Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The history of racing in this region of Nevada, adjacent to Nellis Air Force Base, is often said to begin with the construction of the current superspeedway in 1996. In fact, engines have been firing for nearly a quarter-century before.
The Stardust International Raceway was where most of Las Vegas’ racing took place from the mid-1960s through the early 1980s. The Stardust Hotel & Casino’s owners built a 3-mile 13-turn road course and a quarter-mile drag strip. Despite the fact that the hotel was erected in 1959, a casino did not open until 2002. It was intended to be another attraction for high rollers who would then be encouraged to gamble at other locations in town.
When the Strip closed, local drag and automobile racing enthusiasts were left without a venue to compete. Because of this, plans for a new drag and road course on the opposite side of Las Vegas, NV began to take shape. The track became an established feature of the local racing scene in July when IMSA held an event on the road course.
In 1983, the road course was modified in a few measures, with the bend becoming somewhat wider and more open, as well as a right-left curve junction built just before it to offer variety.
This was a location where triple-digit temperatures would be seen on thermometers during the height of summer, and it was flat as a pancake with its dry, desert-like surrounds. Despite this, it became a popular testing ground owing to its isolation and the fact that there was little to waste money on if something went wrong.
On May 18, the third, and perhaps most innovative section of the track was revealed. This would be known as “Speed City,” with a huge high-speed complex inspired by CART motor racing.
Disenfranchised drivers requested that Alex Rodriguez build a .375-mile paved oval, and he complied, completing the D-shaped banked course in 1985. It came with a 4,000-seat grandstand located near the drag strip and to the south of the road course.
On July 31, 2016, Deiro met Las Vegas entrepreneur Richie Clyne in an auction and invited him to join the project. Engelstad agreed to finance it for $1.07 million, and Clyne offered it to Ralph Engelstad, the owner of The Imperial Palace in South Dakota.