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Partying, praying

Scores turnout for Labor Day weekend at AMS

Die-hard NASCAR fans from across the country and the Southern Crescent braved Hampton’s sweltering heat and little bit of rain Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, to tailgate through the holiday weekend for the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race.

“It can get a little crazy out here,” said Justin Caddy, from Fayetteville. “This is my sixth year coming out to the event. I’m a big fan of NASCAR.”

A few of Caddy’s relatives traveled from Seattle to join the festivities. Their camp site, which cost $125, was embellished with NASCAR theme posters, coolers, fire wood, a grill, a television set, Mardi Gras beads, and enough beer and food to last them through the biggest Labor Day party.

“We’re ready,” said Caddy. “We like to do a little drinking and have a good time.”

Tracy Brown and her friend James White from Macon have made tailgating a tradition. “We’ve been doing this about six years,” said Brown. “Each year, it gets better and better — we always have a good time.”

Pattie Jackson traveled from Florida to camp out with her friends, Robert West and Charles Patton, both from Jesup, Ga.

“We have been out here since Tuesday,” said West. “We’re trying to stay cool and enjoy the scene.”

But it wasn’t all about partying. There was some praying, too.

Journey Church, of Griffin, and Strong Rock Christian School, of Locust Grove, partnered with Raceway Ministries Atlanta, to provide family-friendly fun.

Raceway Ministries Atlanta is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization of volunteers who have a passion for God's people, according to the website.

“We wanted to make sure we had activities for those who are bringing their children,” said Wendy Hall, board member for RMA. “We know things can get a little crazy out here.”

Those activities include an Inflatable slide, games and prizes, pinewood derby car painting, a pajama party, cornhole tournament, and worship service through the entire weekend at 10 a.m.

“Since we’re a nonprofit, all of our activities are free,” said Hall. She added they will serve free breakfast to patrons.

“We’re glad to be here,” she said.

For information on the race schedule and tickets, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.