It's a tradition like no other. Every year before the big boys take to the high banks of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the trucks partake in a parade for the fans to enjoy.
Yesterday was that day in Las Vegas, and fans lined "The Strip" in order to grab pictures of their favorite drivers' haulers. Here are a few pictures from yesterday's parade.
Fans line the Las Vegas Strip and wave at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Bobby Labonte's hauler on Thursday as the trucks roll toward Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The hauler for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch arrives on the Las Vegas Strip Thursday on the way to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for this weekend's races. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Las Vegas NASCAR fans welcome the Sprint hauler to the Strip on Thursday as it makes its way the Hauler Parade to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fans take photos of the No. 5 hauler during the parade down the Las Vegas Strip as Mark Martin, who won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and claimed last year's NASCAR Nationwide win, looks to go back to Victory Lane this weekend. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The No. 17 hauler rolls into Las Vegas on a roll on Thursday. With two consecutive NASCAR Sprint cup Series wins, Matt Kenseth will attempt to become the first driver ever to win the first three races of the season. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fans take pictures of the Hauler Parade down the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday as the No. 24 truck heads toward Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon's ride. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fans gather on the Las Vegas Strip for the Hauler Parade, including the truck for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, head toward Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The Las Vegas Strip welcomes the annual Hauler Parade on Thursday as the No. 33 truck brings Clint Bowyer's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Bryan Haraway/Getty Images for NASCAR)
While I've never been fortunate enough to experience the parade down "The Strip," I did get the pleasure of watching my own parade back in 2002 during soccer practice.
I was a senior in high school and it was a few days before the Apr. 14 Cup Series race at Martinsville.
I had just recently became interested in NASCAR and was busy running a drill with my team when I saw the first hauler making its way down Route 58 and heading directly towards our practice field.
(My high school was in Hillsville, VA, which is about an hour up Route 58 from Martinsville, by the way.)
The first one on the horizon was the No. 20 Home Depot carrying Tony Stewart's car he would drive to a third-place finish that Sunday.
I stopped what I was doing (despite the shouts from my coach to continue) and watched as the enormous hauler quietly rolled past our field.
Once it was gone, I regained my composure and went back to practice.
Then it happened again.
Within a few minutes, another large hauler crested over the hill. This time it was the hauler carrying the No. 02 of Hermie Sadler. (For the record, I was a big time Hermie fan when I first came into NASCAR, kind of an "I feel sorry for him," thing.)
Sadler's hauler wasn't alone, however. Shortly afterwards an entire fleet of 18-wheeler trucks were making their way past our soccer field. I stared in a daze, wishing I had my camera to take some pictures.
Within minutes, the parade was over...I went back to practicing, but remember that day like it was yesterday.
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