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Timer Profile Newton Day

By Tom Carnegie

Too often we focus on the drivers but leave out the unsung heroes of the Montana 500. I'm talking about the timers and the flaggers. This is my first profile on a timer. I first met Newt on the 1968 run. There were two things that stood out on the man. One was that he kept five stopwatches around his neck at all times. The other was that he had a huge right thumb. It was easily three times the size of his left thumb. I once asked him why his thumb was so big. I thought that it might be the result of an injury. He just gave me a sort of disgusted look and proceeded to wind one of his watches. He never did tell me why his thumb was so big, but some people speculated that it was from starting and stopping his watches. I once asked him why he carried five stopwatches. His reply was "being prepared beats being repaired". It made perfect sense to him. Newt worked for the Montana Clock Company. He worked in the hour hand department. Things were slow there, so he transferred to the minute hand department. Newt quit timing for us when Mr. Anderson took over the head timing duties. Some people say that he left because of jealousy. It could be true - most people think Anderson is a better timer than Newt Day.

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