As a Spotter for over 30 years

Discussion in 'NASCAR chat' started by Spotter22, May 23, 2019.

  1. Turtle84

    Turtle84 gained a step

    I'll bite, since no one else seems willing, how does someone so incredibly old school with real life experience not differentiate the aero from today to the 90's? How does that happen? How does that happen!?

    You must own a minority opinion amongst old school fans/drivers/crewchiefs/spotters alike that would think all aero is just aero no matter how much aero is involved, all the same, don't ya think?

    I know I must be twisting your words since you've shown a strong neutrality towards this year's package, possibly even support.

    Do you feel the unquenching need to defend your prior involvement in the sport no matter what move they make?

    If you do not care what package they run, because there will always be aero involved, then why do you not just say that? Instead of supporting said package vigorously?
  2. SlicedBread22

    SlicedBread22 #TeamJL

    Definitely not as exciting when you're watching from the pits on a road course. The finish though! It was the one where Cole Custer tried to tackle JHN.
    Spotter22 likes this.
  3. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    1. I didnt know I was asked to "differentiate" the aero from today from yesterday. I missed that question.

    2. I'm not sure, I havent taken a survey of said people

    3." Defend my prior involment" Why would I need to defend it?

    I opened this thread for people to ask questions about my experience in NASCAR, now you want to turn it in to an aero/ package discussion. I believe a thread already exists for that.
  4. klemmabyna

    klemmabyna Team Owner

    Spotter22: great thread. great stories. great information.

    posting on forums are often like running through minefields for those actually involved in the sport. but threads like this are why I visit.
    Greg, Mike Crayne, jws926 and 4 others like this.
  5. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    Dude was overserved it looks like last night.
    Turtle84 and Spotter22 like this.
  6. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    Thank you, I appreciate that.
  7. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

  8. Ventisca

    Ventisca Team Owner

    Because of this thread I tried to dig up some history. One site said it was the late 80s to early 90s when it became "commonplace" in NASCAR. That puts you right there in the timeline for developing and refining the modern Spotter role. Is that correct?

    Also, were "early-Spotters" part of a team's spy network arrayed around the track to report on competitors? I recently heard about Teams using their people (mother and kids) to pose as fans :D and circulate around to take pictures and/or report on activities before the race. Do you have any stories about track espionage?
  9. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    I saw it coming, they had several run ins and Jimmy had basically had enough. I remember Roush wanting to put Jimmy in jail for assualt but I think NASCAR talked him out of it.
    Mike Crayne and lolla79 like this.
  10. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    I dont know if you could call us spies but trust me, we took every oppurtunity to look at their cars we could but most of the time since they knew us they kept the hood shut when they werent working underneath. But yes, lots of teams would get garage passes for photograpers posing as fans to come in and shoot cars going through tech. Dont know if you ever heard this one but, Bobby Allison sent a young Davey Allison down to JR Johnsons car with a magnet to check the body panels to see if they were metal and Jr caught him and scared him to death.

    We definitely changed the way things were done, we became mandatory for each team to have and certainly changed the way we and the driver/crew chief communicated. It was a huge trickle down effect and basically in race adjustments were born out if.
  11. aunty dive

    aunty dive Team Owner

    Try racing any of the current forms of a stock car without a spotter or a radio.
    Spotter22 likes this.
  12. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    Ah the days of Jack being the Kurt Busch apologist!
  13. Conover

    Conover Team Owner

    Spotter great opportunity and thanks for offering up your knowledge and memories from the sport for so many years. Closest I ever got was when I worked in broadcasting and had press credentials during race weeks in Charlotte. I got to interview drivers early week (Tuesday) during practice periods. Things were so different then compared to now. With limited practice time I can’t imagine getting the access to chat now.

    From your perspective, do you feel/see the difference in the sport from the 80’s to recent years as being similar to all major league sports? Not sure how that impacts the spotters role but it certainly impacts the time drivers spend (highly regulated).
  14. Turtle84

    Turtle84 gained a step

    You're right Spotter. It is a separate discussion and I am out of line, for that I apologize. This is a good thread man, thanks for sharing your experiences.

    I have a question(s), how much space are you looking for before you call clear? And who would you say is more responsible for slide jobs, the driver or the spotter?
  15. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    Can you give me an example of what you mean? Sorry I'm just drawing a blank on exactly what your asking. Might be the heat lol
  16. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    How much space for me is daylight, immediate without hesitation on a straight line view, like looking at someone coming off the corner in 2 for instance, now with that said it also will depend on your angle, like coming off of 4 at Charlotte its tough to judge while moving straight at you so on the safe side you wait till they get infront of you or if the driver felt he had the momentum to clear himself he will. Slide job is usually a driver call, same thing with the mometum BUT when you see them divebomb the corner you know whats coming and certainly give him the call that they are still out there or you're clear. Sometimes they dont listen or cant stop.
    Turtle84 likes this.
  17. jws926

    jws926 I need to think of something new for here

    DO you have a most memorable time (race) from being a spotter?
  18. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    My first race at Bristol, blown away by the shear number of people and having the pyrotechnic guys meeting with us on the roof letting us know when during the star spangled Banner at the "bombs bursting in air"part we would have explosions right behind us. I'm glad he did or I would have landed in the crowd lol. I loved all of it, the people, friendships, the drama, the power. Oh one other, the first time I stood on pit road at Indy and had Tony Stewart come down the front straight and going of into 1. It sounded like a lightning strike and looked unreal that he could make the corner, I was in awe. Indy is unique, you are closer to the track then anywhere we ran and the speed was blinding when the car went by you.
    Hawaii808 and jws926 like this.
  19. Team Penske

    Team Penske Team Owner

    Awesome thread.
  20. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    I started at my local track and kept moving myself up in different divisions when people at the track began to know me, slowly and I mean slowly I moved up to working with better teams and drivers and eventually got a shot to do some Busch races and thats when things took off.
    kkfan91 likes this.
  21. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    No code that I ever knew of! ;)
  22. Truex_rox

    Truex_rox 19 looks better than ever.

    Well how about that, there's a tidbit I really never knew about spotting. :D
  23. jws926

    jws926 I need to think of something new for here

    That is really cool, thank you for sharing that.
  24. Zerkfitting

    Zerkfitting Team Owner

    Thanks Spotter - great thread.

    Aside from watching your car, how far ahead or behind your car to do try to watch?
    How is spotting different at different tracks?
  25. Turtle84

    Turtle84 gained a step

    Hey Spotter, some more questions for you, great answers on the last ones thanks for that.

    What did you think of Truex's spotter asking Ragan's spotter if they were going to drop to the back with 5 to go? and Ragan's spotter subsequent response. Would your's have been close to the same?

    Also, do you think that Cup spotter's job's have become even more difficult with how wild the restarts are?
  26. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    Could you give me a link or the readers digest version. I didnt hear it. And the answer to the next question is YES. When you have people sticking it in 4 and 5 wide on restarts you get old in a hurry, they need a raise.
    Turtle84 likes this.
  27. Turtle84

    Turtle84 gained a step

    Ragan's spotter basically told him to shove it, we ain't going to the back, we're out of tires, and leading the race with 5 to go.
    Mike Crayne and StandOnIt like this.
  28. Speedbowl14

    Speedbowl14 Ryan Preece and short tracks

    How/where do you spot at Indianapolis if you can't see the whole track from one point? Or do they pile you all on top of the pagoda?
    gnomesayin likes this.
  29. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    Yeah I would have said the same thing if I was Ragans Spotter and I would have asked if I was the 19 spotter. Sometimes they will cut you a break and sometimes they wont thats why you gotta ask. They cant take your birthday for askin.
    gnomesayin and Turtle84 like this.
  30. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    The pagoda. We have a spotter on the front and a spotter on the back and have hand off points. Its a very unique place to spot from and oozes history. Every time I see it I think, damn I've been up there. Its surreal.
    Speedbowl14, Turtle84 and gnomesayin like this.
  31. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    I watch ahead about half a straight but some tracks you adjust for that like Bristol which is about half the track and rarely watch behind UNLESS I see some bumping going on ,tempers flaring just to be on the safe side.
    Zerkfitting likes this.
  32. DIDIT

    DIDIT Old School Fan

    The only spotter I ever met was Geof Bodine spotting for a truck race at Disney. Where did you normally stay the night before? How far ahead of time did you want to get to the track? Did you ever sit down at those free hotel breakfast and have a conversation with someone and tell them what you did?
  33. Zerkfitting

    Zerkfitting Team Owner

    Do you use binoculars?
    How many people are on your radio channel and how does the team share the channel?
    Has your team used code with your driver to mislead competitors who might be listening?
  34. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    Stay at the team Hotel where ever that would be, ( sometimes I would have friends at the track with RV and stay there) I go to the track as soon as it opens like the other guys, I would help with taking out the fuel cell or cooking breakfast lol. We usually were gone from the hotel before breakfast but I'd sit at the hotel bar after and talk with a lot of people, I loved talking about our sport to new people.
  35. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    I had to at times but I really didnt like it but sometimes it was a must at the big tracks, Mile and a half and under I didnt.
    Back in the day everyone on the team was on the same channel, which caused a lot of problems like unexpected chatter, or the big one, someones radio button would get stuck in the talk position and it killed all commuication and I would flip out.
    Absolutely. When we were pitting, how many tires, fuel only etc...
    Zerkfitting and Clutch like this.
  36. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    The guys today have it made man, gates opening at 11? What the hell? We were up before the rooster crowed
  37. Turtle84

    Turtle84 gained a step

    Hi Spotter, quick questions regarding the Sauter/Hill incident. What would you have been telling Sauter as he started going after Hill under yellow? Or vice versa, what would you have been telling Hill as Sauter was approaching at a high rate of speed? Any other thoughts on the incident?
    gnomesayin and Ventisca like this.
  38. Spotter22

    Spotter22 Team Owner

    I would have been telling Johnny stop and to use his head in not so nice langauge, meanwhile race control would have hit my radio and told me I better calm him down and it wouldnt have been a suggestion. If I was on the radio with Hill I would have been giving him a play by play of what the 13 was doing , there really isnt much more you can do because if Sauter was hell bent on wrecking him not much we could do about it. You can try to shadow another truck and hope he turns away because he doesnt want to wreck someone else. I watched the truck race and heres my take, Sauter was pissed at Hill from Texas incident and gave him a nice shot getting in to 1, Hill got pissed and dumped Johnny in 3 and 4. Hill was still pissed that he went to talk to Sauter before the race in Iowa and Sauter snubbed him. Sauter lost it and nobody could calm him down and the rest is history. Johnny deserves to sit for a week but not be out of the Championship as ruled, as for Hill he needs to brush up on his payback, I think he took it to far but didnt need a penalty. Thats my take.
  39. OldTimer

    OldTimer Team Owner

    Far cry from when having radios was illegal in Nascar and USAC...things change.
  40. JohnHill

    JohnHill member of Who Dat Nation

    When the series would go to Daytona and talladega, what were your thoughts and feelings spotting there? Was it a track you enjoyed spotting at... a place you didn’t look forward to... or did it make much difference to you?

    I imagine the spotters would be communicating quite a bit more with other spotters, trying to help organize a move between a few different cars... is that what would happen a lot for plate racing?

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