Mike Douton is the purveyor of Pit Stall 13.
Aside from being a white male, I fit none of the “typical” demographics of a NASCAR fan. I am a nerd. I have a film degree. I work in a shipyard. I blast punk rock from my hybrid Subaru. Saturday night with the guys means Dungeons and Dragons in my basement. I’ve lived in New England my whole life, growing up in Connecticut, college in New Hampshire, and now living in Rhode Island.
But I’ve watched NASCAR since I was a little kid in the 80s.
I was in third grade when I saw my first Cup race. It was an 8 hour bus ride down to Dover and I saw Harry Gant lap the field in an Oldsmobile. We sat about a dozen rows up in Turn 4 and I’ll never forget turning my head and seeing Rusty Wallace and Alan Kulwicki spinning through a haze of tire smoke right in front of me.
I was hooked.
I’ve been to Cup races at New Hampshire every year since the sport rolled into the White Mountains. From Rusty Wallace’s first win, to Jeff Burton going flag to flag, to the epic Thanksgiving battle of Robby Gordon vs Jeff Gordon, I’ve seen a lot of laps.
And for all those years and all those races, me and my dad had the same seats. Since 1993, I have known exactly where my spot is, directly across from… Pit Stall 13.