Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 | 5:29 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
NASCAR enthusiasts from across the country lined Las Vegas Boulevard on Thursday to kick off NASCAR weekend with the second annual Hauler Parade.
Forty-eight haulers, towing the precious race cargo, made their way down the Las Vegas Strip with police escorts to the final destination -- the Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- in time for this weekend's competition.
“We’ve got a contingency of motors, police cars, K-9, highway patrol is involved in this and we’re just going to escort them northbound on Las Vegas Boulevard all the way to Sahara,” police escort officer Bob Holland said. “We get a lot of NASCAR fans out here from all over the country to see this.”
Eddie and Debbie Costantino, from Buffalo, N.Y., visit Las Vegas every two years to vacation with friends and take part in NASCAR weekend festivities. This was the first time they had come out for the parade.
“Just seeing the trailers, seeing the colors, all of the people, it's part of NASCAR,” Debbie Costantino said.
The huge trucks were what lured the Dalton family of Yorba Linda, Calif. Kevin Dalton, joined by his wife, Diane, and daughter, Ashley, said he enjoyed seeing the haulers outside the confines of a racetrack.
Others made it to the Strip because of some new-found free time.
“We’ve been to the races lots of times, but usually we’re both working, but since we’re both laid off we’re here,” Las Vegas resident Marilyn Hastie said. “Figure we never get to see it, so what the heck.”
Hastie, who has attended many NASCAR events in Las Vegas, said she enjoys people-watching more than the race itself.
“They’re a little crazy,” she said.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam’s Town 300 is 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $37 to $48 for the Sam’s Town 300 and $80 to $120 for Sunday’s Shelby 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.