By Jeff Lepper -- Whoever called Paris the city of lights has never seen Las Vegas. The United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) competed in "Sin City" under the lights in Las Vegas, Nevada for the Advanced Clutch Technology sponsored fifth round. Ironically, there is now a Paris hotel in Las Vegas.
The teams had raced at Las Vegas before, but this was a new event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the American LeMans course, so it offered new challenges to the teams. Among those challenges would be the first two race format; the first race being worth seventy-five percent of the points and all of the money, and the second race would be for the remaining twenty-five percent of the points only.
The first practice session for the teams started Saturday morning. The next session was qualifying, which did not start until Saturday evening. Therefore, the teams were not able to transfer any real data between the two sessions, due to the extreme time difference between the sessions. The lack of data did not seem to hurt Jeff "Kiwi" Owen in his right-hand drive Special Projects/B&G Sports Suspensions Honda Integra R earning him his first pole position. He was followed by Gary Hutto in his Global Motorsport/Hutto Motorsports/Intrax BMW 328i. Rounding out the top five was Gary Sheehan driving the Subaru of America/StopTech/Serious Auto WRX, David Lang in his Miracle Auto Paint-Napa/Pier Market-SF Honda Prelude and Ben Ho in the Autotronics Honda Civic. The entire three car Gogogear.com team were penalized three points each for being late to impound following the qualifying session.