MANCHESTER, N.H. - Bethany Moreau pulled up to the stoplight, waiting to make a right turn onto Lake Avenue next to the Verizon Wireless Arena. But when Manchester Police Department officers asked her to pull over for wearing her seat belt, a routine traffic stop turned into a lucky day for Moreau, close to 300 drivers rewarded with tickets to July's New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Monday as part of the state's Buckle Up NH campaign.
Magic Mile officials handed out "Good Tickets" to motorists who were seen wearing their seat belts by members of the MPD. Drivers were given two tickets to the New Hampshire 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 14 at NHMS.
"This is great," said Moreau, whose husband, Jeff, sat in the passenger seat and admitted to being a big Danica Patrick fan. "We both are."
The Moreaus are regulars at the speedway and will be using the two tickets they received on Monday in July. The speedway also made some new fans on Monday, as several drivers admitted to never seeing a race at the speedway before, but will definitely be making the trip to Loudon in July thanks to simply wearing their seat belt.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts save over 13,000 lives every year. From 2004 to 2008, seat belts saved over 75,000 lives - enough people to fill 3/4 of New Hampshire Motor Speedway's grandstand area.
"We see it on the race track every day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway - it's one of the basic, most fundamental safety measures a person can take to operate a vehicle," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of NHMS. "To kick off Buckle Up NH week we thought it would be a good idea to reward drivers who were begin safe and giving them tickets to the New Hampshire 300. What a great turnout, I'm really impressed."
Fans don't have to wait until July to see some of the biggest names in Sprint Cup turning hot laps in Loudon.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will be holding a two-day test session, beginning Tuesday, in preparation for the July 14 New Hampshire 300. Goodyear will be looking to standardize its mile-track tire setup with the information learned at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Free grandstand admission will be available for fans on both days. Drivers attending include Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Dave Blaney.
Following the first day of testing, fans that received a randomly drawn email invite will be able to take part in an exclusive event in downtown Concord, N.H. Bowyer and Burton will sit down with legendary broadcaster Dick Berggren for a Q&A session.