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Short Shifts

Blues players 'spoiled' during visit to NASCAR race

Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, Carter Hutton meet drivers, crews during Camping World 500 in Phoenix

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

Blues get up-close look at NASCAR

Blues see NASCAR race up close in Phoenix

Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko and Carter Hutton got behind-the-scenes access to the Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway

  • 02:39 •

PHOENIX -- Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko and Carter Hutton are used to the cold sheets of ice in NHL arenas.

On Sunday, the three St. Louis Blues players got the chance to brave the sweltering heat of a race track and experience the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

In front of 80,000-plus fans, they watched the race, which was won by Ryan Newman, got to meet drivers and their pit crews, and were acknowledged at the drivers meeting.

"I thought we were spoiled," said Hutton, who said it was his first NASCAR race. "NASCAR was amazing, treating us great. They had two reps that brought us around and answered every question, showed us all the behind-the-scenes, unique things that go on that you would never know. For me, I didn't really know much about NASCAR. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Parayko became hooked when his father, Tom, would watch the races on TV at home in St. Alberts, Alberta.

"Huge NASCAR fan," Parayko said. "Growing up, it was just something I got brought into. I've kind of been following it and you just gain an appreciation of the sport when you actually get to go and see what they put into it and how much effort and everything that's kind of behind the scenes."

Tweet from @StLouisBlues: A day off in Arizona gave Colton Parayko, @apetro_27 & @CarterHutton a chance to watch the @NASCAR #CampingWorld500 at @PhoenixRaceway. pic.twitter.com/ivaPRCVau1

Pietrangelo, who said he's also an IndyCar fan, said he predicted Newman's win.

"I actually did pick the winner, that's all I'm going to say," Pietrangelo said. "Great opportunity. I've been to IndyCar. That was my first NASCAR opportunity to walk the pits and meet the drivers and walk through their garage. I got introduced to all the drivers before [the race].

"Great weather, great day, good company. It's always fun these off-days to get to experience something you don't get to do very often."

The Blues, who lead the Los Angeles Kings by six points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, conclude a five-game, 10-day road trip Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-MW, NHL.TV).

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