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Race traditions return – thousands of fans, lots of traffic and a giant lobster

  • Jimmy Makris of Makris Seafood and Steak House on Route 106 holds up the 18-pound lobster that will be presented to the winning driver of the Sunday race at the Speedway. GEOFF FORESTER Monitor staff

  • Jimmy Makris of Makris Seafood and Steak House on Route 106 in Concord holds up the 18-pound lobster that will be presented to the winning driver of the Sunday race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 7/16/2021 1:32:19 PM

As many as 14,000 vehicles carrying 36,000 spectators – and one giant lobster – will arrive to and then leave New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon this weekend.

The swarm of NASCAR fans causes new traffic patterns on race day, especially on Route 106 near the track and on the Concord area highways.

Over at the Loudon Police Department, it will be a team effort. On a typical weekend, three officers staff the department – one working each shift.

This weekend, more than 50 officers will be on duty, in preparation for the 3 p.m. NASCAR race.

“It is one of those events where we are bringing in multiple thousands of people so it is all hands on deck,” said Sgt. Dana Flanders for the Loudon police department.

While NASCAR drivers race around the track inside the speedway, the rest of the area should expect to see delays.

On Sunday, a detailed traffic plan will be in effect from 3 p.m. until 9:15 p.m.

■The I-393 eastbound off-ramp to I-93 South will be closed, as well as I-93 Exit 14 southbound and I-93 Exit 15E southbound. Heading northbound, Exit 15W will also be closed off.

■Route 106 will see a new traffic pattern, as the road will become two northbound lanes and one southbound lane from NH Route 129 to Beck Road, before turning into three northbound lanes from Beck Road to the south gate of the speedway. This will be in effect as fans head to the track in the morning.

■Starting at 3 p.m. until early evening, traffic will flip and there will be multiple southbound lanes leaving the speedway, with one northbound lane.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway pays for the extra police on duty.

“The officers that are dedicated to the speedway are dedicated to the safety and security of the property of the fans and campers who have come here to make our town a little bit bigger for this weekend,” Flanders said. “Our main objective is to keep everyone who is here safe in our town.”

One of the race’s famed attendees – a giant lobster given to the winning driver – is already on hand at Makris Lobster and Steak House. This year’s lobster weighs 18 pounds. Its shell will be mounted as a trophy and its meat will be given to the winning pit crew.

“We figured that they deserve the meat because they do all the work,” owner Jimmy Makris said.


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