Talk about a speedy arrival! Speedway officials confirmed that a baby girl was born just after 3 p.m. today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The birth is the first such arrival in the history of the track.
The happy, albeit panicked family was in route to Concord Hospital from their home in Belmont, N.H. when they made an unexpected pit stop at “The Magic Mile.” Baby number four was not going to wait.
A family member rushed into the speedway's main office to ask for help. As fate would have it, “The Magic Mile" had the perfect combination of people and equipment to come to mom's aid.
With a background in EMT services, Tom Blanchette, New Hampshire Motor Speedway director of operations, rushed to the front parking lot and helped the couple handle the unexpectedly fast delivery.
“When I arrived in the parking lot, mom and dad had just self delivered the baby inside their vehicle,” said Blanchette. “I called Speedway Safety Services, and contacted an ambulance crew whose members happened to be on speedway property. We helped package up the baby and we drove the family to Concord Hospital.”
There is a first for everything, and baby Katie is the first born at the speedway. As the crews prepare for race week, the right people and the right equipment happened to be in place for the baby's sudden arrival.
“I am extremely pleased with the quick response from our speedway team,” said Jerry Gappens, speedway general manager. “I also have to give credit to mom and dad for keeping their composure through this.”
Blanchette and the Speedway emergency crew took the family to Concord Hospital, and at last check, mom and baby were doing fine.
“This will be a memory we will never forget and a great story to tell Katie when she grows up,” said Gappens. “Katie will hold a special place in all of our hearts.”
Even though Katie will not be able to make the SYLVANIA 300 next weekend, Gappens awarded her two tickets to our NASCAR races for the rest of her life. "That little one is part of our family now. She and her parents are welcome here anytime."