Note: Derek and Charity Vallandingham, from Smithland, Ky., earned a VIP trip to Las Vegas for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 3 by winning the Brickyard 400 Race To Vegas Sweepstakes this fall. Anyone who reordered or applied for 2011 Brickyard 400 tickets online from July 26-Aug. 9 was eligible for the grand prize.
Derek and Charity, parents of two children, have attended the Brickyard 400 for the last eight years. Their favorite driver is two-time Brickyard 400 winner Tony Stewart, an Indiana native like Derek. The Vallandinghams and their kids are loyal Indianapolis sports fans, as they also have driven 4 1/2 hours each way to attend every Colts’ home game for the last 10 years. Derek wrote a blog of the Vegas experience he and Charity enjoyed.
We both had a great time while in Las Vegas.
The first night that we arrived we stayed at the Venetian and the Palazzo hotels and played some of the games, walked around and then had a nice relaxing dinner at The Venetian. There was plenty to fill the first night just at the two hotels, between The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and The Shoppes at The Palazzo. We had a very relaxing ride in the Grand Canal at The Venetian and followed that with dinner at the Grand Lux Café.
The second day was also non-stop from early that morning to about 3 a.m. the next morning. It started out with a quick breakfast and then it was on to the Las Vegas Strip, where we stayed until time for the NASCAR awards dinner.
We met up with everyone at the Wynn hotel at 4:30 p.m. for the start of the show. While walking the red carpet, we were able to meet several people, including Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, NASCAR President Mike Helton and famed racing artist Sam Bass, along with many others. After the red carpet walk, we were seated at our tables where we enjoyed steak, lobster and all the wine that you could drink.
After the awards dinner was over at about 10:30 p.m., we extended our night back to the Las Vegas Strip until about 3 in the morning.
I really do not think that we could have squeezed anything else into our visit to Las Vegas; we definitely made the most of the time that we had there! It was the the first time that me or my wife had been to Vegas, and judging from the fun that we had while we were there, I doubt that it will be our last time there.
My wife and I would like to say a big thank you for everything. Everyone that we have talked to at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been great, and we have been treated with first class throughout our trip.
Maybe we will get lucky and win this trip again next year!
Here’s a slideshow of pictures from our great trip to Vegas.