action:article | category:SPORTS11 | adString:SPORTS11 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Motor Sports

September 18. 2013 11:12PM

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)

LOUDON — NASCAR fans at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend will have a chance to get closer than ever to the races.

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."

"We're always looking to find the next 'wow!' factor for fans," said Jerry Gappens, the track's executive vice president and general manager.

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.

Saturday's auction, which benefits Speedway Children's Charities, will include four seats in the drivers' pit boxes on the infield edge of the track — one seat with Carl Edwards' team, one with Mark Martin's, and two with Greg Biffle's.

The auction is Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Miller Lite Lobster Lounge.

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.

The Pit Box rentals are a new feature that will be offered regularly. Gappens said rental of one of the first two boxes will come Saturday, with the highest bidder having the option of placing the box almost anywhere on the track grounds — possibly even in the track's infield.

Pit Boxes, which have become popular at race tracks across the country, are former food shipping containers that the track purchased.

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.

Included with the boxes are grandstand tickets to all weekend races, as well as meals and beverages.

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.

The boxes should be attractive to businesses, said David McGrath, the track's vice president of marketing and promotions.

But Gappens said they should appeal to fans who want to pool their money for the experience.

"It's a perfect setup for a bunch of guys," he said.

 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity


Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin


 New Hampshire Events Calendar


Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory