NASCAR in Las Vegas: Drivers talk preference of slots or tables

By Dominic Aragon, Isabel Gonzalez and Matt Courson

December 2, 2017

PARADISE, Nev.—The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series held its annual awards banquet Thursday night at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The event was hosted by NBC Sports on-air talent Rutledge Wood and Krista Voda, along with pit reporters Matt Snyder and Kelli Stavast.

Before and after the banquet, drivers met with media at the Wynn. The drivers we caught up with shared their gambling preferences and strategies.

No. 3 Austin Dillon
“I’m a blackjack guy. I got killed last night but blackjack is my game and it’s an up-and-down kind of game. I try to read the dealers and it just doesn’t work out but I have my preferences, blackjack is the game I play.

“You know who wrote the book? No, me neither, so I just do the opposite of what the book says and sometimes it works. I split 10s against six and anything else. You gotta get as much money on the table as you can get. That’s what I believe.”

No. 4 Kevin Harvick
“I don’t sit at either (slots or tables). I work too hard for my money to give it away.”

No. 20 Matt Kenseth
“I used to play some slots, and then I decided I was going to need some money someday, and was kinda of like it wasn’t really profitable.

“And then (Greg) Biffle got me into craps a little bit, I’m still not that great, I kind of understand the basics, and that’s actually enjoyable because you can play for a long time with not necessarily a lot of money.”

No. 21 Ryan Blaney
“Used to be a big blackjack guy when I just turned 21. I was pretty hard on it for a year and I don’t wanna gamble much anymore. I usually lose a lot so I figured I’ll keep the money in my pocket.”

No. 31 Ryan Newman
“For what? To lose money, right? I mean that’s what keeps the lights on, right? There’s your answer.”

No. 41 Kurt Busch
“I’m more of a table guy. My gaming strategy is to have fun, have a couple beers and make sure that I’m putting positive chips in my pocket.”

No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.
“Tables. Blackjack for me. I can count cards pretty good. I’m just kidding.”

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Well, I like the roulette. I really enjoy playing that. Haven’t had much luck on the roulette table in the last several years. Wheel of fortune slots are a lot of fun. There’s a few slot machines that are pretty entertaining.

“But that’s pretty much it. I don’t play craps and I play 21 but don’t really play it too often.

“It’s always fun playing the birthdays and anything superstitious. My dad’s number and my number, things like that.”

Matt Courson/The Racing Experts
Franklin Romero/The Racing Experts

Do you prefer slots or tables?