Are NASCAR’s Newest Provisions a Game Changer for Stock Car Spotters?

Published 01/15/2024, 4:42 AM EST

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NASCAR, like most other sports, is constantly evolving. Since these are cars that we’re dealing with, it is a technological race, alongside the one on track. For NASCAR in particular, the rules have been changed quite often. And it has happened once again as, ahead of the 2024 Cup Series season, the sport has introduced a new upgrade. This is specifically to do with the spotters who guide the drivers through the entirety of the race.

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As reported by Bob Pockrass, “Spotters getting extra tools — they will now be able able to carry a device to monitor timing and scoring … and they can now use cell phones while on the roof … they also get a third two-way radio (previously it was two) but one radio must be issued/programmed by NASCAR.”

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What impact will this have on a Spotter’s day to day?

In NASCAR, the spotters are the drivers’ biggest weapons. Sitting up on their respective crow’s nest, it is their job to pick out the best racing lines and keep their drivers out of trouble. Now, NASCAR is introducing some reforms that will make their lives a lot easier. Previously, they had to keep track of the race laps manually by counting on their fingers. This time around, they will have access to extra tools to take care of timing and scoring.

Among the new devices are cell phones on the spotter stands, and an extra two-way radio. However, it is worth mentioning that one of the radios has to be programmed by NASCAR. Naturally, this will have a number of NASCAR spotters rejoicing, because this does make their jobs easier. Admittedly, some fans were apprehensive because they were worried that this move could be detrimental to the sport. They cited the likes of the USAC and World of Outlaws, which has banned such a system due to outsider interference.

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What does a spotter’s job entail during a race?

During the races, the drivers are usually alone on the track and there is little that a team can do to help. A spotter is one of the few bits of aid that NASCAR drivers get. The spotters provide split times, alert their drivers on cars in blind spots, yellow flag warnings, and race strategy. The race starts are always crucial, and with large grids with a rolling start, it is hard for drivers to keep an eye on the lights. So it is a spotter’s job to inform about green flags so that the drivers can time their starts to perfection.

Another important element is clear communication between the spotter and the driver. So it is important to possess top-quality radio equipment for them to communicate. Aside from that, teams need to know about initial proper installation, gear organization, and pre-race radio checks. Next on the list is a clear view of the track. As if it was not clear in the name itself, spotters need to see most of the track. So they have to scout the highest seating possible so that they can help their drivers.

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Of course, in a high-pressure situation, spotters have to keep a cool head, especially when drivers are losing their cool. Additionally, since they are the eyes of the driver, they look out for cautions and also keep an eye on the pack. They inform the drivers about opponents who have issues with their cars, opponents in the immediate vicinity, and wrecks. The last one is important because the spotter’s job in this scenario is to guide their driver safely. In other words, with these new additions, it will benefit the spotters and help them do their jobs more efficiently.

NASCAR News: 3 Major Changes for Spotters Coming in 2024 Have Fans Excited

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Written by:

Dhruv George

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One take at a time

Growing up as a Formula One fan, I was always vaguely aware that there was a sport called NASCAR. But when I actually got to know more about it, it didn't take me long to get hooked. My closest encounter with NASCAR was back in 2009 when my family took a picture of me next to one of Dale Earnhardt Jr?s cars.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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