Sell-out crowd happy to be back at the Daytona 500

A sold-out crowd of happy NASCAR fans filled the Daytona International Speedway Sunday.  "

Feels great!  It’s very crowded," the Sheer family said.  

They deferred their tickets to last year’s race because of the pandemic. This year they camped got right back in the swing of things, camping in the infield, signing the finish line, sing-along with Luke Combs at the pre-race concert, and of course, taking in every bit of action on the track.  

"I feel like people missed out, and they’re really letting loose this year," said Barbara Porter, who came to the race with the Sheer family.

Tent City in the infield was back to its race day glory. The area between turns three and four was packed with trucks, tents, makeshift bars, and homemade observation decks for fans to get the best view of the action.  

"This spot wasn’t available last year due to COVID-19, so we’re here now," Tina Coleman said.  

She and her crew of more than 30 friends had to watch from turn two last year, and they say it just wasn’t the same.  Her friend Kirk Downing says they’re back to be watching from their favorite spot of 20 years.  

"This is where it all happens," Downing said.

While fans say last year’s race was fun, they’re glad there weren’t any crowd restrictions this year. 

"It definitely feels like things are back to normal. We are loving it. There are people everywhere, fewer people wearing masks and people are just having a good time," said Carrie Brunco from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Fans could be overheard all day saying this felt like the biggest crowd they’d ever watched the Daytona 500 with. 

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