NASCAR Fans Ready for Racing, Relaxing

Fans spend week camping before races

By Chris Van Horne
|  Friday, Apr 13, 2012  |  Updated 10:12 PM CDT
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NASCAR fans come from near and far every year to camp out for a weekend of racing at Texas Motor Speedway.

Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 News

NASCAR fans come from near and far every year to camp out for a weekend of racing at Texas Motor Speedway.

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Race weekends at Texas Motor Speedway are as much about the races as they are about the partying.

Campers have spent days -- if not the whole week -- at the speedway's campgrounds getting ready for the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races that begin Friday.

From the grills to the yard games, camping at TMS is an art form. Just ask David Thompson, better known as Tex.

"Years back, they built this sign for me," he said, pointing to a Texas-shaped piece of wood declaring the parking spot "Camp Tex." "And they put my real name, so now they know who to look for."

Thompson hasn't missed a single Sprint Cup race at TMS since it opened, and neither have most of his friends.

"We're the kind of people who would drive 800, 900 miles to watch a guy drive 500 miles," he said.

Willie Porsch and his son, Landon, of Dimmitt, have gone to a couple of races but had never camped out for a race until they arrived on Wednesday. From the people to the parties, the week has met Porsch's expectations.

"And more -- these people are cool," Porsch said. "I mean, you can leave your stuff out. You don't have to worry about anything. Everybody's laid-back, just enjoying life."

But Porsch was just as ready to start enjoying some racing as well.

"The thrill and the feel when that pace car comes off the track is phenomenal," he said.

And when the race is over, there will be plenty more food and fun to be had -- not that you can share everything.

"Might have to turn that camera off -- they're going to show some things that might not make it on the news," Thompson said.

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