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Spotters

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I got this off of a website of a series that runs in great northwest, (California & Washington) Very Interesting Read.

 

 

THE SPOTTERS EVOLUTION IN WINNING AND

COACHING

1. SUCCESS WORDS

2. EVOLUTION OF A SPOTTER

3. ROLE OF A SPOTTER

4. AN ARTICLE FROM THE BRISTOL HERALD COURIER

5. TECHNIQUES OF A SPOTTER

SUCCESS WORDS

1. Focus

2. Dedication

3. Commitment

EVOLUTION OF A SPOTTER

1970 - Nascar uses two-way radios for the first time

1971 - Bobby Allison wins June race at Riverside

claiming he was wired for sound (Crew chief only)

Mid 1980's - Spotters are utilized by Nascar teams

(On top of transporters only)

Late 1980's - Spotters mandated by Nascar

1990's - Spotters role more defined (Coaching, advising)

ROLE OF A SPOTTER

The role of a spotter is to:

-Keep the driver safe

-Protect the equipment

-Coach the driver

-Assist in race strategy

-Bring the car to the best possible finish

-The team and team leadership need to identify the role of a spotter as a serious

position that can help the team consistently win !!

AN ARTICLE FROM THE BRISTOL HERALD COURIER

'Bristol is absolutely the hardest place to spot, bar none.'

--Ty Norris

spotter for Winston Cup regular Steve Park

Extra eyes crucial at BMS

By Allen Gregory

Bristol Herald Courier

The role of a spotter is one of the most important and most underrated jobs in NASCAR. Often,

the spotter can save his driver from disaster or set him up for a fantastic finish. The extra eyes

of a spotter are vital at Bristol Motor Speedway. With 36-degree banked turns, 120-mph speeds

and 42 cars on a half-mile track, the potential for mayhem is always present. Ty Norris, spotter

for Winston Cup regular Steve Park, recently described the many challenges of guiding his

driver during a race at BMS.

"Bristol is absolutely the hardest place to spot, bar none," Norris said. "I mainly do two things. I

watch our Pennzoil car as well as try to watch ahead to warn Steve in case of trouble." "The

problem at Bristol is both of those things are usually happening at the same time." The

NASCAR spotter is positioned high above the track. Even from that vantage point, they can only

see so much. Things happen fast at the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Real Fast. "At Bristol, you

almost have to have one eye looking in one direction and one eye looking in the other direction,"

Norris said. "You can't use more than one spotter at Bristol. Things happen way too fast there

and the spotters would be talking over each other," It all adds up to a major headache for the

driver, spotter, crew chief and car owner. "Bristol is the most nerve wracking place," Norris said.

"When I spot there I sometimes feel like I'm doing the radio broadcast. All I do is talk, talk and

talk. I'm sure it bothers the driver, but you have no choice.

TECHNIQUES OF A SPOTTER

BEFORE THE RACE

-Each spotter, driver and track are different

COMMUNICATE

-Talk to your driver before the race (Each spotter is different, each driver is

different)

-Attend driver / crew chief meeting I take notes

-Know your driver' s capabilities and competition (Who you can trust and who to

watch)

-Prior to start engine, radio check driver and crew chief, discuss who calls green

flag

-Make disclaimer regarding language on radio

-Prior to race during warm-up laps discuss with driver:

-Passing rules, pit-road speed, race distance ,scrub tires and make sure belts are

tight

-At one to go, advise driver to be patient and to have FUN

-If possible, talk to driver on straights only

( Driver needs to concentrate in turns )

-Allow radio time for crew chief

-When driver is not in traffic always look ahead for incidents

(Visually scan track)

CAUTIONS FOR ON-TRACK INCIDENTS

-Call location (Turn one, back straight, etc...)

-Call type of incident (Debris, spin, wreck, etc&)

-Call caution and advise driver to wave off cars in rear

-Call track conditions (Track is blocked, track is clear high, etc&)

DURING CAUTION DISCUSS

-Passing rules on restart

-Scrub tires

-Make sure belts are tight

SHORT TRACK - No pit stops

-Conserve car

-Split race into 1/4s (100-lap race, call 25-laps, 50-laps, 75-laps and drivers position)

-If the driver gains a lot of positions in a few laps, but no more in the next few have

driver conserve and race at the end.

-Call pace car

-Record lapped cars and cars out of competition

Emotions

-Don't let emotions get into your technique

-Usually a relative or owner is too emotional (Not always).

-Work with other spotters - Have all spotters in same area with an official

-If the spotter is excited and it reflects in his/her voice, it will get the driver excited

GIVE RESPECT - GET RESPECT !!!

-Practice, Practice, Practice Practice to a spotter is like seat time to a driver

-Observe and monitor other spotters in different series

-During other races pick a car and pretend you are spotting for that car

-Passing-Look ahead for weakness (IE: If car in front is pushing, pass on inside)

-If possible use lap-cars for picks

-Ensure car is clear, error on the side of safety (If not sure, tell driver Your call)

-Use secondary spotter if large track or if depth perception precludes safety

-Work with driver during practice or before race to identify "blind areas" or areas that are

hard to call

-Praise in the public, criticize in private

Evaluation - After each race while it is still fresh in your mind: Have the driver evaluate

your performance

-You evaluate the drivers performance

-Be constructive in criticism

-Use a 1-10 scale

-Don't use profanity (Other people monitor) Use car numbers, not names (Don't call

other drivers bad names)

COACHING

Keep driver calm (Can't win on 1st lap)

-Praise your driver

-Good job (After passing)

-Good line (When his line is good)

-Advise driver if other lines are faster

Encourage driver after passing, get next car for position)

-Remind driver to conserve car (Get what you can, & then cruise)

-Remind driver to hit his marks

-Driver shouldn't have to use mirror

(Spotter needs to let driver know what's behind and along side)

-If car is loose or tight, try different lines

-Advise driver of leaders position on track

-You will do more coaching with a rookie than with a veteran

-If time permits have a radio class before race

-Discuss radio procedures

-Spotter - Defacto communications specialist

-Trouble-shooting

-Work with driver on different passing techniques

(IE: If passing on inside isn't working, try outside)The higher the division the more

chance someone will monitor If you are good as a spotter, it will be recognized, and you

will be asked to work in other divisions

Review each race - What you need to do to win next race

TOOLS OF A SPOTTER RADIO BAG

Two Radios

Scanner

Spare batteries

Headset

Timer

Check off sheet

Binoculars

Notebook

Rulebook

Ball-point pens

Sharpie pens

Water

Painkiller

Sun-tan lotion

Small screwdriver set

Jacket

SCANNING METHOD

Single Radio Scan

Single Radio plus scanner

Two radios

Two radios plus scan

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I consider my spotter to be the most important member of our team when it's race time. I love her. I believe she could teach classes, she's that good.

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