On the Gas with Gappens: Nov. 2011
Who will win it all, Carl Edwards or Tony Stewart? The Chase is coming down to the last race and the final lap. It’s not clear which of these two mega-talents will take home the trophy. Interestingly, the last person not named Jimmie Johnson to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy was Tony Stewart back in 2005. But you know, Edwards has that look in his eyes. Although, now that I think about it, so does Stewart.
I am fortunate to say our speedway hosted two driver’s events during the season. One event featured “Smoke” at F1 in Boston. The other featuring a brief fishing trip on a lobster boat with, you guessed it, Carl Edwards. Stewart was a monster behind the wheel of those high-revving go-karts and he led lap after lap in a “you can’t catch me” series of races with local reporters. Edwards, on the other hand, played his own version of gotcha with some tasty-looking lobsters just off the coast of New Hampshire. Both men had swagger, looked comfortable and had a special gleam in their eyes as they prepped for upcoming races.
Let me be clear, I wasn’t cheering against Jimmie Johnson. I just think there’s something to be said about having a new top dog. It’s change. Change is a good thing. It means a new beginning.
Speaking of new beginnings, I was in Bedford, N.H. last week for the official ribbon-cutting for the new airport access road. This is a sensational octane boost for our summer race business. Every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, several thousand race fans arrive through the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport to spend some time with us in Loudon. This new access ramp means more efficient travel and, as a race guy, when you tell me something will make things go faster, I’m in. I see this simple stretch of road as a whole new excuse to invite all of you and faraway visitors to come to the Granite State and catch a race.
I’ll take it all one step further. We have an exciting new announcement at NHMS; perhaps you saw it in the news this week. Our friend-in-broadcasting Dick Berggren, the man you see trackside every weekend interviewing NASCAR drivers, has drafted the track into a special service. Berggren has always dreamed of building a racing museum somewhere in New England.
His dream is becoming a reality. This week, “The Magic Mile” announced it would work with him, local legend Ricky Craven and other New England greats to develop a site at our facility for a whole new racing experience. The stories, the cars, the people who made Northeast racing into the high powered, fan-frenzied business it has become today will be the focus of this new museum, a year-round attraction for visitors and tourists.
Now, we don’t have a lot of details yet, and we don’t know when it’ll open, but soon we’ll need your help. In the future, we’ll issue a region-wide call for historic artifacts to display. We’ll be searching for little bits of racing history. We’ll also be raising funds to make sure the museum is a hands-on trip through time and place. This museum will highlight the people, but also the sights and sounds and maybe even smells of racing in New England. The stories won’t stop at the NHMS Victory Lane; this will be a museum for the entire Northeast.
Stay tuned and Happy Thanksgiving!