LOUDON, N.H. --- Katie Ann Hebert, the baby that was delivered in the parking lot of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, returned Sunday to the site of her birth and was feted with gifts and a pair of lifetime tickets to every NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the 1.058-mile oval.
Shawna Arnold, the baby's 27-year-old mother, went into labor as she was traveling from her home in Belmont, N.H., to Concord General Hospital with the baby's father, Erik Hebert, and grandmother.
Hebert, 30, who was behind the wheel of his mother's brand new Saturn sedan, said he was driving Arnold to the hospital last Friday afternoon and was motoring south on Route 106 when she began going into labor, prompting him to pull into the parking lot of the track's main offices.
"We were coming up on the track on 106 when she said, `Oh my God, my water broke!' '' Hebert said Sunday before the Sylvania 300 at NHMS. "Then she said, `Oh my God, I've got a head!' and I pulled into the parking lot.''
It was a fortuitous move, as the track had just opened its gates to recreational vehicles arriving for the track's race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. As such, emergency medical technicians and apparatus were on hand at the track and sprang into action when they were summoned to the main offices.
"I totally believe there are angels among us,'' said Jerry Gappens, the track's executive vice president and general manager. "And that was certainly the case last Friday when they gave birth a little miracle baby in our parking lot. This was as good a place for it to happen because we had the people in place to help.
"We had trained professionals on hand who handled these types of situations. So, of all the parkings lots along the way, this was the best one.''
Arnold, who has three older daughters ranging in ages from 7 to 2-1/2 years, said it was the first time she gave birth outside of a hospital.
"I had started to go into labor about 45 minutes before,'' said Arnold. "I felt I had time [to get to the hospital], because I had my three other daughters at the hospital. But Katie wasn't going to wait. She was ready to come and I delivered her in the backseat of the car in the parking lot.''
While her mother was a casual NASCAR fan growing up in Belmont, Gappens seized upon the opportunity to make a new fan of the 9-day-old infant, saying the Magic Mile's miracle baby ``was going to be a part of our family for many years to come.''
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