The 2009 NASCAR race week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has begun and there is a buzz in the air that is unmistakable.


Looking out my office window I can see the souvenir haulers parked, just waiting to get in the gates and start setting up. It's hard to believe this is my fifth race weekend here with Speewday Children's Charities and my own personal excitement grows with each year.

Speedway Children's Charities is going to be busy this week with two big fundraisers in 4 days! Our annual NASCAR Driver Auction is Thursday night and it's going to be a good one! We've got Greg Biffle, Elliott Sadler, Casey Mears, Aric Almirola, Kyle Petty and Michael Annett all scheduled to appear at the auction. We'll be auctioning off the chance to participate in the pre-race parade ceremony with close to 20 Cup drivers and 15 Nationwide drivers and we have more than 65 items on our silent auction list. It's going to be a great time- you do not want to miss it!

On Sunday morning, we'll be taking to the track with more than 700 race fans for the annual Speedway Children's Charities Track Walk. Fans will have the unique opportunity to walk a lap around the 1.5 mile speedway before the green flag is shown for the Shelby 427. Pre-registration numbers have been far larger than we were expecting and we are very excited to welcome all those fans onto the track surface.

The mornings come early and the nights drag on- my office is a mess and my feet are already beginning to hurt. But, that just means that race week is here. This is the week we wait for all year and Las Vegas Motor Speedway simply comes to life. In the end, the Sprint Cup race winner will take home the coveted boxing belt, the fans will go home tired and sunburnt, and the children of Las Vegas will have a brighter future because of the race fans support of Speedway Children's Chariites! It will all be worth it on Monday.

See you at the races!

Janae Melvin
Las Vegas Chapter