Fan Profile: Brody Iverson

This is the latest in a series of fan profiles, which can be selected as a reward on my Patreon page.

Name: Brody Iverson

Location: Rockford, Ill.

Twitter name: @epicfail2929

Age: 19

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

I was a casual fan forever. As a kid, I can remember clear as day watching Elliott Sadler’s flip in 2003 at Talladega. In 2013, I decided to dedicate my time to watch every race, every weekend.

2. How many races have you attended?

I have attended none of them. I’m hoping to change that in 2018.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Kevin Harvick.

4. What made you a fan of his?

I became a Kevin Harvick fan after he won the Daytona 500 in 2007.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kyle Busch.

6. Why don’t you like him?

He isn’t a bad driver and I respect him as a driver, but outside of that, he’s just a huge baby. He complains when he doesn’t win an Xfinity race, for God’s sake! Like, grow up.

7. What is your favorite track?

Martinsville Speedway.

8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?

I would get rid of the front splitter. It would look a lot closer to the actual cars if they just took away the front splitter, side skirt and rear spoiler, just so it looks more like the common car. Then people can relate to that car.

9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?

I like the stages. The stages help a boring race become a little bit more exciting.

10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?

I used to not really yell at my TV that much, but I started doing it a lot (in 2017). Something about the races are bringing out my passionate side.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Get the RaceView scanner (from NASCAR.com). Even though it is behind compared to the TV broadcast, it helps give insight to your favorite team’s strategy and what’s going on during the race.

12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?

I’m an OK follow on Twitter.

Fan Profile: Peggy Long

This is part of a series of 12 Questions-style NASCAR fan profiles open to people who select that tier on my Patreon page.

Name: Peggy Long

Location: Huntsville, Ala.

Twitter name: @msudawg7880

Age: 60 – ugh!!

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1962.

2. How many races have you attended?

Too many to count.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Denny Hamlin.

4. What made you a fan of his?

I began following Denny during his rookie year with Joe Gibbs Racing. I had stopped watching NASCAR after the death of my two favorite drivers, Davey Allison and Neil Bonnett. A friend told me, “This new guy is your kind of driver.” I watched his first race and my inner NASCAR spirit was renewed. I love his determination!

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

It’s a toss up between Joey Logano or Brad Keselowski.

6. Why don’t you like them?

I don’t like Logano for wrecking Denny in California. And Keselowski for his treatment of a handicapped child who wanted an autograph at Talladega. Being a special educator, that did not set well with me.  I’ve seen Brad do some great things since, but it still bothers me.

7. What is your favorite track?

Talladega.

8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?

Do away with pit road speeding penalties.

9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?

Double-file restarts.

10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?

Every race. I rock in my recliner more than I yell. In 2016, I hit almost 18,000 steps on my Fitbit during the Daytona 500 — rocking and yelling, trying to help Denny win. It worked!

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Support your driver and the team. Follow them on social media, join the Fan Club and attend those events — especially the Joe Gibbs Racing team events. Go to the tweetups and connect with other fans. Connect with the writers, NASCAR executives, spotters and team members on Twitter and support their work. NASCAR is the only sport that provides multiple ways to participate other than just watching the race. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to experience NASCAR.

12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?

I always want to be a part of the team — not a part of the problem. If I believe in you, I will support you.

Fan Profile: John Burns

This is part of a series of 12 Questions-style NASCAR fan profiles open to people who select that tier on my Patreon page.

Name: John Burns

Location: Atlanta

Twitter name: @johndburns

Age: 32

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 2004.

2. How many races have you attended?

Approximately 75.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Formerly Jeff Gordon; now Jimmie Johnson.

4. What made you a fan of Gordon?

This is a very interesting story. I’m originally from Jacksonville, and my dad received tickets to the July Daytona race from a friend. I was 20 at the time and I definitely had other priorities for my Saturdays other than going to a NASCAR race. Dad ended up bribing me to go, so I made the trek down to Daytona with him.

We got down to the track and started to go in, but we were immediately looked at funny because we were going through a “normal” entrance and we had Daytona Club tickets. Being new to this, both of us said, “What is the Daytona Club?” It turns out we had suite tickets with access to pre-race parties where food, drinks and live music were among the things we could partake in. I wish we would’ve known that prior to stopping off at the Krystal on International Speedway Blvd.!

We were sitting at a table with a few other NASCAR fans and my dad made a comment asking who was on the pole. I didn’t even know what he was talking about. But to that question, a guy quickly replied, “Shithead.” Dad and I both looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and then I asked back: “Who’s ‘Shithead?'” Turns out back in 2004, “Shithead” was better known as Jeff Gordon.

I absolutely fell in love with NASCAR while at the race. Gordon ended up winning, and so I naturally liked him — but mostly because the guy in the Daytona Club called him Shithead.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kyle Busch.

6. Why don’t you like him?

I want to like him. He and Samantha do a lot of good things for racing and the community. But gosh, there has just always been something about him when he raced at Hendrick that made me despise him, and I just can’t seem to get over it.

7. What is your favorite track?

Texas Motor Speedway.

8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?

Get the CEO of NASCAR to attend more races than I attend.

9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?

Keep weekend races versus having races during the week.

10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?

Depends how race is going, but it can be frequently.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Make NASCAR races a weekend getaway. I am pretty fortunate to be able to travel around on the weekends and go to roughly 20 races a year. It is what I enjoy doing, and a lot of the reason why is being able to meet people from different parts of the country, have a drink with them and have a great time. I can talk NASCAR all day with someone, so being able to sit at a bar with other fans who enjoy NASCAR just as much — it doesn’t get much better than that.

12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?

Never did I think I would become a NASCAR fan, but I was immediately hooked after one race. I love traveling around to races, and I do most of these races by myself — so if anyone is going to a race and would like to have a couple drinks and/or tailgate, I would be open to it.

My real job during the week is the assistant controller of a logistics company headquartered in Atlanta.

Fan Profile: Submarine Mike Mitchell and Cheryl Mitchell

This is part of a series of 12 Questions-style NASCAR fan profiles open to people who select that tier on my Patreon page.

Name: Cheryl and “Submarine” Mike Mitchell

Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

Twitter names: @tealjaguar and @submarinemike88

Age: Cheryl – don’t ask a lady her age! Mike: 46.

1. How long have you been NASCAR fans?

Both: Since 1979.

2. How many races have you attended?

Cheryl: More than 40.

Mike: More than 35.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Cheryl: Kevin Harvick.

Mike: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. What made you a fan of those drivers?

Cheryl: I was also an Elliott Sadler fan, and Harvick was his car owner at one time. I liked his not wanting to take crap from anyone.

Mike: A combination of being Dale Sr.’s son and the type of person he was.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Cheryl: Kyle Busch.

Mike: Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.

6. Why don’t you like those drivers?

Cheryl: His attitude when on track. He doesn’t care who he moves or wrecks along the way.

Mike: Same for Kyle. As for Joey, he comes off as arrogant on track. I don’t see how he can drive with squinty eyes.

7. What is your favorite track?

Both: Daytona, baby!

8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?

Cheryl: Quit changing the rules during the season. Stick with your decisions.

Mike: PUBLISH THE RULEBOOK ON NASCAR.COM! All other major sports have rule book online and/or in print!

9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?

Cheryl: Leave Daytona 500 qualifying alone. It makes it special.

Mike: Keep the new points system/race format.

10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?

Cheryl: Not too often. It depends on what’s happening on track and which race it is.

Mike: I don’t yell so much as talk to the TV, especially during pit stops.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Both: If you’re watching at home, NASCAR RaceView Mobile helps keep interest during some long green stretches, plus it has in-car communications.

If you’re going to the race, you must have a scanner or FanVision to hear communications. Bring comfy shoes, especially for Daytona.

Also, it’s OK to hope for autographs, but don’t go expecting one. We plan time to try for autographs on practice days when you have a better chance, especially at Daytona in the fan zone.

12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?

We’re animal lovers who have two cats — MeowMeow and Gizmo — and a newly adopted dog named Sidney. We’re big fans of other sports as well, especially football and hockey.

“Submarine” Mike Mitchell and wife Cheryl, pictured at Daytona. (Photo courtesy of the Mitchells)

Fan Profile: Jeff Anderson

This is the latest in a series of NASCAR fan profiles. You can catch up on previous editions here.

Name: Jeff Anderson

Location:  Allen, Texas

Twitter name: @jeffanderson42

Age: 46

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since the early 80’s. Hardcore since ’92.

2. How many races have you attended?

As of the start of 2017, 105 Cup races.  Double that if you count the lower-tier series.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

It was Jeff Gordon. Now it’s Chase Elliott.

4. What made you a fan of Gordon?

I’m from Indiana, so I followed his career in sprint cars.  Even saw him race a couple of times before the jump to NASCAR.  When he made that move, I followed his progress.  Never imagined he would become what he did.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Denny Hamlin.

6. Why don’t you like him?

He just doesn’t seem mentally “ready for prime time” and never seems to take responsibility for his many mistakes.  His attitude towards other drivers at times has been particularly two-faced, in my opinion.

7. What is your favorite track?

Darlington. Love the racing up against the wall.

8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?

As a long time hardcore fan, I would kill to be able to get my hands on a Hot Pass.  It’s a shame that those seem to only go to people that are sponsor affiliated or know somebody.  I understand why those people get them, but I would love to spend a weekend hanging out in the garage just watching what all goes on up close.

9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?

I’m torn. The playoffs have added a level of excitement and drama that is hard to quantify. In this day and age of short attention spans, I think you have to have the type of playoffs we have now. I just worry that we will get a champion one of these times that really isn’t indicative of the season. I’m hopeful that the new tweaks to the system have made that less likely.

10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?

Not as much as when Gordon was still driving, although the late yellows with Chase Elliott leading did illicit a fair amount of shouting at the screen.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

When you go to the track, spring for whatever pit road access you can get and spend time there during practice. Also move around to different parts of the stands and watch. Get down close to the track at a place like Phoenix and see the car dig into the corner. On race day, walk the pit road and look at all the equipment. At Kansas, for example, the season ticket comes with the pre-race pass where you can see inspection up close and the drivers meeting as well as walk pit road.

12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?

I used to travel for work a lot and would plan some of my trips to coincide with race weekends for tracks we didn’t usually attend. I visited places like Richmond, New Hampshire and Talladega that way. The people I worked with would figure I was coming to town because it was race weekend! It’s now easer for me to name the tracks I haven’t been to than the ones I have. 

Fan Profile: Jay Bobele

These 12 Questions-style fan profiles are one of the rewards offered as a tier on my Patreon page. You can catch up on the other profiles so far this season here.

Name: Jay Bobele

Location: Manchester, Md.

Twitter name:  @JayboAF

Age:  50.

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1994.

2. How many races have you attended?

Wow…a ton! Probably 50 or so. I do about two to four races every year.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Mark Martin.

4. What made you a fan of his?

Class. When I started watching racing, he was the one really good driver that always showed class and raced people the same way they raced him. 

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Tough one. There’s a lot that I didn’t like initially, but do now (like the Busch brothers and Kevin Harvick). But the overall winner has got to be Robby Gordon.

6. Why didn’t you like him?

Because he acted like a petulant child WAY too many times. Since he left, he’s done some great things, but when he was driving in NASCAR, WOW could he be a jerk!

7. What is your favorite track?

It’s a tie between Daytona and Charlotte, but I haven’t been to Martinsville yet (until this weekend) and I have a feeling that is going to be awesome!

8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?

We have to structure it so that the small teams have a fighting chance. The way it’s set up today favors the large teams. I’m not sure how we do that. The charters help a bit, but winning and showing competitiveness is what brings in the money. And in the end, money is what makes the sport go round.

9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?

The elimination-style playoffs. That has worked VERY well!

10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?

Um…far too much!

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Hang in there! I know there’s a lot of changes going on, but I do believe some of these changes have to happen in order to bring in new fans and keep the sport relevant. If you like Jeff Gluck, you’ll also like Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass), who provides a ton of great in-race info that you won’t see or hear on the TV or radio.

12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?

That I’m a proud dad of two awesome girls, a husband to an amazing wife (who empowers me in unbelievable ways), a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant, and an excited small-business owner who loves racing and will do what I can to keep it moving!

Fan Profile: Emily Ellis

These 12 Questions-style fan profiles are one of the rewards offered as a tier on my Patreon page. You can catch up on the other profiles so far this season here.

Name: Emily Ellis

Location: Goochland, Va.

Twitter name: C1Triplee

Age: 43

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since my teens. I’ve been coming to Richmond since I was in high school, back when the Sawyer family owned the track.

2. How many races have you attended?

More than 30. I’ve only missed one Richmond race since 1989. 

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick.

4. What made you a fan of those drivers?

I was a Dale Jarrett fan. Somewhere in this house is my Ford Credit coat. So I’m a Ford fan, and I like Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick — which has taken some warming up over the years. But of course I like Junior, and not just because of the connection to the other 88 driver I rooted for.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Denny Hamlin.

6. Why don’t you like him?

Dislike is a strong word, but he’s not one of my favorites. I will say he has kind of matured, but he was rather obnoxious in his younger years. I just really didn’t care for some of his off-track behavior for several years. But I think he has kind of mellowed with age, as we all do.

7. What is your favorite track?

Talledega. It’s one of my favorite ones to watch and is at the top of my bucket list to go to. The campground parties and parades — that must be such an experience! And after watching Darlington throwback, it’s quickly climbing on my list of tracks I want to go to.

8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?

There hasn’t been a lot of consistency. There’ve been a lot of rule changes, but it’s like they’re throwing a lot of glitter at things to try and make it look shiny. They need to go back to basics. NASCAR boomed and got so big, it just couldn’t exist in the place it was. Now it’s maybe finding its footing a little bit, but there’s just so much change — restart zones and green-white-checkers and all these things. Let’s just go race and have fun and not try to make such a spectacle of things. They don’t need all the razzle-dazzle. Let’s settle on something and get back to basics.

9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?

The driver interaction with fans. That’s huge. Years ago, you’d just be walking around and here comes Benny Parsons. The down-to-earth drivers, that’s what the fans actually love — being able to connect with them.

10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?

Ha! Are you watching me? Actually, I don’t think I yell as often as I used to since I became a parent. I let my thumbs do the yelling these days on social media more than my mouth.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Social media has changed the game. Creating my own Twitter list is actually better than listening to the announcers. I add people who I find interesting and that’s the best thing. I’ve also made new friends that way.

12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?

I can’t really think of anything exciting to tell the world about me. I’m just a mom that likes NASCAR. I’m not that exciting.

Emily Ellis (center, blue dress) and her family. From left to right: Katie, Samantha, Emily, Wesley, Winn and Stuart. (Photo courtesy of Emily Ellis)