The infield is packed with thousands of souped-up motor homes --- think trailer parks on steroids. I'm talking about RV's decked out with flat screen televisions, fully stocked bars and custom-built outdoor grills.
My first stop was at a base camp set up by 18 former Marines from Maryland. Their brigade included three motor homes, a talking deer head and a portable Tiki Bar. The details of what happened are a bit sketchy, but these fellows know how to attract the ladies. The stuffed deer is rigged to a microphone run by one of the Marines.
They use the deer to pick up the ladies, inviting them over for cocktails in the Tiki Bar. The guys also keep a supply of Mardi Gras beads handy. Let's just say after midnight, it gets a bit rowdy.
But NASCAR is also a family affair and lots of moms and dads brought along their kids to the Daytona 500. I met up with some nice folks from Virginia who were cooking up a pot of King Crab Legs and grilling steaks. We sat around the campfire and listened to the race car drivers roaring around the track.
It's loud, it's rowdy, but it's lots of old fashioned American fun. Folks from all across the country have gathered for what they call a week-long tailgate party.
And just about everybody needs a pot of coffee to rev their engines in the morning!