NASCAR 'fanatics' set up camp at NH Motor Speedway

Union Leader Correspondent
July 10. 2013 8:54PM

NASCAR fans Steve Gagne of Milton, right, and Dan Gendron of Rochester, Vt., set up pools as they prepare for their “beach and pool party” at their campsites at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

LOUDON -- The RV park campers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race gladly admit their obsession.

They are NASCAR fanatics, and this is the place to be.

"I can't help it, this week every year, I live here," said Bill Johnstone of Danbury, Conn., a Jimmie Johnson fan. Johnstone was sitting with his family under a tent attached to his RV Wednesday.

"I have a need for speed," said Dori Collins of Swansea, Mass., a fan of Joey Logano, as she helped her fiance, Steven Simcock, also of Swansea, Mass., plant more than a dozen racing flags atop his camper.

Bill Brown comes to the race from Lunenberg, Vt. He's a Jeff Gordon fan, and wouldn't miss a Sprint Cup race at the speedway, he said.

For the past several years, his week at the race has been dedicated to his sister, Florence "Tootie" Brown, who died of cancer three years ago at 55. Tootie Brown was such a big fan of driver Carl Edwards that she has an image of his car carved into her gravestone, her brother said.

She made it to the Loudon races once before she died, he said.

"We're here for the race, but we're also here to honor my sister," said Bill Brown, who has a Carl Edwards flag among several others hanging from his camper. Brown and hundreds of other RV and camper owners have been arriving since Sunday. By the weekend, there will be several thousand RVs and campers in the speedway lots.

"It's really a community; everybody is friends, and we see the same friends parked next to us every year," said Brown, who has been coming to Loudon with friends and family in his RV for the past 15 years.

Saturday night, after the day races are done, there's another sport Brown and others in the lots enjoy — people-watching.

"We have a prime spot. Saturday night we sit here and just watch all the people go by," he said.

Simcock agreed.

"On Saturday night, it's a party animal kind of thing, watching all the people go by enjoying themselves," he said.

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