NBC’s Roenick turns hot laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

NBC Sports commentator Jeremy Roenick can cross an item off his bucket list.

The nine-time NHL All-Star got behind the wheel of a NASCAR stock car and tore around Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesday morning to film a segment for NBC Sports Network’s pre-game show before Thursday night’s broadcast of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals. Roenick, who scored 513 goals during his 20-year career, was exhilarated after hitting triple digits at the 1.5-mile speedway.

“That’s the sickest thing I’ve ever done,” Roenick said after climbing out of the No. 43 NASCAR Racing Experience car. “I’ve flown in an F-16 and jumped off the Stratosphere, and that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced. I have a new respect for those (NASCAR) drivers who have to sit in a hot car and concentrate like that while driving in groups for four hours.

“My hands are sore, and I’m sweating, and I only went eight laps. People say they’re not athletes, but they are athletes to the nth degree.”

Roenick did a ride-along with NASCAR driver and Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan in an LVMS pace car, then got behind the wheel of a stock car to turn some laps. He and Gaughan spent a few laps racing, drafting and passing each other, and Roenick also raced with other NASCAR Racing Experience instructors.

Speaking of hockey, Roenick had some advice for the Golden Knights.

“No one expected you to be (in the Stanley Cup Finals), or to even be in the playoffs, so just go out there and go for it,” Roenick said.

He was also impressed by the facilities at LVMS.

“Just driving into the speedway today, it’s awesome,” Roenick said. “I’m a racing guy and a speed guy, so I got the chills just driving in here. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is 100 percent all adrenaline.”

NBC Sports Network will televise LVMS’s DC Solar 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Sept. 15, and the South Point 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 16, which kicks off the 2018 MENCS playoffs.

Various ticket packages, fun extras and special-access passes for LVMS’s second NASCAR weekend of the year are available at www.lvms.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444.