ST. LOUIS – The big weekend begins with big rigs in Downtown St. Louis. A hauler parade rolled through Ballpark Village on Friday morning, marking the return of NASCAR to the St. Louis region.

The parade is one of several events planned around Sunday’s NASCAR CUP Series Enjoy Illinois 300 race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, right across the Mississippi River.

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Hundreds of fans made way to enjoy FanFest and the hauler parade. More than 20 trucks passed through Clark Street, including haulers of many sponsors and loud noises.

Curtis Francois, the owner of World Wide Technology Raceway, says the experience was a strong start for everything else to come.

“To see the NASCAR hauler parade coming through downtown, there’s no doubt that NASCAR is in town,” said Francois. “The intensity of the trucks, the horns, the big rigs coming through. It’s great to see families running out to see the entry of NASCAR and the start of race weekend.”

Sponsors of the trucks included Love’s Travel Stop, Monster Energy, Kroger, and many more.

The haulers are arriving to WWT Raceway for the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Practice and qualifying rounds are set for Friday afternoon. Trucks will compete in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Toyota 200 around noon on Saturday, pending weather.