Sunny Skies for NASCAR Fans at Pocono

TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Thousands of NASCAR fans packed Pocono Raceway near Long Pond on Sunday for the Gander Outdoors 400, all of them glad to see the weather held up for the weekend.

Some fans were a little nervous about the rain leading up to race day, but they were thrilled to be able to watch the drivers under sunny skies.

Carl Carlsen from Palmerton had many reasons to be here.

"Hanging out and getting drunk on my birthday and watching Kevin Harvick win another one. It's great. I've been coming here since '76," Carlsen said.

For fans young and old, NASCAR races are what they wait for each summer in the Poconos.

Trent Richard from Slatington certainly dressed for the occasion and hopes to be a racer one day.

"I am dressed as Kyle Busch, and I race quarter midgets up at Blue Mountain Raceway," Richard explained.

Gwen Stein from Palmerton says she's lived by the raceway for many years though she's new to the world of racing.

"It's really cool to come here, and this is my first time at Pocono Raceway, so I am going to have a good time today," said Stein.

While plenty of NASCAR fans do enjoy watching the race from the stands, some others like to build their own and watch from the infield.

"This is awesome. Yeah, we make this every year. Come on here and put side rails on and stuff, and yep, we can get six, seven, well nine people up here. Yeah, a good view and you can see the cars everywhere," said Larry Finsterbush of Mifflinburg.

"You know everyone who doesn't like NASCAR, they have to experience a race up close. TV doesn't do it justice. When you hear the cars rumble by, it just changes everything," added Logan Finsterbush of Mifflinburg.

The crew from Mifflinburg says they were a little nervous about the weather leading up to race day but are happy to be watching under sunny skies.

"The beginning of the week, yes. Once it dumped on us in Mifflinburg, we hoped it would get out of its system for up here, and we are looking good so far," said Brett Smith of Mifflinburg.

Some friends from Carbon County say they only come to the raceway for the day and always enjoy the show.

"Love it, love it. We have been coming up here many years and it's just a great time out. Beautiful day and we finally don't have any rain. We love NASCAR and are here to see the race," said Gary Zetterstrand of Palmerton.

Summer fun isn't over just yet at Pocono Raceway. The crowds will be back for IndyCar scheduled for August 19.