By Monroe Roark
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
The NASCAR Hauler Parade in
Hampton will be held Thursday, August 28 and starts at 6:30
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
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,
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
“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.”