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NASCAR expecting thousands of people this weekend and much nicer weather

Last year's race brought gloomy weather, but it's day one of NASCAR and things are already looking better.

AUSTIN, Texas — If you're driving through southeast Austin, you'll probably hear engines roaring and tires screeching, but don't let that alarm you because it's NASCAR. They're back in town for the second time!

At Circuit of the Americas, tens of thousands of people are expected to come to check it out. Eric Funkhouser is a NASCAR fan. He was in Austin for last year's race, and both times he drove down with his family in their trailer. 

"The traffic was pretty bad coming in yesterday," said Funkhouser. "But we made it, and we got plenty of time to relax before the races started."

Scott Cooper with Speedway Motors said people like Funkhouser move Austin's economy. 

"Campers that follow NASCAR typically come into town three to four days in advance," said Cooper. "That's some additional economic impact, and for those campers to get out and have time to actually enjoy. Not only what happens here, but what Austin has to offer."

So, with people driving out into the city, they're all contributing to helping rebuild Austin's economy. 

RELATED: SCHEDULE: NASCAR in Austin this weekend

Also, let's not forget about all the drivers and the people who make this happen. They too need a place to stay.

Funkhouser said last time he checked, they had fans coming from 48 states. 

"That's a tremendous economic impact for the area," he added. "You know, we're taking a lot of pride in filling up hotels."

After last year's Rolling Stones concert at COTA, many complained about traffic and accessibility. KVUE spoke with many concert attendees who has bad experiences with traffic going into and leaving the venue. Some people were parking in neighborhoods or even abandoning their cars on the side of the streets and in the grass so that they could walk to the venue to see the concert. 

Since COTA is expecting a wave of people, we asked Cooper what extra steps they were taking to ensure everyone made it to the race.

"On Sunday, for the NASCAR Cup Series race, we will actually have a partnership with nearby Del Valle High School and a complimentary shuttle that will bring fans in and out from COTA," he said.

In the meantime, Funkhouser, who's already made it inside of COTA, said all he hopes last year's race in the rain does not repeat this year. 

"We're excited," added Funkhouser. "The weather's at least different this year."


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