Loudon is a 1.058 mile oval that is shaped like a paper clip. How appropriate the track has earned the nickname of “The Paper Clip.” Had the track been nicknamed “The Stapler,” it would be awkward unless the dude from “Office Space” sponsored the race.
Back from Tangentville, getting around the track requires good handling and better breaks. The track is just 65 feet wide; so, passing requires skill, and finding trouble isn’t that difficult. Good pit stops will be an even bigger priority because track position is huge. This is a race that can be dominated, with Jeff Burton winning wire to wire one year.
That said, there have been ten different winners at Loudon over the last five years; so, the chance is there for a younger driver to break through. Now some facts to impress your friends with Sunday afternoon, courtesy of the track’s very well crafted website.
- New Hampshire’s straightaways are 1500 feet.
- Banking is twelve degrees in the corner and two degrees in the straightaways.
- The track opened in 1990 and hosted its first NASCAR race in 1993.
- Juan Pablo Montoya set the qualifying speed record with a pace of 133 miles an hour.
- Jeff Burton has the best average race finish with a speed of 117 miles an hour.
- Denny Hamlin has the best average finish at the track.
- Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin and have the second through fifth best average finishes.
- Jeff Burton has four wins here.
- Johnson, Gordon, Stewart and Kurt Busch have won three times here.
- Stewart and Ryan Newman won at this track last year.
- The track hosted the largest sporting event in the history of New Hampshire.
- You are not allowed to have a bicycle in the grandstand area, but you can in the infield.
- No skateboards anywhere. If you have one, you’re a nonconformist and will be dealt with severely.
- More than 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt were moved during construction
- 30,000 cubic yards of ledge was blasted during construction of Turn 3 on the 1.058 mile oval
- There is four miles of steel safety cable to reinforce the oval fencing.
- There is seven miles of water pipes at the track.