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Preparing For NASCAR

Watkins Glen (WENY) -- Watkins Glen is preparing for the annual NASCAR event this week which is expected to draw 80,000 to 100,000 people.

Over 500 separate shifts need to be filled this week, so every county in the Finger Lakes sends deputies to help out.

A command post will be set up in the Glen Thursday through Monday where police will organize traffic flow and keep the crowds in order.

The Chamber of Commerce is trying to take advantage of the visitor increase through an initiative with Watkins Glen International.

Businesses on North Franklin Street are showing their NASCAR spirit by decorating windows and posting checkered flags. Some stores offer discounts if you show your ticket.

"The impact economically for the region -- they've done studies and it's millions and millions of dollars that come in the region for this event," said Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Yessman. "That's why we welcome it."

"NASCAR is the biggest weekend sporting event in New York state, so it's great to have it right here in your own back yard and bring those dollars here," said Nikita Hairston, from the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce.

You may enjoy watching car racing, but as always, be careful when driving yourself because the state police are enforcing a "speed week" campaign.

They'll be cracking down on speeding and other traffic violations in the area Monday through Sunday.