FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Before thousands of race fans from across the country make there way to Darlington this weekend for the 70th Annual Bojangles Southern 500, hundreds gathered in Florence for the 15th Annual NASCAR Haulers Parade.
Obviously, with such a historical race track in our own backyard it’s easy to take Darlington Raceway for granted.
However, for some race fans, they’re traveling from around the world, just to catch a glimpse of their favorite racer and even their race truck.
“This is exciting, it’s what makes NASCAR so wonderful and you get to see all these people, it’s like one big family,” said Jackie Potter.
For race fans like Jackie and Dave Potter, they’re on a mission to visit every professional race track and this weekend will check off number 13 at Darlington Raceway.
“When I retired in 2014 we started hitting some tracks we hadn’t been to and we’ve been fans since the 70s but hard-core since the 80s,” said Dave Potter.
Ray and Carol Pomeroy came down from New Jersey for their second Southern 500 and are thrilled to see the throwback paint schemes.
“After that first year we decided we have to come back. I think NASCAR puts on a great show and this gives people a chance to talk about the stories of the past,” said Carol Pomeroy.
The weekend is also a chance for young race car drivers like Joshua Zentek to get a taste of what it’s like to race professionally on the NASCAR circuit.
“We’ve only got a 24-foot trailer but these things are huge,” said Zentek.
This was the 15th annual NASCAR hauler parade and is one of the few parades still left on the NASCAR race schedule.
“The first year we didn’t know how many trucks would come but now we’ve got it down to a science and it keeps getting bigger each year,” said parade organizer Holly Beaumier.
As the fans wave to their favorite driver’s trucks, we officially start the chase to the checkered flag at Darlington.
“We’re hearing a lot of good things about the race here and the track so we’re pretty excited,” said Dave Potter.
Our coverage from Darlington Raceway will continue all weekend long, taking you behind the scenes in inside the winners circle.