Spectator Vs. Spotter: Watkins Glen Edition
Since NASCAR's inaugural race at Watkins Glen International in 1957, spectators have flocked to the rolling hills of the gorgeous Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
At the southern tip of Seneca Lake, the largest of the five Finger Lakes, Watkins Glen International grants all its visitors access to several major metropolitan markets including Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, and Binghamton.
The NASCAR fan is in a small piece of heaven in its beautiful setting, its wealth of history, and the unique opportunity to witness the once a year visit to NASCAR's "other road course".
Sunday's Helluva Good Sour Cream Dips at the Glen is a great race for the fans to see the unique challenges that face their favorite teams.
Offering his insights about this weekend's track from a team perspective is Jason Jarrett, the spotter for Penske Racing's No. 12 team of David Stremme.
When asked his views as a spotter of Watkins Glen, Jarrett said,
"We actually will have two other spotters at the Glen since it is a road course.
I will be on the front where I can see the last turn, pit road, and turn 1. Also, I will be on the front where the NASCAR official is placed to assist with restarts, wave around cars, and lucky dog cars. Not that a spotter can help a car ever win, but at the road courses,
I feel that it is harder to give any useful feedback for the driver. The main focus will be watching for crashes in the areas that I can see."
He continued by describing unique challenges that face a spotter and his team at The Glen, by adding:
"The challenges at the Glen are normally things such as: getting your drop off points to your other spotters, more than one spotter on radio (can make it confusing for driver and crew), and just the lack of vision since the car goes out of sight."
When asked about his favorite and least favorite parts of coming to Watkins Glen, he echoed that the race fans that had been coming to the track since the late fifties:
"I like the area; it is always cool to go up to the Finger Lakes region."
"My least favorite thing," Jarrett continued, "is probably the fact that the spotter can't see the entire track.
As a spotter, I always get a little more anxious at the road races where it is harder to anticipate things that are happening on the track."
This week, Jarrett will have his hands full trying to keep David Stremme on course, so keep an eye on the No. 12 at the Glen!
Featured Spotter Bio:
Name: Jason A. Jarrett
Hometown: Hickory, NC
Team Spotter Since: Penske Racing 12 David Stremme since Feb 2009
Favorite sport (other than racing): NFL
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite music/song: Kings of Leon (this week anyway)
Favorite Movie: Hoosiers
Favorite off track activity: Running/Workout
Follow him on twitter:
Next week the Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway, the home of manufacturer bragging rights.
Be sure to keep an eye here, for SvS: Michigan Edition with featured spotter Joel Edmonds, from Roush-Fenway's No. 16 of Greg Biffle.
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