New England Dragway provides unique view at North American Nitro Jam
EPPING, N.H. (September 12, 2010) - When it comes to professional sports, a nice view is often one of the first things considered when choosing to attend an event.
Most sports have their good seats and those not so heavily desired, but in the sport of drag racing there is really no such thing as a bad seat anywhere in the house. Whether you prefer the crushing launch at the starting line or the rush of speed at half track, drag racing gives race fans an abundance of options when choosing where to watch one of the most exciting spectator sports in the world.
And when it comes to viewing options, perhaps no track in the country has more variety than New England Dragway. With quality seating on both sides of the track and plenty of great camping spots, New England Dragway provides an option for nearly everyone's viewing pleasure.
But the view perhaps most sought after at New Hampshire's beautiful drag racing facility is a row of motor homes on a distant hill once known as Spectator Hill.
First opened in the early 2000s, the row of motor homes sits at the quarter-mile mark and provides a beautiful view of the entire facility, including a breathtaking look at the track as cars race past at over 300 miles-per-hour. When it comes to views, as many will tell you, there is simply no better place to watch a drag race than the hill.
"That hill began as a hill for spectators back when we first opened, hence the name Spectator Hill. Fans would forgo the stands to sit on that hill because it provides an elevated view and a picturesque look at the entire facility, including the first look at who wins each round," said track manager Joe Lombardo. "When we finally closed the hill to spectators we put in a campground and now it has turned into one of the most sought after spots on the entire property."
And sought after is certainly an understatement.
Campers wait for years for a spot on the front row, often times leading to bargaining and trading throughout the year for a view of one of the big shows that come to town a few times a year. With two rows of camping, newcomers are required to start off on the back row and must put in the time - and money - before they can earn the right to fill a front row spot.
The front row, sitting on the fence at the edge of the hill, is earned through seniority and only when a front row holder decides not to renew their spot does someone in row two get a chance at one of the two dozen or so prime positions.
Once a front row member decides not to renew their spot, a decision that must be made during the offseason, a back row member is given the option to move up. In addition to row swapping, campers already owning a front row view are given the option to swap positions as well with the ultimate goal of bring crowned No. 23.
With reverse numbering, the ultimate spot on Spectator Hill is that at position No. 23 - the very first spot looking down the track.
"It is like a little city up there. The people that camp up there all know each other and they share their lives a few times a year. It is just a neat feeling to play a small role in their lives," Lombardo said.
While many tracks provide great views, New England Dragway gives fans something unique and it is that little extra that makes it one of the most popular facilities in drag racing today.