There are memorial services when someone dies, but Jackie Gaughan’s is going to be one to remember.
Grandfather of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brendan Gaughan, Jackie passed away this past Wednesday at the age of 93.
While funeral services are pending, the El Cortez hotel – which Gaughan built and spent the last years of his life living in an apartment at the top of the building – is going to send off the elder Gaughan in style this Tuesday at 2 p.m. PDT.
Think of a toast and a roast all in one, as the El Cortez is throwing open the doors – the public is invited – of its Parlour Bar to remember Gaughan and celebrate his life with champagne and cake.
Testimonies, stories, recollections, jokes and tales tall and short will be on the agenda to honor and remember Gaughan, who was one of the primary figures to help Brendan get his start in NASCAR racing.
One of the pioneers who built Las Vegas from a small desert stop into the entertainment capital of the world, properties that the elder Gaughan once owned brought in 25 percent of Sin City’s downtown gaming revenue.
At one point, he owned all or part of legendary casinos and hotels such as the Golden Nugget, Showboat, Union Plaza, Boulder Club, Las Vegas Club, El Cortez, Gold Spike and the Western.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.