Brad Keselowski wins Las Vegas NASCAR playoff opener for Penske’s 500th win

Brad Keselowski raced to his third consecutive NASCAR Cup victory Sunday, persevering through a wreck-filled Sunday afternoon and roaring away from the field in overtime to claim the playoff opener.

Keselowski secured team owner Roger Penske’s 500th victory across all competitions with a resourceful performance amid trying circumstances and 99-degree Las Vegas heat.

Kyle Larson was second, and defending Cup series champion Martin Truex Jr. third after a stop-and-start finish to a race that featured 12 cautions.

“To start off the playoffs with a win, that’s really strong, let alone three in a row,” Keselowski said. “We nailed the pit stops and the restarts when it counted, and we were strong.”

Eight of the 16 playoff drivers had various problems in the opener of the 10-race postseason. Four playoff drivers failed to finish — including co-leader Kevin Harvick, who wrecked with 120 laps to go when he blew his right front tire.

Michael McDowell and Kurt Busch wrecked with just two laps to go, forcing a red-flag stop and overtime. After the drivers re-fired their engines for the two-lap shootout, nobody could keep up with Keselowski’s Team Penske Ford.

“We did it, boss!” Keselowski shouted. “That’s quite a number, right? It’s really great to be a part of that, and to get the last one to get us there, that’s pretty great.”

Penske was in attendance for his landmark victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He formed Team Penske in 1966, and it has fielded 50 winning drivers across 14 race series during the ensuing 52 years.

Keselowski won at Darlington and the Brickyard in consecutive weeks before Vegas. His late surge has added some intrigue into a NASCAR season dominated by the Big Three of Truex, Harvick and Kyle Busch, who finished seventh in Vegas even after skidding and plowing through the infield grass with 35 laps to go.

Joey Logano finished fourth, and Ryan Blaney was fifth.

Truex moved into the overall points lead over Busch and Keselowski, who leapfrogged Harvick.

Harvick’s blowout also wrecked pole-sitter Erik Jones, who couldn’t react quickly enough and rear-ended Harvick.

Harvick likely doesn’t need a fantastic result from the first set of playoff races to advance, but the veteran driver was still furious about his tire failure.

READ FULL STORY: http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2018/09/16/brad-keselowski-wins-las-vegas-nascar-playoff-opener-for-penskes-500th-win.html

 


 

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Supersonic planes could change Las Vegas tourism, expert says

August 20, 2018 – 12:01 pm

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — Aviation industry leaders attending the 23rd annual Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit got a glimpse of the future Saturday: Boom Supersonic presented a model of a test aircraft expected to lead to the return of speedy intercontinental travel.

And the head of the Colorado-based Boyd Group, aviation expert Mike Boyd, believes the plane could be game-changing for Las Vegas.

“A big chunk of them (Las Vegas visitors) are coming in to spend a lot of money,” Boyd said. “Do you think MGM Grand or Wynn wouldn’t want to charter an airplane like this for their high-rollers? In a New York second.”

Blake Scholl, who designed the aircraft and founded Boom in September 2014, said his airliner would be able to fly from Washington D.C. to London in 3½ hours instead of the more than seven hours it currently takes. San Francisco to Hawaii would take 2½ hours instead of five. Sydney, Australia, to Los Angeles could be completed in just under seven hours instead of just under 15.

Scholl’s whole premise for the 55-passenger airliner he hopes to get off the ground by 2025 is “removing the barriers to experiencing the planet” by transporting people in half the time it currently takes.

Baby boom

At a hangar at Centennial Airport in suburban Denver, early arrivals for the two-day Boyd conference saw a model of the XB-1, the first independently developed supersonic jet — and history’s fastest civil aircraft.

The XB-1 and Boom’s airliner will be flown at Mach 2.2 — 1,451 mph. With an all-business-class cabin and every seat with a large window and next to the center aisle

Scholl said the XB-1, known by company employees as “Baby Boom,” is a two-seat test vehicle that will enable the company to refine its airliner design, ensuring a passenger aircraft which is efficient, reliable and safe.

Parts of the aircraft are being manufactured with lightweight carbon composites in San Diego and transported to Denver for assembly in Boom’s hangar at Centennial Airport.

READ FULL STORY: https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/tourism/supersonic-planes-could-change-las-vegas-tourism-expert-says/

 


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5 special menus at Las Vegas restaurants this week

New food at Zuma

Zuma at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has added several new premium-quality dishes to its menu: cured Hokkaido scallops with wasabi ponzu and yuzu tobiko, prime beef tartare with bincho mayonnaise and seaweed crisp, and Iberico pork with yuzu truffle and garlic chips. For reservations, call 702-698-2199.

Vegan collaboration

Chef Mayra Trabulse and Turmeric Flavors of India chef/owner Ritesh Patel will collaborate on a five-course vegan meal from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday at Turmeric, 700 Fremont St. The evening will include chef demos and insights and DJ music on the restaurant’s rooftop patio. It’s $79 per person or $148 per couple, which includes one drink, beer or house wine, and parking. Tickets are available at the restaurant or at bit.ly/culinaryfusion.

Stag’s Leap dinner

The products of Stag’s Leap Winery will be featured in a dinner from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Charcoal Room at Palace Station. The five-course dinner, with an entree of mocha-dusted rib-eye cap over grilled portabella mushrooms with arugula, is $80. Call 702-221-6678.

Dinner for two

Lawry’s the Prime Rib, 4043 Howard Hughes Parkway, is offering a Silver Oak prime rib dinner for two for $150, through the end of the month. It includes the Original Spinning Bowl Salad; the Lawry cut of prime rib with creamed corn or creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, or Atlantic salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables; Silver Oak wine or a signature Meat & Potato Cocktail; and one dessert per guest. Call 702-893-2223.

READ FULL STORY: https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/food/5-special-menus-at-las-vegas-restaurants-this-week/

 


 

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Raiders Las Vegas stadium is on time and budget, officials say

Updated July 20, 2018 – 12:20 am

Las Vegas stadium work crews are putting the equivalent of about $4 million a day into work at the site, and the project is on time and on budget, Las Vegas Stadium Authority officials said Thursday.

Precast steel is arriving at the site at Interstate 15 and Russell Road this week, and the last grade-level concrete slabs are scheduled to be poured later this month.

More than 500 workers are on the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat indoor football stadium project due to be completed in time for the 2020 NFL season.

Stadium authority officials and Raiders executives also reported that sales of personal seat licenses — contracts with fans that give them access to purchasing season tickets for Raiders games for 30 years — are going better than expected.

Raiders President Marc Badain said after the meeting that the team is in the second of three phases of PSL sales, with Oakland season ticket holders getting the first crack at mid-level PSLs through mid-August. Las Vegas fans who have placed deposits will be invited to participate next.

PSL costs

PSLs for those seats range from $3,900 to $15,000 per seat.

Club-level and VIP seat PSLs — the most expensive at between $20,000 and $75,000 per seat — were sold between March and May. About 73 percent of those sales went to fans with Nevada addresses. Badain wouldn’t predict what percentage of buyers would be from Nevada in the current sale.

A third tier of sales will occur later in the year for the last PSLs and season tickets.

Stadium Authority Chairman Steve Hill said the successful sales are reflective of the popularity of the team and Las Vegas.

“The combination of the Raiders and Las Vegas is pretty hard to beat,” Hill said after the meeting. “The (Vegas) Golden Knights are giving us a run for our money, and that’s a great thing, too. The Raiders have one of the world’s greatest football brands, and Las Vegas obviously is a brand in and of itself and when you combine those two things, we’re seeing that in the interest in the stadium and sales.”

Hill said he expected PSL sales to be strong.

“I think prices that are out there is what we expected them to be,” Hill said. “We had some conversations both at the (Southern Nevada) Tourism Infrastructure Committee and throughout the Stadium Authority board process where those prices were in alignment of what they are at other stadiums, and the demand is there.”

READ FOR STORY: https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/stadium/raiders-las-vegas-stadium-is-on-time-and-budget-officials-say/

 


 

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Golden Knights cap ‘crazy year’ with four wins at NHL Awards

Expansion team honored after reaching Final, uniting city following shooting

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist
June 20th, 2018

LAS VEGAS — It was the epilogue to the fairy tale of the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights.

Three hundred sixty-four days after assembling their first roster at the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena, they took center stage at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Four first responders and four survivors of the mass shooting on the Strip on Oct. 1 stood at one point with four members of the Golden Knights who won awards: general manager George McPhee, coach Gerard Gallant, center William Karlsson and defenseman Deryk Engelland.

The Golden Knights became Las Vegas’ first major league sports team, united the city in the aftermath of Oct. 1, shattered records for first-year teams in the regular season and made the Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Washington Capitals in five games.

“It was a dream season right till Game 5,” Gallant said. “It was an unbelievable year. Obviously nobody expected us to come out of the gate like we did. Nobody expected us to be in the playoffs. We had a great team. We had a great season. Fell a little bit short, but I’ll go home this summer very proud of our group and the organization.”

McPhee won the NHL General Manager of the Year Award a little more than four years after the Capitals fired him as their GM. Though the Golden Knights had more favorable rules than previous expansion teams did, McPhee and his staff took advantage of them and exceeded expectations. They did a masterful job of collecting assets for the long term while building a team for the short term, finding players with upside, speed and character.

“It was really hard for me to believe, to be honest with you,” McPhee said. “Every month, I was like, ‘Boy, is this really happening?’ As I’ve said a number of times, I had my fingers crossed all year hoping it wouldn’t turn to dust. And each week, we kept winning. And then we won a round, and then won another round, and then won another round. And I was like, ‘This is too good to be true. We might win the Stanley Cup.’ And then we didn’t. And then you come back down to earth. But it was just an extraordinary year in all of our lives.”

Gallant won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year after getting fired as coach of the Florida Panthers in 2016-17, after being a finalist for the award with Florida in 2015-16. He brought together players discarded by other teams by keeping an open mind, putting them in positions to succeed and boosting their confidence. Nick Robone, the UNLV assistant who was shot Oct. 1, was visited by Vegas players in the hospital and got to break down video with Gallant and his staff as he recovered, made the announcement.

READ FULL STORY AT NHL.COM :  https://www.nhl.com/news/golden-knights-cap-crazy-year-with-four-awards/c-299156756?tid=280503612

 

Capitals commemorate Golden Knights with full-page ad in Las Vegas paper

The Capitals have a lot to celebrate, but wanted to acknowledge their competitors first.

The Stanley Cup champions took out a full page in the Las Vegas Review-Journal to congratulate the Golden Knights on a competitive run in the championship series and a historic first season in the league.

 

“Congratulations to the Vegas Golden Knights on the most successful inaugural season in the history of professional sports,” the ad read. “World class ownership, front office, coaching staff and people. A magnificent team of talented, hard-working players and stars. A fantastic venue filled with passionate, loud and proud fans.

“It was an honor to compete against you in the Stanley Cup Final. We are truly VEGAS STRONG.”

Marc-Andre Fleury has tickled the fancy of Vegas Golden Knights fans all season

MAY 17, 2018
LAS VEGAS

Such are the extraordinary powers of Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury that he didn’t even have to be on the ice to earn an assist.

A scoring review after his spectacular 33-save performance against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday confirmed he deserved the second assist on the empty-net goal by Jonathan Marchessault that gave the Golden Knights the upper hand in the Western Conference final. Fleury was surprised to hear he had gotten the assist. His teammates aren’t surprised by any of his feats. “He does it all,” forward David Perron said.
Fleury, 33, did the Pittsburgh Penguins an enormous favor last season when he accepted their request that he waive his no-move clause so they wouldn’t have to protect him in the expansion draft that stocked Vegas’ roster and could keep younger, salary cap-friendly Matt Murray. The Golden Knights got instant credibility when they claimed Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion. They also got a man who taps his goalposts and thanks them in his native French and in English when they stop pucks, a man who learned to use humor to defuse white-knuckle situations.
“I think that’s the key to making sure you don’t tense up at the wrong moment,” said Perron, who is expected to return Friday after missing two games because of an illness. “You make sure you keep playing your game, and that’s what he does. At the end of the day when he lost to Matt last year because he’s a younger goalie and the salary cap and all that stuff, he wants to prove himself. Every single day he’s out there he’s having fun.”

During the Golden Knights’ unexpected playoff journey, Fleury has joined fans in doing the wave and, on Wednesday, he slyly tickled the ear of Winnipeg forward Blake Wheeler when players began pushing and shoving in front of his goal crease. “I’d be having fun too if I was up 2-1 in the series,” Winnipeg forward Adam Lowry said as the teams prepared for Game 4 on Friday at T-Mobile Arena.
The Golden Knights hold that lead because Fleury has backed up his humor with seriously clutch efforts and is 10-3 with a 1.70 goals-against average, .945 save percentage, and a playoff-leading four shutouts. Among his most impressive work were a toe save and a scrambling body block in quick succession against Winnipeg forward Mark Scheifele in the third period Wednesday while protecting a one-goal lead. Asked where he ranked those stops among all the timely saves he has made during his career, he grinned in embarrassment.
“I don’t remember all my saves,” he said.
But his teammates will remember those two saves for a while. “I was on the bench. I was freaking out. I couldn’t believe they didn’t score, honestly,” said forward Alex Tuch, who scored Vegas’ third goal, at 8:13 of the second period, on a pass from James Neal. “It was an unbelievable couple of saves there. He kept us in the game the entire time. He was the key to our success.”

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From GM George McPhee, with love: Golden Knights want to thank you for our unparalleled success

Kevin Allen, USA TODAY Sports
Published 1:24 p.m. ET May 17, 2018

LAS VEGAS — Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was named a finalist for the NHL’s GM of the year and we don’t need Las Vegas bookmakers to tell us he’s a prohibitive favorite to win the award.

The man has built the best expansion team in professional sports history. The Golden Knights are two wins short of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Final heading into Friday’s Game 4 at T-Mobile Arena (8 p.m, ET, NBC Sports Network). They lead the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in their Western Conference final series.

The always-gracious McPhee will want to thank those who helped him get here, so we’ve tried to be helpful by filling out “Thank You” cards for him:

Dear Marc-Andre Fleury: Many thanks for your decision to waive your no-trade clause with the Pittsburgh Penguins to allow us to select you in the expansion draft. We wouldn’t be where we are without your goaltending and your presence in the dressing room. Your goaltending has been out of this world and your willingness to promote our team and the game in Las Vegas has helped us grow strong roots in the community. People said you were a classy gentleman and the perfect teammate, but you can’t fully appreciate those traits until you see them up close and personal as we have.

Dear Vegas owner Bill Foley: Thanks for everything, especially the “Golden Knights” nickname and for saying we could make the playoffs in three years and win the Stanley Cup in six. We’re not afraid of high expectations in Vegas.

Dear NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: Thanks for signing off on a more generous player dispersal system for the expansion draft. This should be a model for future expansion in all sports. When you see how this has helped establish our team in Las Vegas, you wonder why we were so hard on past expansion teams. When McDonald’s Corporation awards a new franchise, the company doesn’t insist that it launch with inferior items on the menu. Why did sports leagues do that for so many years?

Dear Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon: Should probably send you a box of chocolates along with this ‘”thank you” for the sweet deal you gave us on Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. Landing Marchessault to take Smith’s contract off your hands gave us two-thirds of our top line. Forever grateful.

Dear NFL: Thanks for moving slowly on coming to Las Vegas because we’ve been the first plant our flag and win over this incredibly passionate fan base. It’s laughable now that some people believed pro sports wouldn’t work here. Our fan base is electrifying. If you want to know how to ignite them, we can help.

Dear Florida Panthers: Thanks to whoever made the final decision to fire Gerard “Turk” Gallant as coach. (Dale Tallon didn’t have final say at the time). All that matters is Turk – no one calls him Gerard – was available to be our coach. He’s perfect to lead our band of Golden Misfits. He relates to players and he understands the game at a DNA level.

Dear Expendables: Thanks to all of my players who came in with the attitude that their former teams were wrong to make them available to us. William Karlsson went from six goals for the Columbus Blue Jackets to 43 for us. Erik Haula went from 15 goals for the Minnesota Wild to 29.  Nate Schmidt went from third-pairing defenseman in Washington to a top defenseman for us.

Dear former Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher: Sorry you had so many skilled players on your roster that you couldn’t protect them all. You were in a difficult position that forced you to give us two quality players (Haula and Alex Tuch) to protect players such as Mathew Dumba and Marco Scandella, etc. P.S. We think Tuch is going to be a force for us.

READ FULL STORY: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/allen/2018/05/17/nhl-playoffs-golden-knights-thank-you-nfl-gary-bettman/619497002/

 


 

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Bryce Harper’s love affair with his Vegas Golden Knights – and hockey – goes into overtime

It’s the one where he’ll be wearing a gold, black and steel gray uniform,  perhaps a helmet perched on his head as he settles in front of his vast TV.

This is where he’ll be watching his beloved Vegas Golden Knights hockey team play Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Western Conference finals at T-Mobile Arena against the Winnipeg Jets, the best-of-seven series tied at 1-1, with Harper wondering how much more his heart can take it.

“I get more nervous watching them than anything I’ve ever done in my life,’’ Harper tells USA TODAY Sports, “even playing ball. I don’t get nervous watching my team or when I play at all. I really don’t.

“But when I’m watching them, I get so nervous. I’ll sit on the couch with my wife, going nuts.

“It’s unreal.’’

The Golden Knights, vying to become the first expansion team in a major sport to win a championship in its inaugural season, and already the first hockey team to reach the playoffs in its first year in nearly 40 years, are just three victories shy of going where nobody in their right mind believed they would reach.

Yes, the Stanley Cup Finals.

Forget the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team; maybe the Golden Knights are the unlikeliest miracle on ice.

No one gave them a prayer this season – an NHL-worst 500-to-1 longshot to win the Stanley Cup – except for this certain 25-year-old who happens to be one of the greatest baseball players in the world, and will soon become rich enough to buy his own casino.

“I’m really not surprised,’’ Harper says. “They’re a great team. There’s a lot of guys on that team that have chips on their shoulders because they got let go on other teams they were playing on.

“Look at us. We’ve got one of the best goalies of all-time in our net in (Marc-Andre) Fleury. He was the leader of that team that won three Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh. If we didn’t have a goalie on our team like that, it would definitely be tough. (Wild Bill) Karlsson is having one of the best years of his career. He has six goals in Columbus last year and now has 43 for us.

“We get (Jonathan) Marchessault from the Panthers, and look at the way he’s been playing. Reilly Smith. That whole front line has been unbelievable. Deryk Engelland and Schmidty (Nate Schmidt) coming from the Caps. James Neal, who was with Pittsburgh and Nashville.

“They’re all just such a great group of guys. Just a bunch of really cool dudes who are fast and quick and put the puck into the net. I could go on and on.’’

The Golden Knights have taken Las Vegas by storm, and, oh, can you tell who has caught hockey fever?

Harper and his wife, Kayla, don’t even have kids yet, but Harper already has chosen the sport he wants them to play.

“I’ve fallen in love with hockey,’’ Harper says. “When we have kids, I want them to play hockey. How awesome would that be? I can’t imagine being on the ice and playing such a cool sport.’’

Harper has become Barry Melrose without the colorful high-fashion outfits, soaking up as much hockey knowledge as he can these days. Do you know any other professional athlete who attended virtually every Golden Knights home game during the winter, wearing their jerseys at every opportunity, and occasionally wearing a helmet watching them on his living room couch?

 Do you know any other ballplayer who drops in on their practices, sends dozens of autographed bats with the Golden Knights logo to their locker room, drops the puck against the Washington Caps wearing an Alex Tuch jersey, and is already tentatively planning to see them if they’re playing in the Stanley Cup Finals on a May 24 off day?

 “It’s the first team I really had a passion rooting for,’’ says Harper, born and raised in Las Vegas, and, yes, blessed with the ability to ice skate. “Growing up, I didn’t really root for many teams. I always liked the Lakers. Liked Dallas in football.

“But those are all the winning teams. Even baseball, I’d get home and watch the Braves on Turner, or the Cubs on WGN, right after “Full House’’ and “Family Matters.’’

“But now, I can’t get enough of them. I watch them religiously. I love hockey.’’

Who’d ever have imagined that Las Vegas would become a hockey town, with every game sold out? Really, it’s the gateway to the gambling capital of the USA turning into a sports mecca.

READ FULL STORY: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2018/05/15/bryce-harper-vegas-golden-knights-hockey/611030002/

 


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Vegas Golden Knights’ Success Should Change The Way NHL Teams Do Business


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June, 2016: It seemed like a perfect plan.

  • Collect $500 million from a rich Las Vegas businessman in exchange for the first new NHL expansion franchise in 17 years.
  • Divide that money between the NHL’s 30 existing clubs, for a cool cash injection of $16.667 million per team.
  • Surrender one player to the new franchise in an expansion draft. For that kind of money, general manager George McPhee and his team could even have access to mid-level players. What could possibly be the harm?

We all had a good chuckle when Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said in 2015 that he wanted to see his team make the playoffs by Year 3 and win a Stanley Cup by Year 8.

Scott Cowan@GolfYeti

Listening to Bill Foley talk hockey in Las Vegas. Says playoffs in 3 yrs, Stanley Cup in 8. Positive man.

He later revised that projection to a Cup in six years. Turns out, that still may have been conservative.

You know the story by now: the Golden Knights won their division, made the playoffs and swept the Los Angeles Kings in their first-round series. On Sunday, they reached the Western Conference Final after recording their fourth shutout win of the playoffs and eliminating the San Jose Sharks.

The favored hashtag now running beside #VegasStrong is #CupIn1.

The Golden Knights’ success is so unprecedented, it’s still difficult to understand how the team can actually be this good. It’s supposed to take years to build a Stanley Cup contender — nurturing top prospects after they’re acquired in the draft, retaining good players with lucrative long-term contracts and supplementing rosters with free agents. Successful teams are supposed to build winning cultures over many years, with veteran leadership groups that keep the dressing room united. History matters.

Nobody argued that McPhee got off to a good start when he anchored the Golden Knights’ roster with three-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins. But Vegas charted its course for the playoffs without him, going 16-8-1 during the 25-game stretch between October and December where Fleury was sidelined with a concussion.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT FORBES.COM: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolschram/2018/05/07/vegas-golden-knights-success-should-change-the-way-nhl-teams-do-business/#75d92dd46123

 


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