Tuesday, March 4, 2014 | 5:02 p.m.
The excitement of NASCAR Week in Las Vegas has begun. The odds-makers at William Hill are already favoring six-time Sprint Cup series champion Jimmie Johnson to win Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at our Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Jimmie, who has won the race four times here, is a 7-1 favorite to hit the jackpot again. Kevin Harvick, who won last weekend’s NASCAR race in Phoenix, and three-time Las Vegas winner Matt Kenseth and the defending 400 winner are next at 15-2.
Reigning Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 8-1 to earn his first Las Vegas Motor Speedway Cup victory. Our hometown drivers and brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch are 10-1 and 20-1, respectively.
Kyle’s Monster Energy NASCAR #54 show car is on display at Stratosphere. Kevin, who won the Profit CNBC 5000 in rain-swept Phoenix International Speedway track Sunday has already arrived. He visited Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que at Treasure Island on Monday night.
The first big look at the racing teams is Wednesday with the 6 p.m. start of the NASCAR Hauler Parade from South Point on the south end of the Strip proceeding north to the new SLS Hotel at Sahara before entering I-15 northbound to the LVMS track.
Fans have packed the Strip in previous years for the annual parade of the vehicles. We’ll have our full preview of NASCAR here on Thursday.
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.
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Located South of the Strip, South Point is a hot spot frequented by locals. The hotel-casino is decorated in a Pacific Coast feel, with golds, reds and browns, mixing an island feel with the ambiance of Southern California.
Guests rooms feature 42-inch flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations and plush linens. Outside, the property features landscaped gardens, a hospitality to entertain poolside and a sand volleyball court.
When it comes to gaming, the South Point has more than 120,000 square feet of casino games, as well as a separate race books and sports books, a bingo and poker room. South Point also has some family friendly features, like a 64-lane bowling center, an arcade and a 16-screen movie theater.
Dining options range from an upscale meal at Michael's Gourmet to ice cream at Kate's Korner. The 24-hour Coronado Cafe is the perfect spot for a late-night craving, which include six midnight to 6 a.m. "graveyard" specials. Other restaurants include the Big Sur Oyster Bar, Don Vito's, Garden Buffet, Seattle's Best Coffee House and the Del Mar Deli.
One of South Points more unique features is the Equestrian Center and Arena, a first for Vegas. The Equestrian Center holds a variety of events, from college basketball to Championship Bull Riding.