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Fans Bid to Present 'Loudon the Lobster'
To help celebrate National Lobster Day on Friday, Sept. 24, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials are giving a fan the exclusive opportunity to present "Loudon the Lobster," the most unique trophy in motorsports, to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300 race winner. The opportunity will be available to the highest bidder, starting at $5,000, at Saturday night's Wicked Good Live Auction to benefit the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities.
"Over the years, I've had the opportunity to hand this celebratory crustacean over to our race winner. But I was thinking that this really is a unique opportunity that would be a bucket list item for one of our great fans to cross off their list," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "The fact we can benefit children in need through the SCC at the same time certainly makes this decision an easy one for all of us here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway."
Photos and video clips of the unique presentation are picked up by various media outlets nationwide.
"Loudon the Lobster" has is typically caught in the Northeast region, from Rhode Island to Nova Scotia and is delivered to the track by Greg and Jim Makris, owners of Makris Steak & Seafood restaurant in Concord, N.H. It has weighed as much as 24 pounds and has been given annually to winners since the 2008 season. A list of winners includes:
- June 2008: Kurt Busch
- June 2009: Joey Logano
- Sept. 2009: Mark Martin
- June 2010: Jimmie Johnson
- Sept. 2010: Clint Bowyer
- July 2011: Ryan Newman
- Sept. 2011: Tony Stewart
- July 2012: Kasey Kahne
- Sept. 2012: Denny Hamlin
- July 2013: Brian Vickers
- Sept. 2013: Matt Kenseth
- July 2014: Brad Keselowski
- Sept. 2014: Joey Logano
- July 2015: Kyle Busch
Johnson, at first, looked both apprehensive and bewildered when Gappens handed him his prize in 2010. Bowyer was smiling broadly when he received his later that same season. Newman, an avid fisherman, seemed at ease holding the sea life in 2011. Stewart, Kahne, Hamlin, Vickers, Kenseth, Keselowski and Logano (twice) all took turns, too, before Busch scored his win this past July.
Among them there was one driver's wife who politely refused the gift by requesting that Loudon be donated to an aquarium, but typically the lobster leaves its infield photo opportunity and shuttles back down Route 106 to Makris, where it's cooked.
The Wicked Good Live Auction will take place on Saturday night from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Lite Lobster Lounge outside the tunnel in Turn 2. Other items up for auction include luxury suite tickets, an Arctic Cat 500 ATV, credentials and a personally guided tour of the Sprint Cup garage hosted by Dick Berggren, Charlotte Motor Speedway All-Star weekend package, including NASCAR team shop tours, a special VIP Boston Bruins package, racing gear from top drivers, New England Patriots tickets, original Sunoco Fuel Pump from NHMS, Snap-on Tool Box, plus packages from Gunstock Mountain, the NASWA Resort, an autographed O.A.R. guitar and more.
All proceeds from the Wicked Good Live Auction go to the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, benefitting local kids in need.
Purchase tickets to the SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend by stopping by our ticket office, visiting the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or calling our ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931.