I’m posting this blog on Monday, Dec. 3, but I’m actually writing it on Saturday, Dec. 1, sitting aboard an Airbus A321 Jet somewhere over… hmm, Oklahoma maybe? Who knows?

Anyway, I departed Las Vegas this morning following NASCAR Champion’s Week, highlighted by the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. It’s a great time to reflect on the last several days and share.

If you kept up with the goings on, or if you read this morning’s NASCAR headlines, then you know: 

But that’s not why I’m writing this blog. While I was out there, I didn’t hang out with the “suits.” I didn’t attend any high level meetings. In fact I didn’t even gamble.

For many, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” However, I’m happy to share my Vegas details.

For the fourth consecutive year, Bristol Motor Speedway awarded a trip to NASCAR Champion’s Week to one of our iBelong Season Ticket Holders, and I had the pleasure of accompanying the winner and his wife along the way.

Jim and Janet Buckland from Beckley, W.Va. were the winners of the 2012 trip and what a time they had (see all the photos from their Champion’s Week visit).

“There’s nothing like Bristol and we appreciate the opportunity to be out here for all the festivities,” said Jim Buckland. “This is just something real special, just like Bristol."

The Bucklands have been Bristol season ticket holders for 17 years, and their love for “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” and NASCAR was clearly evident.

Their prize package included tickets to the NASCAR Awards, NASCAR After The Lap, and the Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. They also were part of the pre-awards Fan Reception and got experience the “red carpet” prior to entering the ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas.

For me personally, I wish we could have filled the entire ballroom with Bristol season ticket holders. But I will tell you that I met many BMS evangelists at the grand event. 

I was seated at a table with the Bucklands, along with three other couples that were guests of other tracks that I will not name. Through casual conversation the fans learned that I worked at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

I’m paraphrasing, but in short, each interaction went something like this: “We’re here as the fan guests of ‘fill in the blank speedway,’ but our favorite track is Bristol.” 

A lot of ingredients play into that -- short track racing, east Tennessee hospitality, a unique venue and our desire to exceed the expectations of our fans. 

Nonetheless, I was honored to hear that, and I expressed my appreciation accordingly. 

Bristol is a special place. Yes, I know I am biased. But anyone who has visited us knows that is true. 

And I’m glad that in a couple of hours I’ll be landing there.