DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) – To get the true essence of the Daytona 500, you have to visit the infield. Fans have been staying in RV parking for more than a week before the race.
This year’s race is the first for New York native Amanda Maupin.
“Good people, good drinks, fast cars. What else can you ask for?” said Maupin, but she does ask for a little sleep.
“I heard something really loud this morning, early. I was like ‘what the hell is that?’ They are drying the track. I’m like, ‘no, I don’t want to hear the cars for my alarm.’”
Maupin admits she doesn’t know much about Nascar, but Daytona veteran Phil Roonie didn’t either when he first camped in the infield 15 years ago.
“Well, I picked number 11, because I used to play soccer, and that was my soccer number. And then I saw it was purple and that’s my favorite color,” said Maupin.
“I actually didn’t like Nascar until I came out to this thing,” Roonie admitted.
Now Roonie and his newfound friend Dan Clements wouldn’t miss Speedweek row seats on turn three, with all the amenities of home.
“You know, whatever man, you have it all right here!” said Roonie.
One of the allures of coming to Daytona is unlike other sporting events. If you’re camping in the infield, you don’t have to rely on the venue for concessions. From hammocks, to hot dogs, to hot tubs, it’s all there.
This kind of experience is what may keep Maupin coming back.
“For a day or two, yes,” she said.