NASCAR fans enjoy a sunny day at the Martinsville Speedway

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HENRY CO., Va. (WDBJ) It was a beautiful day for a NASCAR race. Thousands of fans started the day tailgating with family and friends. Many traveling from near and far to be there Sunday.

WDBJ7's Danielle Staub met one boy who was here for the first time on his birthday and another woman who has been to many races but specially came here Sunday to see her favorite driver, drive on more time.

"I wish he wouldn't. I was devastated when he retired so we actually only planned this trip because he was racing," Renee Mock from Pennsylvania said.

Renee Mock says she loves Jeff Gordon. This trip to the Martinsville Speedway has special meaning for her and her friends.

"The fans that just hoard around him. It's nice to know that there are that many people that follow him still even though he has retired," Fan Kim Kepple said.

The energy was high waiting to get into the stands but Sunday, it seemed like nothing was going to change that.

"The people it's fun here. This is wonderful," Fan Karen Nixon said.

"Watch Tony Stewart win," Fan Chris Nixon said.

But 8 year old Haven Barrow has other ideas about the win.

"Who are we going for? Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon," 8 year old Haven Barrow said.

Haven is celebrating his birthday with his first NASCAR race!

"Because he is obsessed with NASCAR. He doesn't do anything except talk about it, play with his cars and he's got more facts in his head about NASCAR than any 80 year old I know," Haven's Dad Matthew Barrow said.

While enjoying some popcorn or fries, fans say even if their favorite doesn't win, they come for the atmosphere and to hear the roar of those engines.