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NASCAR Hauler Parade set for August 28


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent 

  About 40 big rigs representing the top racing teams will line up Aug. 28 and cruise through downtown Hampton for the NASCAR Hauler Parade, kicking off the race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway for many fans and starting a night of fun for families in Hampton and the surrounding area.

The NASCAR Hauler Parade in Hampton will be held Thursday, August 28 and starts at 6:30 p.m.
                                                    Special photo

  The trucks that carry the race cars, with colorful advertisements on the sides of their trailer identifying their teams, will form a line coming in from the south off Hwy. 20 at around 6 p.m. with the start of the parade set for 6:30, according to Hampton Main Street director Denise McKay.

  The procession will head north on Main Street through Hampton all the way to Hwy. 81, then go west across Tara Blvd. to the tunnel that leads to the infield at AMS. The trucks will be lined up in the order that they enter the garage at the track.

  While Nationwide teams will already be in place at the track, Sprint Cup teams cannot enter the infield before 7:30 that night, McKay said, so the parade is a fun way for fans to see the teams’ trucks right before they get set up for the weekend.

  Hampton officials tried to organize a parade last year but were unsuccessful. This year’s event is fully sanctioned by NASCAR, and according to AMS special events coordinator Ted Austad, that means there should be close to 100 percent participation from race teams.

  “Other communities around the country have done them [parades], and they’re very popular with the fans,” he said.

  Assuming about 40 teams are represented, the line of 18-wheelers could be a half-mile long. That means there are plenty of places to see the parade in addition to downtown Hampton, where Main Street will be closed from 6-9 p.m. and traffic could be tricky.

  NASCAR legend Bill Elliott will be on hand for the festivities, as he is being inducted into Hampton Speedway Lane, the city’s own racing hall of fame. Elliott will receive a plaque in the park at the Depot, joining Rex White, who was the first inductee last year.

  “I am honored to have been chosen and look forward to being inducted into the Hampton Speedway Lane.   The hauler parade that follows is always a wonderful welcoming of community engagement for our NASCAR drivers and I invite everyone to come out and support those guys.  They do a tremendous job getting the rigs up and down the highways safely all year round,” said Bill Elliott.

  Interestingly, both White and Elliott will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next spring, Austad noted.

  After the parade there will be a street party around the Depot with a things to do for all ages, including music, games and kids’ activities. Businesses in downtown Hampton will be open during the event, McKay said.

  The parade should provide some unique visuals for fans that will stay with them for quite some time.

  “Folks will be using their cell phones, videotaping it and putting it on social media,” said Austad. “It is awe-inspiring to see of the trucks rolling through town. It’s a pretty neat deal.”



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