MADISON, Ill. – Today was the day a lot of NASCAR fans have been waiting for – race day at the Enjoy Illinois 300 in Madison, Illinois.

The race is completely sold out.

“The biggest form of motorsports—which is the NASCAR Cup Series—is finally in my hometown. So I’m jacked up,” said retired NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace.

Some NASCAR fans have waited years for the race to come to the area.

“I’ve been waiting for this day since 1997. I was here at the first race in 1997,” said Bill Wukitsch from St. Peters.

Wukitsch and his wife, Mary, have enjoyed their weekend at the World Wide Technology Raceway.

“Richard Petty was here on Friday. I was actually close enough to touch him, I missed getting his autograph about from this far,” Mary said.

Enjoy Illinois is 240 laps on the mile-and-a-quarter WWT Raceway track. Wallace shared his experience of driving on this track, and the challenges the track presents.

“I’ve raced a lot here. This is one of the most unique and challenging racetracks in America. It’s a lot like Phoenix, where you go down into Turn 1, it’s a very tight corner,” he said. “And the fans will want to listen. The drivers will be going from 5th gear to 4th gear to 3rd gear, and then they’ll be running as fast as they can around [Turn] 3 and 4, so it’s a challenging racetrack.”

And Wallace is one of Bill Wukitsch’s idols. He got to meet and take pictures with him ahead of the race.

“I watch him on YouTube, I’ve seen him through the years, so yeah. I have my Kenny Wallace shirt on from 2009,” he said.

To prepare for a race like this, renovations and upgrades to the raceway have been 10 years in the making.

“Today is the day. When you can sell out this place, 57,000 [people], I believe there’ll be about 80,000 come through here in the last couple of days, it’s a true, true vision come true,” said John Bommarito, president of Bommarito Automotive Group.

This weekend’s festivities included food, music, and family activities.

An event like this that draws large crowds is a big deal for the area and a significant economic driver for Illinois.

“We’re so excited for so many people to be able to experience what Illinois has to offer. I think initial estimates is about $60 million will come to the region just from this weekend, and we’re hoping as the sponsors of this inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300, lots of folks will come to Illinois and really experience our state,” said Sylvia Garcia, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Fans sold out 57,000 seats for race day, making it the largest single-day crowd in the history of World Wide Technology Raceway.