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NASCAR fans descend on Infineon raceway

  • Oregonian Eric McLain takes advantage of a pool as he and several men called the Hairy Legged Guys set up their race compound at the Infineon Raceway 50 acre RV lot, Thursday June 17, 2010. The water for the pool was brought in a by a water truck from Petaluma. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

At Infineon Raceway, pole position doesn't come easily — even for the fans.

Around noon Thursday, Crissy Lee and her friends were sitting pretty at the head of a snaking line of RVs, trailers and campers waiting to enter Cougar Mountain Campground on the racetrack's west side.

If you get a prime camping spot, you can see across the Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge, Lee said, explaining why they'd been waiting in line since 3 a.m. There was no question the ordeal was worth it, she said.

NASCAR Infineon Highlights

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"From the end of one trip, we're already planning the next," said Lee, a physical therapy assistant who lives in Fresno.

That die-hard spirit was as common as flags fluttering with the names of NASCAR drivers Thursday as fans began to pour into Infineon ahead of this weekend's main event - the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

The event, which features two races and an air show, is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators to the southern tip of Sonoma County this weekend; track officials decline to give specific attendance figures.

Jeff Harshman of Fairfield said he has only missed two NASCAR races at Infineon since his mom won tickets on the radio to the first such race in 1989.

Even when his daughter went into labor with his first grandchild the night before the race seven years ago, he still attended the race figuring she wouldn't deliver until Monday. He won his gamble and the baby held off until after the checkered flag was waved.

His wife, Karen, said she skipped that particular race, but said she's just as much a fan as her husband, and not just of the racing.

Out in the baking heat of the 50 Acres Campground, an RV-magnet across Highway 121 from the track, people just strike up conversations with each other, she said.


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