NASCAR has announced its Champions Week events for fans making the trip to Las Vegas, with enough activities again on the schedule for Dec. 1-3 that it might be worth the trip even if you don't snag a coveted banquet ticket.
The highlight should again be the "Victory Lap" down the Vegas Strip, with all 12 drivers making a slow trip down the canyon of towering casinos in front of thousands of onlookers.
Though the hilarious "Champion's Roast" is off the schedule – drivers were uncomfortable ripping on each other and many of the jokes were probably considered inappropriate – it has been replaced by a "Family Feud" style competition between the Chase drivers that is free to all fans on Dec. 1 in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway fan zone.
And that's just one of the chances fans will have to see the drivers from a different view.
Here's the complete Champion's Week schedule:
Wednesday, Dec. 1
• Chasers For Charity (Las Vegas Motor Speedway): The aforementioned Feud-style game show with all 12 Chase drivers takes place from 2-3:30 p.m. Admission is free. Also, the Richard Petty Driving Experience is offering rides with some proceeds going to charity.
Thursday, Dec. 2
• NASCAR/NMPA Myers Bros. Awards Luncheon (Bellagio Ballroom): This is the annual ceremony for the sponsor awards that they don't want to give at the main banquet (crew chief, Rookie of the Year, NMPA Most Popular Driver, etc.). For the first time, though, it's open to fans (Dale Jr., anyone?). The ceremony begins at 11 a.m.
• Victory Lap (The Strip): This is the signature event of Champion's Week, with the top 12 drivers parading down the famous Las Vegas Strip with fans lining the streets and bridges to get a look. There will be two burnout areas and a pit stop along the route. It starts at 3:30 p.m.
• NASCAR After The Lap (Hard Rock Hotel): Driver question-and-answer session for fans (free general admission seats) beginning at 4:30.
Friday, Dec. 3
• NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Banquet (The Wynn): Tickets for this are hard to come by, and you'll have to likely win one of the 300 available to fans through various track and team promotions. The banquet begins at 6 p.m.
Even if you can't attend the banquet, it still may be worth taking a trip to Vegas for the other fan events (if you can swing it financially, of course).