Updated February 19, 2020 - 5:42 pm
With upward of 100,000 people converging on Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for a series of events that culminate Sunday with the Pennzoil 400 NASCAR race, the Nevada Department of Transportation is urging motorists to avoid Interstate 15 northbound near the speedway.
Events at the speedway occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m daily Friday-Sunday.
“We expect heavy traffic along northern Interstate 15 during NASCAR race weekend,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “We advise taking alternate routes, if possible. But, if travel through the area is unavoidable, please plan accordingly and budget additional time to reach your destination.”
To avoid the bulk of the congestion on I-15 northbound near Speedway Boulevard, motorists can opt to take the Craig Road exit to Las Vegas Boulevard.
Depending on what part of the valley racegoers are commuting from, motorists can also take the 215 Beltway to I-15 southbound, to the Craig offramp, or U.S. Highway 95 to I-15 northbound to Craig, according to the Department of Transportation.
The department completed a $34 million I-15 widening project between Craig Road and Speedway Boulevard in summer 2018, taking the stretch of highway from four travel lanes to six. The project was aimed at improving safety and mobility and decreasing congestion.
Although the project improved the road, the influx of motorists for large events at the speedway still causes traffic issues, though not as severe as before.
“The upgrades also enhance traffic flows entering and exiting the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is especially crucial during NASCAR events,” Illia said.
Those who want to skip the roads entirely can opt to take to the air, as Maverick Helicopters offers helicopter rides to and from the speedway.
The trips usually take about 15 minutes and begin at $499 per person.
“Maverick Helicopters is excited to present a one-of-a-kind transportation option to guests attending the Pennzoil 400 weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” said John Bush, president of Maverick Helicopters.