Meeting Drivers Worth the Wait and Weather

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LONG POND -- Rain showers threw a monkey wrench into Friday's qualifying at Pocono Raceway.

The time trials for "The Party in the Poconos 400" were wiped out by the weather.

But the rain didn't dampen the spirits of some of the most important people at the track.

The fans, especially for 150 of them who got to meet their favorite drivers.

Rose Milkovitch from the Nazareth area was first in line to meet a group of four NASCAR drivers who will be competing in the big race on Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond.

She's one of more than a hundred lucky race fans who get that chance.

"It was great, it was really great," said Milkovitch.

For three hours, Rose and many others in line, waited and waited for their turn get autographs on their race memorabilia.

Then the drivers finally arrived, including one of Rose's favorites, Dale Earnhardt, Junior, who Rose got to talk with as well.

"Just saying thank you to the drivers, it's just great,"  said Milkovitch.

Steven Daus of New Jersey and his son also got a chance to meet the drivers they've been following for years.

Their favorite, Dale Earnhardt, Junior.

"First time meeting Junior.  I've been coming for the last ten years.  It's a great experience," said Daus.

Alex Daus, Steven's son, told Newswatch 16 he waited in line for about three hours and it was worth the wait.

"Yes, just to meet the people you know, behind the cars, behind the seats," said Alex.

In order to be part of the experience, the 150 fans had to come to the track by 10:00 a.m., get a wristband and cue up in line, despite the rainy weather.

"It was good. You hang out and talk to different people, you know, you get to make friends.  That's how NASCAR is.  A whole big family, you know," said Steven Daus.

The gates open at 8:00 a.m. Saturday and the "Party in the Poconos 400" is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.