NASCAR race to bring fans, traffic to Sonoma this weekend

SONOMA, Calif.

It's going to be loud in Sonoma this weekend and tens of thousands of people are going to do what they can to get as close to it as possible.

"It feels spectacular about being here, I feel just awesome about being here," Modesto resident Kellie Moreno said. "This is the best thing for families, it's just, it's awesome. I can't describe how awesome I feel."

The actual race will be held on Sunday. Practice races took place Friday.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup is the top level of NASCAR racing, which is also why you hear about traffic problems with this event. It attracts a huge, enthusiastic crowd.

"Like, last year, four hours in traffic," Vacaville resident Debbie Ferrara said. "But you know, it's all worth it. Yeah, that's alright, to just see 'em race."

Organizers suggest an early arrival; gates open at 6 a.m. They also encourage attendees to stay late, after the race, which ends at 10 p.m. There are other activities, besides what's happening on the track. You may get to meet a driver, like 7-year-old Niko Moreno, who met Joey Logano on Friday morning.

"He was nice," Niko said. "He took a picture with me; he signed my hat, my cars, and then my thing."

The admiration goes both ways. Drivers say they're happy to be here, too.

"I love it out here," Driver Casey Mears said. "The track's just a lotta fun to drive. And, you know, we only get to do a couple road courses a year. So, it's just a lotta fun to come out here and get to turn left and right and play around."

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