Clear high! Green, Green, Green! I am sure you have heard a TV race where these terms were broadcast for all to hear. Maybe you have even used a scanner at a race and heard all the banter the goes on between the spotter, Crew Chief and Driver.
The spotter's main role is to keep the driver informed of what is ahead of him on the track as well as providing information about cars in the immediate vicinity. While all spotters must be quick to let the driver know about on track incidents, the spotter should also inform the driver regarding strategy, laps to go, directions from officials, track position, different available grooves and lap times to name a few.
The spotter needs to let the driver know about all incidents and help steer the driver through trouble. Information must be relayed quickly and concisely. Care should be taken to let the driver know if the caution flag is waving or if the green is still out. Both situations are critical.
Some Drivers like to have their lap times read off each lap. You can also provide information about the location of the leader and how many cars are on the lead lap as well as which cars in the pack ahead are on the lead lap so that the driver knows who to race hard.
On those days when you find your car a lap down, the spotter really needs to work hard. Respect for the lead laps cars is paramount. You will appreciate the respect on the days that you have the car to beat.
Let the driver know that the leader is 10 car lengths back and then count down the car lengths as the leader approaches. Discuss with the driver to let the leader and lead pack by and if they are to go by on the high or low side. Remember the lead pack deserves some respect. They will return the favor for your team someday.
Some divisions allow the lap down cars to pull up on the inside for restarts such as in Winston Cup. If you find your driver a lap down on the front row of a restart and your team has a fast car then have a run at beating the leader into turn one. Never allow your driver to run so hard that he takes out the leader. But, if you have the car to get a lap back then give it a run. If you are unable to pass the leader then slow down and save your tires. Maybe you will get him at the next caution. There is no sense wearing out the car racing the lead pack if you are down laps.
If your car is not capable of getting a lap back then show the courtesy and respect that the front-runners have earned for the day. Have the driver hold a tight line and allow the guys running for the win to clear and race clean. Be a calming force and a cheerleader for your driver.
- Train your crew to only key up when absolutely needed to avoid dual keying.
- Be short, Clear high, Clear low, Clear all around, Trouble Turn 1, Yellow, Yellow, Yellow, Green, Green, Green are the type of commands to use. The shorter the command the better.
- Be calm. Keep your driver relaxed.
- Be informative about race details.
- Have longer discussions under yellow flag conditions.
- Look ahead of your car. Watching your call will not allow time to relay trouble information to your driver.
- Bring something to drink to the spotters stand.
- Carry a stopwatch.
- Carry a spare battery.
- Stay alert and find a spot that gives a clear view of the track.
- Communicate with your fellow spotters.
- Know the rules.
- Remind Driver not to pass on the left on restarts if applicable.
- Talk the driver into the pit stall on pit stops. Remind drivers of pit road speed, gear, and RPM.
- Press the talk button before speaking and release button well after finishing a comment to insure clear transmission of instructions to your driver.