For the fifth year in a row, NASCAR After The Lap™ will be back in Las Vegas during champion’s week and at least one of the co-hosts Monica Palumbo is primed and ready for her ‘favorite’ event.
Palumbo, former Miss Sprint Cup and current reporter for NASCAR Race Hub on Fox Sports 1, will be sharing the hosting duties with Marty Smith of ESPN. Palumbo will be handling the fans in the crowd, while Smith will be managing the drivers on stage.
The event this year will take place on Thursday, December 5th at 5:00 PM at the Pearl Palms Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Hotel.
“I actually worked NASCAR After The Lap™ twice already and it’s my favorite event because the guys are so loose and it’s an intimate setting,” Palumbo said. “You can see it on nascar.com but it’s not televised so I feel like it’s a little bit more special.”
“The drivers are really showing off their personalities that you don’t necessarily get to see throughout the season,” Palumbo continued. “It’s just one of my favorite events.”
Palumbo advised that her role at the event will be one of liaison between the crowd, sponsors and the drivers, however, the emphasis from her perspective is indeed on the fans in this unique event.
“It’s a very fan-friendly event and that’s one thing NASCAR is really big on,” Palumbo said. “It’s about the fans first.”
“They are going to have notecards so the audience can submit their questions in advance,” Palumbo continued. “Then I’ll go through them and pick out the questions to be asked.”
“So, I’ll be out there taking questions from the audience and making sure everybody has a good time.”
Palumbo is also primed and ready for the sweepstakes and giveaways that accompany the NASCAR After The Lap™ event. This year, fans can win an all-inclusive VIP trip to Las Vegas for the event, trips to either the 2014 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte or the 2014 Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as the grand prize, a 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor.
“I’m really excited about the big sweepstakes,” Palumbo said. “They’re giving away a 2014 Ford Tremor, which is pretty awesome.”
“Coca Cola and Ford are both giving away tickets to the Coca Cola 600 and the Ford Champions Week for 2014,” Palumbo continued. “So, the sweepstakes winners will be there and they will also have a shot to win a car.”
“We’ll be doing that in the audience as well, which is pretty cool to get a free car.”
Palumbo is also primed and ready to get to Las Vegas, a place that she assesses as ‘perfect’ for this type of fan-interactive post-season event.
“Vegas itself just equals celebration to me,” Palumbo said. “So, I feel like it is a fun event.”
“Everybody is so relaxed,” Palumbo continued. “The season is over and it’s a time for celebration.”
So, who is Palumbo predicting will be in the champion’s seat for the event and at the head table come banquet time?
“It’s definitely down to Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth now and we know how well they are both running,” Palumbo said. “We know that Jimmie is so great at Phoenix so it’s really a toss-up between the two.”
“I can’t even bet on either one,” Palumbo continued. “I’m ready to put my money down on one but I can’t because I don’t want to lose.”
“Everybody is on pins and needles because we know Jimmie can do it obviously,” Palumbo said. “But Matt Kenseth is really giving him a run for his money.”
“I think the fans love seeing that and the two drivers are definitely keeping it exciting.”
Palumbo is also primed and ready for the NASCAR After The Lap™ event because of where the proceeds go, helping individuals, children and families in need through the NASCAR Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization.
“The tickets are only $20 and all the money, one hundred percent of the proceeds, goes to the NASCAR Foundation, which is unreal,” Palumbo said. “It’s probably one of the best charity events where all of the drivers are together in a relaxed way, cutting up with each other, joking about incidents that have happened during the year, and some have even gotten up and danced.”
“It’s a great event to get the drivers out of their element,” Palumbo continued. “There is not an event like this throughout the whole season.”
“This is a one of a kind,” Palumbo said. “You might have the drivers together for media day but they are so focused on that race.”
“This is the end of the season and they can all breathe,” Palumbo continued. “They’re all ready to have a good time, hang out with the fans and answer their questions.”
“There is just nothing like it.
Palumbo is not alone in her enthusiasm for the NASCAR After The Lap™ event.
“Celebrating its fifth consecutive season, NASCAR After The Lap has evolved into one of the most talked about events of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week™ and provides two long-standing partners, Ford and Coca-Cola, a valuable platform to connect with our brand-loyal fan base,” Norris Scott, NASCAR vice president of marketing, said. “It is an event unlike any other in sports that gives our fans the chance to see the drivers with their helmets off and their guard down.”
“Over the last five years as event sponsor, Ford has enjoyed some remarkable and very unpredictable moments with our NASCAR drivers,” Tim Duerr, motorsports marketing manager for Ford Racing, said. “The NASCAR after the Lap Sweepstakes continues to provide Ford with a great avenue to engage with fans by offering them a chance to not only win a trip out to Las Vegas, but also an opportunity to go home with a brand-new 2014 Ford F150 Tremor.”
“This sponsorship delivers results to Ford on many levels.”
“As a long-time partner, Coca-Cola is proud to celebrate the 2013 season with the stars of NASCAR at this year’s NASCAR After The Lap,” Ben Reiling, director of motorsports for Coca-Cola North America Group, said. “In our fifth year as an event sponsor, we are offering fans a stellar experience to interact directly with members of our Coca-Cola Racing Family and a chance to win a trip to our marquee event, the Coca-Cola 600.”
“We’re looking forward to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week and it’s definitely going to be a wild ride.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, fans can visit www.NASCARafterthelap.com.
For fans unable to attend in person, NASCAR.com will offer a live stream of the event.