Friday, March 8, 2013 | 6 p.m.
NASCAR 400 at LVMS
NASCAR in Phoenix
As we roar into the 15th annual NASCAR Weekend, there are many questions, but the first centers on the weather. As we spring forward with daylight-saving time, will it turn into a washed-out weekend with rain, or will we have glorious sunshine and the warm rays of spring?
Other questions revolve around the new Gen 6 high-speed cars. Will new speed records be set at Las Vegas Motor Speedway? Then there’s Danica Patrick. Will her LVMS 400 debut result in a win? A big question, too, is for hometown racer Kyle Busch. Could he pull off an upset and win, or will his brother Kurt Busch ace him to the post?
Can last weekend’s winner Carl Edwards repeat and thus his back flip to thrill fans? Whatever happens, Las Vegas comes out the big economic winner, and once again we’ll pin down LVMS owner Bruton Smith and President Chris Powell to see if they’re any closer to securing a second race on the calendar.
Our thanks to Tom Donoghue for his photo gallery of Wednesday’s Hauler Parade on the Strip and Thursday’s NASCAR testing at LVMS; Tom is covering NASCAR all weekend, so check back for his photo galleries.
Just as furious as the battle on the track are clashes at WOW: Women of Wrestling, the no-hold’s-barred showdown with two-women and tag-team fights at Eastside Cannery. In all, 30 fighters are on the roster, and Stephanie Mackenzie is the new ring announcer.
Restaurant Week kicks off today to benefit Three Square food bank to fight hunger in Southern Nevada. This is the second spring edition of Restaurant Week, with lunches starting at $20.13 and dinners at $50.13, through March 15. For the list of restaurants, go to HelpOutDineOutLV.org.
With NASCAR fans in town, our comedy lineup is an embarrassment of riches, with, among others, Rodney Carrington, Bill Engvall, Ray Romano, Kevin James and Tim Allen.
And congratulations to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on its first anniversary this weekend! Remember: Clocks move forward one hour Sunday. Then it’s time to drop the checkered flag, start our engines and roar out with this weekend’s highlights we affectionately refer to as the Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, MARCH 8
The Marshall Tucker Band is at The Orleans for two nights.
Pat Benatar performs with guitarist and husband Neil Giraldo at LVH.
Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers are at South Point all weekend.
Clint Holmes is at Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for three shows.
Nashville Unplugged with hosts Brian McComas and Aaron Benward introduce Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean songwriter Ashley Gorley at Red Rock Resort.
Gold Fields and A Silent Film are at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
Pretzel Logic: A Steely Dan Revue is at Cannery for two nights.
Louis C.K.’s performance at MGM Grand this weekend has been canceled; a new date hasn’t been released.
Ray Romano and Kevin James are at The Mirage for two nights.
Tim Allen is at The Venetian for two nights.
Bill Engvall is at Treasure Island.
Rodney Carrington is at Hollywood Theater at MGM Grand all weekend.
Andrew Schulz is at Palace Station.
Max Alexander, Frazer Smith and John Loquasto are at The Improv at Harrah’s all weekend.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets are on sale for Widespread Panic’s July 12 and 13 show with Dirty Dozen Brass Band at The Joint in The Hard Rock Hotel.
Race Jam 2013 at Fremont Street Experience all weekend feature Kix, Bonfire, Sam Riddle, The Jay Bolan Band and more.
The West Coast Conference basketball championships at Orleans Arena all weekend -- featuring our Senior Editor Don Chareunsy’s alma mater Gonzaga, No. 1 in the country for the first time in the Jesuit Catholic school’s history -- is sold out.
MJ Christensen Diamond’s Third Annual International Women’s Day Celebration at its 10400 S. Eastern location honors Linda Smith of Opportunity Village.
SATURDAY, MARCH 9
The Four Tops are at The M Resort.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd is at Sam’s Town.
Paul Anka is at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm.
Casey James is at Santa Fe Station for two nights.
Stephen Lynch is at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
Anuhea and Justin Long are at Vinyl in The Hard Rock.
WOW: Women of Wrestling is at Eastside Cannery.
The Doo Wop Project is at Troesh Theater at The Smith Center.
Chris Franjola, Jen Kirkman, Brad Wollack and Fortune Feimster are at Suncoast Showroom for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Chef Todd English and Justin Vineyards & Winery host a dinner as part of Bellagio’s Epicurean Epicenter Series at Tuscany Kitchen.
“Raiding the Rock Vault,” a one-of-a-kind rock concert experience, kicks of its yearlong run at LVH. The music journey covers hits from 1948 to 1989 with an all-star band made up of rock’s best musicians.
Las Vegas’ Jeff Stults, winner of Fox 5/Sam’s Town Speedway Superstar contest, performs the national anthem at Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at LVMS. Jeff is a gondolier at The Venetian and Lake Las Vegas.
Las Vegas author Wendy Mazaros, once married to Mob hitman Tom Hanley, autographs copies of her book “Vegas Rag Doll” at The Mob Museum.
Naughty by Nature is at LAX in Luxor.
Rock N Roll Wine featuring performances by Eric Hutchinson and Saeed Younan is at Body English at The Hard Rock.
SUNDAY, MARCH 10
Willie K is at Troesh Theater.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The cast of “Rock of Ages” at The Venetian performs at the pre-show of Kobalt Tools 400. Then I’ll introduce the drivers for The Big Race, and Flamingo headliner Marie Osmond will perform the national anthem. Follow us on Twitter @robin_leach for reports from LVMS, and be sure to check back for our celebrity, A&E and NASCAR reports and photos.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.