NASCAR set to take over Las Vegas for Champions Week

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There’s always a party somewhere in Las Vegas. And this week, NASCAR is throwing a big one.

The “Champions Week” celebration will culminate this Friday night with the 2013 Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas, where now six-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the Top 10 drivers in this year’s standings will be honored.

However, there will be plenty of other fan-friendly events leading up to the awards that will take full advantage of its unique setting. In case you’re heading out to Vegas this week, here’s some events to keep an eye out for:

Wed, Dec. 4 – FanFest at Fremont Street Experience: All 13 Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders from this past season will be in attendance to compete in a gameshow-style event. Fans can also get in the running for tickets to Friday’s awards ceremony and the March 2014 NASCAR weekend at nearby Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Thurs., Dec. 5 – Victory Lap on Las Vegas Boulevard: Chase drivers will give a live demonstration, traveling north on Las Vegas Boulevard and doing burnouts along the way. Additionally, the drivers will do an authentic pit stop in front of the Bellagio.

Thurs., Dec. 5 – NASCAR After The Lap at Palms Hotel & Casino: The Chase contenders will take part in a live roundtable discussion in front of a fan audience. The event is sold out, but will be streamed online at NASCAR’s official website.

Additionally, NASCAR will have several private events such as the NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon on Thursday, where multiple championship awards and the Most Popular Driver award will be handed out.

Malcolm Stewart sidelined by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.