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Baby forces pit stop at track

As a mother in labor raced to Concord Hospital yesterday the family was forced to make a pit stop at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

'Somebody that was with the family came running into the office and said, 'Can you call 911?' ' the track's spokeswoman, Kristen Costa, said.

Instead, though, the employee called Director of Operations Tom Blanchette, who had spent 20 years working as an EMT. Blanchette ran from his meeting to the parking lot but arrived too late, finding a newborn in the back seat when he got there.

'Mom and dad had already self-delivered the baby upon my arrival, and I just kind of helped the mom and daughter until we got the ambulance over there,' he said.

Costa said the family, who is from Belmont, pulled into the parking lot just after 3 p.m. and were on their way to the hospital within 30 minutes. Blanchette drove the ambulance as the EMTs cared for the mother and newborn girl, who he said were in good health yesterday. He said the family was fairly calm considering the unexpected detour.

'They were going through all of the emotions you could have when you're having a baby,' he said. 'They were pleased everybody was okay at that point, and they were glad to be getting some help and to be headed down to the hospital.'

Costa said that as far as she knows it was the first birth at the speedway.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @tricia_nadolny.)