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NHMS offers 'ultimate tailgating'
Lee Baker of Cornish, with help from his wife, Sandy, raise flags at their camper as NASCAR fans get ready for race week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Wednesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
On Saturday night, speedway officials will offer two new items at a charity auction: track-side seats with the pit crews of three drivers, and the first of many Pit Box hospitality rentals for those who want to use a ready-made party barge for what one track official called "the ultimate tailgating experience."
On Wednesday afternoon, fewer than 4,000 tickets were left for Sunday's Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race; hundreds of campers filled the track's RV parks.
The seats will be auctioned for the first time this year, and will be sold at the same time that the speedway regularly auctions "Drive of a Lifetime" rides around the track just before the race, said Cheryl LaPrade, executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of Speedway Children's Charities.
They are 20-by-8-foot steel crates with checkered flag awnings outside a 12-foot door. The boxes are equipped with barbecue grills, a bar, three tables, four chairs, a fire pit, a 46-inch LCD flat screen television with a satellite television system and dish, track lighting, full power and a number of other amenities.
Gappens said the boxes can hold 10 to 25 people. Track officials are still working on the costs of the rentals, but Gappens said the auction should bring at least $2,000 for the first one. It will likely cost about $800 per person for the rentals, he said.
But Gappens said they should appeal to fans who want to pool their money for the experience.