Eye in the Sky: Tab Boyd leads a veteran and a pair of rookies in 2018

Throughout the 2018 season Motorsport.com will spotlight the winning spotter from various Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck series races.

Eye in the Sky: Tab Boyd leads a veteran and a pair of rookies in 2018
Tab Boyd, Hendrick Motorsports spotter
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro AXALTA
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing Chevrolet
Alex Labbé
Race winner Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro AXALTA
Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing, Allegiant Airlines Chevrolet Silverado
Race winner: Johnny Sauter, GMS Racing Chevrolet
Alex Labbé, King Autosport Chevrolet

This week, Motorsport.com caught up with veteran spotter Tab Boyd, who helped lead Johnny Sauter win his third win at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener last month.  

Boyd also works with rookie drivers William Byron in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and defending NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion Alex Labbe in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

How long have you been spotting for Sauter and when did you start working with him?

This is my sixth season with Sauter as we started together at Daytona in 2013 and won our first race working together so that was pretty neat and special. 

Do you spot for anyone else besides Sauter?

I used to spot for Joey Logano in NASCAR Cup Series races but I moved over to Hendrick Motorsports this season and spot for William Byron in Cup and I also spot for Alex Labbe in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

What is the most challenging aspect about your job?

I think people don't realize how far you are away from the cars or trucks you are at some of these tracks. You have to have a good pair of binoculars and an ability to see things well to help your driver. It can be very challenging at times when you are that far away.

How do you try and help your driver during the race? (Do you sometimes joke around to help calm them down when they need it? What is it they like to hear from you?)

We stay pretty focused and there's not much time for joking around during a race. As a spotter you are always trying to think ahead and figure out a strategy for the race so you have to always be aware of what is going on.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job for you? Do you still feel a sense of competition as a spotter?

For me it's the appreciation you earn by doing a good job for your driver and team. For me, it's not missing a critical call or helping a driver make a move during the race that helps you in the race. 

Have you ever raced before and if yes, do you think being a former driver helps you in the spotter’s stand each week with Johnny and do you still get the thrill of competition in the spotter’s stand?

I've raced a PASS-type Super Late Model before and I've also raced some in Ron Barfield's Street Stock Mid-Atlantic Series and when I race I try to remember what I went through as  a driver so I can relate to the driver. A good example of that is when you know your driver is battling a loose car during a pit stop run, you know not to guide him into a situation that's not good to do with a loose car and I think driving in a race helps a spotter relay that information better because they've also experienced it, too.

As you said, you also spot for rookies Byron and Labbe. What is that like for you versus dealing with an experienced driver like Sauter?

Well, it’s a neat opportunity to spot for William (Byron). William already has the speed like a veteran driver, what I'm trying to do now is figure what he needs to hear during a race to help him out. We had chatted some before this year but never worked together until the test earlier this year at Las Vegas and our first race together was in Daytona. It's also my first spotting for Alex (Labbe) and he has a lot of talent and learning quickly. 

shares
comments
William Byron "definitely prepared" himself for tough rookie season

Previous article

William Byron "definitely prepared" himself for tough rookie season

Next article

Kyle Larson leads Ganassi 1-2 in pre-qualifying practice at Phoenix

Kyle Larson leads Ganassi 1-2 in pre-qualifying practice at Phoenix
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021