It's The Norm
June 6-12, 2002 ARCHIVES
"It's The Norm" - Recent Entertainment Events in Las Vegas

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by Norm Johnson
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Well, gang, I have returned to normal existence after my jaunt to Ely, Nevada to compete in the annual Silver State Classic Open Road Race Challenge. There were a total of 160 vehicles ranging from a classic 1963 Ford Falcon, some Pantera's, lots of Corvettes, a smattering of Mustangs and Camaros and a slew of Dodge Vipers and of course the Porsche was well represented.

We, my navigator Jeanine Hefflin, entered the 125 mph class with a technical speed (the fastest I was allowed to legally run because of limited safety equipment) of 140 mph.. There were 19 other cars ranging in all makes possible. To make a long story short we completed the 90-mile dash from Lund to Hiko in 43.19.750 minutes, or an average speed of 124.627. We finished ninth by .07 seconds. The winner was Greg Smith in a 1995 Corvette with a speed of 124.992. The wind kicked up pretty bad near the end and the unlimited cars decided not to chance it and withdrew.

Sam's Town was the headquarters hotel this year where technical inspection and the after-the-race banquet were held. Both events went real smooth with the hotel having to add tables at the last minute for the banquet.

The next event will be in September. We hope to have a roll bar installed by that time and will run in the 140 mph class with my Camaro Z28. Should you have any interest in competing (and it is a lot of fun too) then look up Silver State Open Road Racing on the web.

David Stetzer will assume the position of director of operations at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Stetzer has done a great job since taking over the short-track operations at the track last year. Good guy!

Brendan Gaughan is, at the time this column was being written, was standing in the top position for Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series going into last weekends race at Dover. The LVMS has begun selling tickets for the Oct 12-13 NASCAR weekend involving the Trucks and Winston West cars. Gaughan (sponsored by NAPA and Orleans Hotel) will of course be right in the thick of battle you can rest assured of that. He will be, no question about it, in a close knit battle with fellow race stars Ted Musgrave, Robert Pressley and Jason Leffler in the 145-lap truck series race. Austin Cameron, driving for the Las Vegas-owned Orleans Motorsports, will be a heavy favorite in the 100-lap NASCAR Winston West race. Tickets for the trucks are $30 general and $39 reserved. The Orleans WW 150 are only $19. You can get a two-day package for $49 including reserved seats. Not a bad deal and it is truly great racing.

The Unsinkable Debbie Reynolds returns to the Orleans this weekend with Neil Sedaka scheduled for June 12-16. Tony Orlando, who in this writer's opinion is a legendary performer, returns to the Orleans on July 19-21. His gig downtown at the Nugget was very good for the entertainer, but unfortunately for downtown he can do a lot better at the Orleans count wise. The Letterman check into the Suncoast this weekend with Tony Danza (that's right Tony D) making his debut on June 14-16 on the sane stage. That should prove to be a very interesting booking. Just watched him on the Memorial Day Celebration (telecast from Washington D.C.) where he did some great singing (under very harsh conditions) and showed off his tap dancing skills. I personally am looking forward to seeing this act and very possibly getting a chance to talk to him.

Well, gang, I am out of here!

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