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Celebrity Poker and Racing, A Vegas Smart Bet

First poker, then NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing. It’s the best of both worlds next week in Las Vegas.

Before betting on the best racing strategy for the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 on Saturday night, a handful of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series personalities will be going “all in” for a night of celebrity poker.

The ‘Craftsman Truck Series Tough Poker Tournament’ presented by the South Coast Hotel & Casino will be held on Wed., Sept. 20 beginning at 7:30 p.m. PT at the South Coast Hotel & Casino at 9777 Las Vegas Boulevard. The presenting sponsor, South Coast Hotel & Casino, has guaranteed a minimum $10,000 donation will be made to the Speedway Children’s Charities – Las Vegas chapter from this tournament.

Drivers scheduled to participate in the tournament include hometown favorite Brendan Gaughan (No. 77 Dodge), Rick Crawford (No. 14 Ford), Ron Hornaday (No. 33 Chevrolet), Mike Skinner (No. 5 Toyota), Jack Sprague (No. 60 Toyota) and defending Las Vegas Motor Speedway race winner and current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader Todd Bodine (No. 30 Toyota).

A host of crew chiefs, crewmembers as well as SPEED personalities Rick Allen and Phil Parsons will also participate in the Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament.

The poker tournament is sure to be a tough win for the racers from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, which is known for its tough trucks and tough driving on the race track.

“I’m more than ready to welcome our guests to Las Vegas – both on the track and at the poker table,” said local icon, Brendan Gaughan. “Everyone knows I’m very comfortable in my hometown and I just hope that no one gets disappointed when I show them how it’s done here. But the real winners in the ‘Craftsman Truck Series Tough Poker Tournament’ will be those that the local Speedway Children’s Charities will help with their efforts --- and we know everyone will feel great about that!”

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competes in the Smith’s Las Vegas 350 on Sat., Sept. 23 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The green flag falls at 6:15 p.m. PT, and the race can be seen on SPEED and heard on MRN/XM Satellite Radio.

Craftsman, the Official Tools of NASCAR, has sponsored the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since it began in 1995. According to a 2004 EquiTrend survey, Craftsman is rated the No. 1 brand in the nation for overall quality. Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services are sold nationwide through Sears Full-line stores, Sears Hardware stores, Sears Dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, through select Kmart stores and specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com and www.craftsman.com.

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