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David and Theresa Berry and their dog, Cruzz, of Kennebunkport, Maine, waited in line last Friday with other campers to be allowed into the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Saturday morning to set up camp for the week and wait for the NASCAR race on Sunday. (Kathleen Baglio Humphreys/Union Leader Correspondent)

Early-bird race special for NASCAR fans

LOUDON — The big race is not until Sunday, but NASCAR fans are already staking claim to their little piece of race heaven at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The parking lot looks like an RV showroom. Rows and rows of RVs are parked, filled with people camping and have a good time during NASCAR week while waiting for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifier on Sunday

David and Theresa Berry from Kennebunkport, Maine, lined up on July 4 for a perfect corner lot for their 35-foot camper for a race that won’t happened until Sunday, July 13.

“We are big NSACAR fans and like coming to have a good time,” said Theresa Berry.

“We were here 10 days early for vacation time and hanging out with all the people and doing different things during our getaway,” added David Berry.

“We come here early on Friday night and waited in the holding area until they open the gates on Saturday,” said Theresa Berry.

They managed to get the same corner lot they’ve had the past three years, which allows them a bit more space. They bring games to play with their neighboring campers, fence in the site for their dog, and this year they added a kiddie pool. They have a generator for electricity, and trucks sell water for 20 cents a gallon.

A race ticket is required to reserve a site, which can be done months in advance.

There are free showers in the bathrooms. Race track accommodations include ice trucks, water trucks and pump services. There is a restaurant at the track with more food and souvenir vendors expected by the weekend.

North Waterboro, Maine, residents Pam and Mark Robinson and their three dogs are camping in their 29-foot camper at the Speedway. They also lined up in the holding area Friday night for a primo site close to the race track.

Mark has been coming to the Speedway since it opened. For the last 15 years, Pam has joined him.“We want to relax and enjoy the race,” said Pam Robinson.

The Robinson’s hang out at their camper with friends, read, go to Concord to shop or eat lunch in Laconia. They always buy T-shirts for their kids.

“There is not a lot of places you can go for a $100 camping fee for a week,” said Mark Robinson.

One theme was constant: Friendships are made during race week that last a lifetime because NASCAR fans return every year in roughly the same location in the parking lots.

“We met our best friends here,” said Pam Robinson.


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