Spectator vs. Spotter: Let the Chase Begin: New Hampshire Edition
"Fans First", that is the motto of New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The New England fans love racing and NASCAR loves its fans. Loudon, NH, is beautiful, spectator friendly, and home to some of the most magical and unexpected sights of NASCAR.
The track has been described as "Martinsville on steroids" and is considered by most drivers as one of the toughest ovals in motorsports. Fans love the side-by-side racing on the magic mile. As well as the knowledge that anyone could pull out a surprise upset here.
As the excitement builds for the first of the 10 chase races, I caught up with Shannon McGlamery, spotter for the No. 24 team of Jeff Gordon.
McGlamery has guided Gordon from atop the spotter stand since 2005. Under his watchful eye Gordon has not had a DNF at NHMS (last DNF at this track for Gordon was 1998).
"New Hampshire is a pretty easy track to spot at," said McGlamery.
"The spotters' stand is in the middle of the front stretch on the roof of the control tower." He continued, "I have a good view of whole track...I think one of the best things —especially for the fans—is that the track provides good side-by-side racing."
"Which, (in turn) could lead to what I like least about the visit, (and that is) because it's so flat, you can get in trouble pretty quick."
"It is a flat track, and the car must 'roll through the corners' in order to be successful," McGlamery added.
Fans and race teams have seen it time and time again, the set up just a little off, driver slides it in the corner a little too deep and bounces off the wall or his nearest competitor.
The "magic Mile" has a tendency to trick even the most accomplished of race teams.
Keep an eye on the No. 24 of Jeff Gordon as he looks to better his stats, and his points position in the first race of the 2009 Chase this Sunday.
Gordon (currently in sixth after the reset) has three career wins, 13 top fives, and 18 top ten finishes at New Hampshire. And with McGlamery high above, you can bet he’ll be doing all he can to see the No. 24 team rocket to the front.
Featured Spotter Bio
Name: Shannon McGlamery
Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC (now living in Troutman, NC)
Team Spotter Since: 2005
Favorite Sport (other than racing): motorcross, horseshoes
Favorite Food: seafood and home cooking
Favorite Music/Song: old rock 'n' roll
Favorite Movie: Smokey & The Bandit
Favorite Off Track Activity: spending time with my family
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