Post New Hampshire Pics

July 1, 2008

Photos from New Hamsphire – Thursday we shot a feature for the show. These guys, Brian Haaland (on left) and Shaun Peet (on right) are the tire changer and jackman for the 83 team of Brian Vickers. I did a feature about how Shaun played hockey at Dartmouth. Both of them played hockey semi-pro before getting into racing and their race team won the pit crew challenge this year… it says a lot about how much being an athlete makes an impact in this sport.


This is a photo of Sprint Cup rookie Patrick Carpentier as he was waiting to see if his time would hold up during qualifying. He earned his first Cup pole and it was really cool to see his excitement. There is a funny story about Patrick – in 2002, he was running a champ car race at Mid Ohio. He bet a group of friends that if he won the race, he would run naked around the track. Guess what, he won and he took a lap wearing nothing but a checkered flag around his west..hilarious! Seriously, though, getting the pole was a huge boost for him. He fell back after the first caution and ended up finishing 31st but good to see him start off strong.



This is me suiting up with Markbefore Cup practice that we do… I have to go get my headset and pack on. My pack is connected around my waste like a ghostbusters set up and my scanner is on there so I can here the program that we are broadcasting in my left ear and I can hear the drivers that I’m scanning in my right ear. Mark is awesome… he makes sure everything fits and is working properly.



This, to the right, is a good story. Last week in Sonoma, I did a feature on Darren Russell, the engine tuner for the #2 car (Kurt Busch).  Darren’s great grandfather was a guard on Alcatraz back in the 1946. Darren is from New England and each time the series comes here, his family comes down in a motorhome and they do a lobster cookout Saturday before the race. We stopped by to check it out this year and it was the best lobster I’ve ever had. The man in the Celtics shirt is Darren’s Dad. These guys caught these lobsters and I’m not kidding. They were amazing. The whole crew was there and now, they are going to have to eat lobsters every Saturday night during the season because they won Sunday.


This is Jen, my pit spotter. She scans the drivers during the race that I am unable to concentrate on. She hustles up and down pit road and keeps stat information accessible – Its a lot of work and she does a great job… especially in the pouring rain!

I was thinking that in my 30 years of existance, I’ve never jumped in a swimming pool with all of my clothes on. I’ve seen it a million times in the movies but Sunday, after the race, I knew exactly what it felt like. I was soaked from head to toe. My shoes still haven’t dried out. The rain started pouring with less than 30 laps to go and that’s when they pulled all the cars onto pit road. We were dispatched to get certain drivers. I had Denny Hamlin’s pit so he was my first target. By the time I got to him, I was thanking my lucky stars I was wearing my firesuit because it helped keep me dry.  I was sure Tony Stewart was going to win the race. It all came down to pit strategy when the rain came out and Kurt Busch admitted how lucky he was. I was psyched to get to do Victory Lane, even if it was inside a garage stall. It was pretty cool – something I’ll never forget doing.  I’ll tell you one thing, the silly season rumor mill is buzzing at full speed … I’ll talk more about this tomorrow. For now, I’m going to get some sleep…




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