LONG POND — The Pocono Raceway is officially gearing up for the Pocono 400 weekend and on Thursday the haulers made a big entrance.
About a dozen of NASCAR’s big-rigs took part in a hauler parade from Harrisburg to Long Pond.
Harrisburg turned into ‘Haulersburg’ for a day, drumming up excitement for this weekend’s Pocono 400.
About a dozen NASCAR haulers welcomed thousands of fans in PA’s capital city, helping kick off the first Pocono Hauler Parade.
“It’s been great. We were blown away by the number of fans that came out at the farm show complex. There was over 1,000 fans that came through the gates early,” said Pocono Raceway CEO Brandon Igdalsky.
The big rigs lined up and were escorted out of the capitol city and took off for Long Pond.
Fans like Mark Edwards waited on the side of the road hoping to catch a glimpse.
“Oh, it’s always impressive, especially when they come in mass, it makes for quite a sight and it makes for good promotion,” said Mark Edwards of Blakeslee.
One by one, rigs turned off I-80 at the Blakeslee exit, the final turn before Long Pond.
Erica Heider’s family lives right by the raceway and she says she couldn’t miss this opportunity.
“It just makes me so happy, I feel like a little kid again. It’s the only way I can describe it,” said Erica Heider of Long Pond.
The Hauler Parade hit the finish line right here at these orange cones at the corner of turn one at the Pocono Raceway, but fans say it’s only the starting line of what’s expected to be an exciting weekend.
“Always looking forward to Sunday, depending on who wins,” said Edwards.
Crowds leading into the Tricky Triangle continued to grow throughout the afternoon – something Raceway officials say really got their engines going – as they look forward to qualifying, and the race Sunday.
“To see all the kids and the families that are waiting for haulers to come by, it really kind of hits you exactly what we’re doing here,” said Igdalsky.
Raceway officials say they hope to continue this hauler parade tradition in the years to come.
NASCAR’s Pocono 400 runs this Sunday at the Pocono Raceway.