Sofía Vergara), and her methodical, big haired winning machine opponent, American driver Belinda Fabulous. The story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves (both “pine” for the attention of a boy-toy played by Chris Pine) and the astonishing FI season in which both drivers are willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error. Carmen, is known for her “Big O” finishes, and sets her sights for the checkered flag while racing her No. 69 McLaren Formula 1 racing car to Victory Lane. Only one thing can stop her in her tracks…Bobbie Sue!
I know, it’s…cinematic magic! Until this plays in a theater near you, let’s talk about this year’s Las Vegas event: The 2018 Pennzoil 400 Weekend.
NASCAR TRIPLE HEADER
An action pack weekend is in store for NASCAR fans at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a tripleheader. The LVMS will host the Truck Series Friday night, the Xfinity Series Saturday afternoon, the Cup Series Sunday afternoon. This will be the first of two NASCAR tripleheaders at LVMS, as the 1.5-mile oval also will host the first race of the 2018 NASCAR playoffs. The inaugural South Point 400 is set for Sept. 16, capping another Truck, Xfinity, Cup Series tripleheader.
Clubhouses aren’t just for golf and country clubs. Las Vegas DMC, Destination Fabulous, highly recommends watching the races in the recently remodeled clubhouse suites that have been redesigned to offer better viewing angles of the track. An open terrace with tables and chairs and lounge seating have been added between club seating and the clubhouses.
The loge boxes below the Richard Petty Terrace near turn 1 and the start-finish line offer swivel arm chairs, food and beverage stations and wait-staff services.
While the clubhouse and loge boxes are considered premium seating, any fan with a ticket will be able to enjoy the new social pavilion and a 5,200-square foot interactive sports lounge.
The pavilion in turn 1 will offer a platform with multiple seating areas, social zones and game playing. The sports lounge between the start-finish line and turn 4 will include a wall of flat-screen TVs and a bar in the middle with food zones and multiple seating options. Remember, no matter how slow your favorite driver goes, they’re still going faster than everyone on the couch!
PENNZOIL 400 SCHEDULE
2 p.m. — Ticket gates open (no Neon Garage access)
2:05-2:55 p.m. — Truck Series first practice
4:05-4:55 p.m. — Truck Series final practice
6-7 p.m. — NASCAR Cup Series Hauler Parade (Las Vegas Welcome sign)
6 p.m. — Speedway Children’s Charities Driver & Memorabilia Auction (Sam’s Town)
10 a.m. — Ticket gates, Neon Garage and VIP suites open
11-11:55 a.m. — Cup Series first practice
12:05-12:55 p.m. — Xfinity Series first practice
1-1:45 p.m. — Truck Series autograph session (Neon Garage)
2:05-2:50 p.m. — Xfinity Series final practice
3:05 p.m. — Truck Series qualifying (single vehicle, two rounds)
4:15 p.m. — Cup Series qualifying (multivehicle, three rounds)
5:30 p.m. — Truck Series driver introductions
6 p.m. — Stratosphere 200 Truck Series race (134 laps, 201 miles)
8 a.m. — Ticket gates, Neon Garage and VIP suites open
9-9:50 a.m. — Cup Series second practice
10:05 a.m. — Xfinity Series qualifying (multivehicle, three rounds)
11:35 a.m.-12:20 p.m. — Cup Series final practice
12:30 p.m. — Xfinity Series driver introductions
1 p.m. — Boyd Gaming 300 Xfinity Series race (200 laps, 300 miles)
4:30 p.m. — Neon Garage closes
5:30 p.m. — Speedway Children’s Charities rides
7 a.m. — Ticket gates, Neon Garage and VIP suites open
9-10 a.m. — Speedway Children’s Charities Track Walk
10:30 a.m. — Flag stand gate opens for prerace pass on front stretch
10:30 a.m. — Cup Series driver and crew chief meeting (Neon Garage)
11:50 a.m. — Cup Series driver introductions
12:30 p.m. — Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube Cup Series race (267 laps, 400 miles)
5:30 p.m.—Neon Garage closes
*All times are Pacific, and schedule is subject to change.
One thing is for certain this weekend, over 100,000 fans will pack the stands having the time of their lives, and revel in all things NASCAR (it really is a great excuse to bring your party pants). As for the franchise: Tallavegas Lights you ask? It’s off and running at the races in the pole position, with no yellow or red flags in sight. The Oscars, are also slated for this coming Sunday, and I do expect there to be much “buzz” on the red carpet about next year’s Academy Award nominations, and much conjecture that the movie Tallavegas Lights will make a clean sweep in all categories. And the Oscar goes to… “Shake and Fake!” After all, “If you ain’t first, your last.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!!”