Mark Martin and team prepare for challenges in Pocono

MWR's Mark Martin and his spotter know the challenges they face at the tricky triangle.

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Last week’s race at Indianapolis and this weekend’s race at Pocono are more than just a test of drivers and their race cars. The 2.5-mile tracks with their long straight-aways are also challenges for each team’s spotters— the men high above the track in radio communication with their drivers.

Mark Martin, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
Mark Martin, Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine spotter Jeremy Brickhouse shared spotting duties with Nick Harvey at Indy, but this weekend he’ll handle the duties alone. He’ll stand atop the grandstand above the start-finish line providing guidance to Mark Martin as he races 400 miles on the tricky triangle. The angles going into turn one combined with the nearly mile distance between the spotters stand and the second turn make Pocono as challenging as any track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.

“I’m always nervous,” joked Brickhouse, a Chesapeake, Va. native who joined Michael Waltrip Racing with Martin in 2012. He’s spotted for Martin for the last seven seasons. “Spotting is a huge responsibility. Mistakes get a lot of equipment torn up and drivers hurt.”

BRICKHOUSE ON POCONO: “Pocono and Indy are two of the toughest tracks for a spotter. We stand right above the start-finish line at Pocono and when you look down into turn one its pretty tough to see. On the restarts they always start to fan out and they are going away from us. Our job is to help the driver clear another car and that first turn at Pocono has some really tough angles for us.”

POCONO’S TURN TWO OR TUNNEL TURN: “That’s another tough place. The cars carry a lot of speed there. I don't know, but we are about a mile from the tunnel turn. Sometimes you get caught up worrying about getting them through the tunnel turn and they are wrecking down the track. I use binoculars but you always have to take a wide view as well so you can see up ahead to help Mark avoid trouble.”

THE JOB: “Spotting is all about angles, judging the momentum of other cars and just being another set of eyes for the driver. You only say something if you are confident. Guesswork will get your car messed up, your driver hurt or just get you chewed out over the radio.”

MARK MARTIN ON BRICKHOUSE: “Jeremy has been with me since 2007 and it’s been a great ride. He was already a good spotter with a lot of experience when we got together. You have to have a lot of trust in your spotter and I have that with Jeremy. He’ll have his work cut out for him at Pocono this weekend, but we’ve done it before and we will be fine.”

Michael Waltrip Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Mark Martin
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing
Article type Preview
Tags brickhouse, martin, mwr, nascar sprirt cup, pocono, toyota