Party in the Poconos 400

LONG POND — It’s been a huge week at Pocono Raceway, as NASCAR fans from around the country, and around the world came to one spot to watch the track`s first race of the year, and as Newswatch 16 found out, NASCAR is a sport that fans take very seriously.

Folks gathered at Pocono Raceway at Long Pond for the track`s first NASCAR race of the year: “The Party in the Poconos 400″ sponsored by Walmart.

“The most interesting thing about Pocono is you get to meet people, and you get to come back to the same spot,” said Bill Williams of Wilkes-Barre.

Williams didn`t have to travel too far to get to the raceway. He`s just up the road in Wilkes-Barre. Bill, along with his wife and son, have turned their annual trips to Long Pond into somewhat of a family tradition.

“I am so into it, that this is my vacation that I take from work every year. I don`t go to the shore or anything. This is my vacation, and I look forward to it,” said Beth Williams of Wilkes-Barre.

It`s not just the excitement of the race that people love, but it`s also the time with friends and family. Everywhere you look, it`s another party.

“The camper`s world is what brings it all out. The infield was always made for families and camping and enjoying the outdoors,” said Jeff of Wilkes-Barre.

Some people know how to take camping to a whole new extreme! Mark Zirpolli has been coming to Long Pond for decades. He now has close to $1 million invested in a luxury motor home. He said he likes enjoying the sport of NASCAR in style.

“I just always wanted a nice motor-home, and I worked hard for it. It just took me 10 or 15 years to get this one here, and we`re happy that we have it,” said Mark Zirpolli of New Jersey.

While some spend money on NASCAR events, others go to the race to make money. Vendors were pushing their products everywhere you looked, like John Sabrett.

“Today was good, everybody is going into the race and grabbing a dog or a drink,” said Sabrett.

Making money, or spending it, The Party in the Poconos 400, is an excellent way to kickoff NASCAR season at Long Pond.