Daytona 500 anticipation grows as NASCAR fans wait one more night before Sunday's race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The start of the Daytona 500 is so close you can almost taste it, just based alone on all the grills fired up at the speedway.
The infield was bustling with fans Saturday afternoon with fans eager to get the Super Bowl of stock car racing underway.
"I've been to 20-something Super Bowls, and this right here is the world center of racing for a reason. It is unbelievable," Jim, a longtime NASCAR fan, told FOX 35.
He’s been coming to the speedway for 12 years, and it didn’t take long for his son and his friends to get hooked.
"We had no knowledge about NASCAR prior. Now, I sit home on Sundays watching every NASCAR race. It's awesome," Kyle, his son’s friend, said.
Paul Fleming, from Melbourne, is getting his first taste of the Daytona 500 this weekend, and it’s like nothing he’s seen before.
"I've been to the 400 during the summer, several years ago, but it was ... it was not like this. This is just so much bigger," Fleming said.
It’s an opportunity for fans to let loose and forget about life’s problems, which is why Paul and his brothers have flown in from Holland every four years since 2004.
Now, their kids are getting in on the hype.
"I've seen so many things, but the best thing is when you walk in the pits, you see the cars so close, and the engine is so perfect to hear," Beau said.
And while the race will be a highlight for many this weekend, for at least one of these Europeans, it’s seeing America come together.
"The respect for the national anthem and everyone's standing and everyone is quiet ... I think it's a special feeling," Beau said.