Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube Returns to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Plus This & That

It’s that time of the when my heart begins to take that extra beat of energy, as the “Boys of Thunder” are heading towards the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Yep, NASCAR is back with a brand-new designed race car and a bunch of young chargers who are making some of the older drivers havin’ to sit up more in the seat and tighten the belts a wee bit tighter.

Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube
Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube

Yep, Pennzoil® is back at Speedway to host the 5th annual Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube as part of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) race season. The season is off to a fast start, and Pennzoil is eager to bring fans from near and far in on the race action. The Pennzoil Proving Grounds will return in-person for race weekend excitement and offer virtual fan experiences online. The NASCAR drivers will start their engines on Sunday, March 6th at 12:30 PM PST, and the race will be broadcast live on FOX.

“The Pennzoil team is thrilled to be back at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for our 5th year of entitlement,” says Steve Reindl, President, Shell Lubricants Americas. “We are proud to share in the rich history that Las Vegas Motor Speedway offers as it continuously proves to be one of the most anticipated races for both fans and our Team Penske drivers! Pennzoil is dedicated to getting race fans in on the action, which is why we will be offering unique activations both in-person and virtually throughout the Pennzoil 400 race weekend.”

The Pennzoil Proving Grounds will be taking place both in-person and virtually to bring fans along for the ride during the exhilarating triple header weekend. Fans can access the Pennzoil Virtual Proving Grounds through the link below and it is also available on It is recommended to access the Pennzoil Virtual Proving Grounds via a desktop computer using the Chrome web browser or through your mobile device.

Pennzoil Proving Grounds
Pennzoil Proving Grounds

Pennzoil Proving Grounds Highlights: The in-person Pennzoil Proving Grounds will be packed with activations throughout the race weekend!: Fans are encouraged to stop by and check out special vehicles from professional fun-haver Chelsea DeNofa, Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE) and Expedition Overland. Additionally, Pennzoil will showcase a Next-Generation Racecar at the Proving Grounds, so be sure to come and check it out!

March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate Pennzoil will honor esteemed women who support the US Military Motor Pool. The remarkable women will be recognized during the Pennzoil 400 pre-race ceremony at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On the track, Team Penske driver and two-time Pennzoil 400 champion Joey Logano will pilot his new No. 22 Next Generation Ford Mustang highlighting the Pennzoil primary paint scheme. Teammate Ryan Blaney will sport the Pennzoil co-primary paint scheme in his No. 12 Next Generation Ford Mustang for Pennzoil/Menards.

Pennzoil Proving Grounds
Pennzoil Proving Grounds

All Team Penske drivers will have the cutting-edge technology and power of Pennzoil Synthetics running through their engine as the green flag waves to kick off the Pennzoil 400. Pennzoil works hand-in-hand with Team Penske to develop premium motor oil formulations and evaluate them under harsh desert conditions as a laboratory for tomorrow’s road cars. Pennzoil takes pride in offering the first synthetic motor oil made from natural gas to help Team Penske drivers get through demanding race conditions and consumers get to their destinations without compromise.


“Jiffy Lube is proud to continue its support of the annual Pennzoil 400 by serving as the presenting sponsor,” said Edward Hymes, President, Jiffy Lube International, Inc. “The brand’s involvement bolsters the solid relationship between Pennzoil and Jiffy Lube and reinforces our commitment to providing fast, convenient automotive maintenance services to our customers.”


The relationship with Speedway Motorsports Incorporated (SMI), owner and operator of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, provides Pennzoil a stage to cultivate relationships with fans and customers and put the spotlight on a shared appreciation for motorsports.

“Our relationship with Pennzoil goes beyond the Pennzoil 400,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. “We share an ambition and drive for innovation and strive to bring an unforgettable experience to our world-class facility – both in-person and virtually.”


For more information about technical relationships between Pennzoil and motorsports teams, visit To stay up-to-date on the latest activities, be sure to ‘like’ the official Pennzoil Facebook Page ( and follow @Pennzoil on Twitter ( and Instagram (


Midland Performing at the Pennzoil 400
Midland Performing at the Pennzoil 400

There are a number of unique events taking place prior to the start of the race. These include Chart-topping country music group Midland who will bring its talent to the pre-race stage to headline festivities for the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday at the Speedway.

Known for such hits as “Drinkin’ Problem and “Burn Out,” Midland will make its first appearance ever at Speedway prior to the annual NASCAR Cup Series race.
“We’re thrilled to have one of country’s hottest acts kick off the Pennzoil 400,” said LVMS President Chris Powell. “Midland is incredibly popular with our race fans, and we know the guys will put on a great show to get everyone’s motor running for the green flag.”

It will be the second of back-to-back performances in Las Vegas for the trio. Midland will headline at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, on Saturday, March 5 as part of its Last Resorts Tour. The band is expected to take the stage at the speedway at approximately 11 a.m.

In addition to Midland, Alabama-native and rising singer/songwriter Tiera Kennedy will make her first appearance ever at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as she performs the national anthem prior to the Pennzoil 400. Kennedy, The Valory Music Co. recording artist known for her standout tracks “Found It In You” and “Shut It Down,” was inducted into CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2020 as well as its Listen Up Class of 2022. Named as an Artist to Watch by Teen Vogue, Nashville Lifestyles, Pandora Country, Spotify’s Hot Country, Country Now, Music Row and Sounds Like Nashville, Kennedy is the host of Apple Music Country’s The Tiera Show.

And finally, Marcus Allen who spent his football career bringing stadiums to life with roaring fans will bring the roar of the NASCAR Cup Series engines to life at the start of the Pennzoil 400. Allen, the legendary hall of fame running back and former Raiders star, has been named grand marshal for the 25th annual event and will give the command to start engines.

“I’m honored to be the grand marshal” Allen said. “I am a fan of the sport and look forward to meeting the drivers.” Allen joins a list of luminaries to deliver the command at LVMS including Mark Wahlberg, Tim Allen, Cole Hauser, Derek Carr, Kim Kardashian, Carroll Shelby, Rascal Flatts and Dana White.


Well, gang, there you have it. Make sure you catch the race either in person (the best way of course) or on your home TV.



Center for First-generation Student Success
Center for First-generation Student Success

The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation, recently announced the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions, including Nevada State College, receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources.


Nevada State College is devoted to uplifting and supporting first-generation students through several initiatives, including:

  • Nepantla is a competitive four-year commitment dedicated to empowering first-generation college students through mentorship, academic skills, access to resources, community building, and professional success through self-discovery.
  • TRIO SSS provides students with the necessary tools to adjust to the demands of a college environment, while helping them develop good study habits and decision-making skills that increase retention and graduation rates.
  • Sankofa is designed to support the retention and recruitment of Black students. Rooted in social justice and community advocacy, students can engage in mentorship, receive academic support, and participate in social activities offered by Black faculty, staff, and community leaders.
  • College Lingo Project is a faculty-led project that familiarizes students to the terms and jargon used in higher education.
  • I am First Gen is an administrative-led outreach project that encourages self-identified first-generation faculty and staff to use a first-generation symbol to signal to anyone who enters it is a place that supports first-generation students free from criticism or judgements.


“First-gen Forward now recognizes and supports nearly 300 diverse institutions across four cohorts, all of which continue to lead the nation through their commitment to first-generation student success. We are pleased to welcome Nevada State College for their long-term commitment and demonstrated strategies for advancing first-generation student initiatives,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president, Center for First-generation Student Success.

“Nevada State is so grateful to be designated as a First-gen Forward institution,” said Edith Fernandez, Vice President of Culture, Planning and Policy for Nevada State College. “Our campus community takes pride in producing a welcoming environment for all students in Nevada. We vow to continue encouraging diverse participation in higher education, uplifting first-generation students as they dive into their collegiate careers.”

As a First-gen Forward Institution, interested faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer institutions who are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop slated for early June and will participate in monthly calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions are eligible to apply for the Advisory Leadership designation.


“First-gen Forward is an exciting opportunity for Nevada State College to join a dedicated community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the country. We are excited to see a groundswell of activity from the First-gen Forward cohort and know Nevada State College will be a significant contributor,” offered Dr. Kevin Kruger, president and CEO of NASPA.

To learn more about first-generation efforts at Nevada State College, visit To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, visit

UnCommons, a $400 million, 40-acre mixed-use community by Matter Real Estate Group, announces Mercadito as its newest tenant. A bodega serving a range of authentic Cuban sandwiches, coffee, and grocery essentials, Mercadito will join the much-anticipated development when it opens this summer in southwest Las Vegas.

The 1,000-square-foot market will serve as a gathering place for the community, offering everything from the day’s newspapers and magazines to groceries. The bodega will serve Cuban staples such as cold and hot-pressed sandwiches, empanadas and pastries crafted by Chef Dennis Martinez Miranda, a Las Vegas resident who was born and raised in Cuba.


“We can’t wait to bring our bodega to the southwest Las Vegas community at UnCommons,” said Martinez Miranda. “You can find bodegas in many cities like Havana, Miami, New York and Los Angeles that serve as the community cornerstones. At Mercadito, we hope to be just that, a place where people can stop in for things like laundry detergent or medicine, enjoy an incredible sandwich and feel the pulse of the community.”


Mercadito’s sandwiches, empanadas and pastelitos are inspired by those that can be found at traditional Cuban markets in South Florida. Made fresh daily, signature items will include Cuban sandwiches, guava and cheese pastries and cheese rolls. Mercadito will also feature a walk-up window that serves traditional Cuban coffees and drinks while offering outdoor spaces to connect with friends and colleagues.


“We’re excited to welcome Mercadito, which will bring Cuban flair and cuisine to the people who live, work and visit UnCommons,” said Matter Real Estate Group Partner Jim Stuart. “Mercadito adds an exciting layer to our diverse mix of food and beverage offerings and will enhance UnCommons as a truly connected neighborhood.”


Mercadito will join UnCommons’ thoughtful lineup of food and beverage options including Las Vegas’ first neighborhood food hall, Teaspoon, Urth Caffé and MINA Group’s first off-Strip, fast-casual restaurant, plus many more to be announced soon. Find more information about UnCommons on the website at


Well, gang, see at the Speedway.

I’m outa here!

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