Fans ready for race weekend

By Michael Davis

Between 50-gallon trash barrels and spray-painted purple lines, the culture of NASCAR is camping.

They come from across the U.S. and from foreign countries. They all come to hole-up on Atlanta Motor Speedway's 870 acres and most, if not all, will stay for the entire weekend.

Ron Crozier came from Chesterfield, Mich.

"We've been here when it was snowing and when it was raining," said Crozier, outside of Randy Orhaski's No. 3 trailer.

Crozier and Orhaski pulled into the campground Wednesday night and said they will not be leaving until Monday morning.

"It's a good racetrack," said Crozier. "They're not restrictive on when you've got to get out," he said. "And we don't like to fight the traffic."

For themselves, three others that will be joining them, and whoever happens to pass by, Crozier and Orhaski have brought a plethora of food and beverage.

"We've got 25 pounds of Michigan hot dogs," Crozier said.

"We're cooking chili, fried pork chops, hamburgers, hot wings ? we have it for anybody that comes by," said Orhaski.

The pair said that in the eight years they've been coming to the races at AMS, they've only had one bad experience. Last year, they said, someone stole all of the beer in their beer cooler one Saturday night.

"It was probably some kids," said Crozier.

"But on the flip side," added Orhaski, "all the people that heard about it came by to drop more beer in our cooler. They made sure we didn't run out."

Ted Jacob and Judy Stolper are at AMS for their first race in Georgia. Strolper's son, Troy has come to the speedway before and will keep coming back, he said.

After a bad time at Talladega, Troy Stolper said it's a "wild track."

"They were letting people come through that shouldn't have been there, but this is nice," he said.

Terri and Mike Hare say they've have been on the same campground spot for eight years.

"This is our little vacation," said Mike Hare. "We both work and raise five kids so we need a vacation."

AMS is predicting the Sunday Winston Cup race will bring 120,000 race fans to the grandstands.

Atlanta Motor Speedway Director of Events Brandon Hutchison said campers have been on-site since late last week.

For a period of two days, he said, Hampton becomes the fifth-largest city in the state.