Fan Profile: Tara from Virginia

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: Tara (last name withheld at Tara’s request)

Location: Virginia

Age: Mid-30s

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

About eight years.

2. How many races have you attended?

Ten.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Ryan Blaney,

4. What made you a fan of his?

I love Ryan and all the new kids — Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, etc. Their energy and skills are refreshing. I love to see NASCAR adapt to the times, rather than being hidebound by that gruff good ol’ boy image from the old days.

These kids take their craft seriously; they are incredible drivers with a lot of talent and focus. But they’re also just FUN. I found the Nicktoons channel simply to watch Bubba and Blaney’s segment on Karsyn Elledge’s show Hammer Down. Watching them goof around never ceases to crack me up.

And that’s good! Sports should be fun! I really hope the NASCAR powers that be recognize what they have in those guys and use it to the fullest.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kevin Harvick.

6. Why don’t you like him?

He comes off as such a jerk. I’m not alone in this; he even seems to know it. There’s a headline on KevinHarvick.com that reads “Kevin Harvick’s goal: try not to be a jerk.” The only likable things about him to me are his wife and his kid.

7. What is your favorite track?

Richmond. I LOVE Richmond. Dennis Bickmeier is easily one of the smartest executives in all of sports, and his approach to running races is phenomenal. I love the friendly, pro-fan environment there. Everyone should come to Richmond for a race. EVERYONE.

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

I’d institute some sort of luxury tax or other profit-sharing mechanism between the mega-teams and the small teams. I don’t know exactly what it would look like, and I think some of the recent rule changes are tiny steps toward evening out the playing field.

But haves vs. have-nots is going to continue to be an issue in the next few years, and if NASCAR wants to stay strong, it should consider taking strong action to balance out the money.

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

I’ve always loved how dedicated people in NASCAR are to teaching fans about the sport. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is an INCREDIBLE learning experience — it really deepened my understanding of the entire industry. The broadcasters, especially the ex-crew chiefs like Larry McReynolds and Steve Letarte, are phenomenal resources for learning what’s going on. I hope that never goes away.

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

Depends on how often Harvick does something good. 🙂

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

I came to NASCAR fandom somewhat late in life, unlike my husband, who grew up loving Mark Martin and Davey Allison. So my advice would be more tailored to the “fans-in-law” out there, people who got into NASCAR through a loved one’s passion for it.

NASCAR is this great blend of competitive spirit, technology and personality. There’s a depth and breadth of fandom available to you far beyond just pulling for a team or a person. It’s a fantastic family interest. My husband and I have spent so much great quality time around NASCAR, and it’s something I never saw coming. So embrace your “fan-in-law” status. You’ll find something to love about the sport no matter what your interests are.

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

I’m from Alabama originally. For the longest time, I ran away from the idea of liking NASCAR because of the stereotypes associated with the sport. But when I started going to races — Richmond in particular — I saw what the folks reading this already know: this is a great, diverse community full of people from all walks of life. (Seriously, come to a race at Richmond! You will have the best time!) It’s been so much fun learning to love racing. I’m thrilled that Jeff has built this new community for us to come together and share our fandom. It’s really something special. See y’all out at the track!

Fan Profile: Andrew Headley

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: Andrew Headley

Location: Fort Mill, S.C.

Twitter name: @nikonshots1

Age: 37.

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1990.

2. How many races have you attended?

I’ve attended 12 races.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. What made you a fan of his?

My dad.  We used to watch good ol’ No. 3 run laps on Sundays.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kyle Busch.

6. Why don’t you like him?

Kyle’s domination in the Xfinity Series has carried over to drive my distaste of him in the Cup Series.

7. What is your favorite track?

Bristol Motor Speedway.

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

Make the racing more competitive.

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

The infield experience.  Between camping, the “circus” and everything else that goes on during a race weekend, nothing in America tops it.

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

Approximately every 30 minutes.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Attend the Coke 600 over Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway to truly experience how to honor our veterans.  Follow @DaleJr and @Keselowski on Twitter to get a true depiction of how “normal” and down to earth the drivers are. Rent a bus from Star Coach and camp on the infield during a race weekend. 

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

I’m working daily to raise our three sons to be NASCAR fans! 

Fan Profile: Kendra Corneliusen

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: Kendra Corneliusen
Location: Kansas City metro area
Twitter name: @kcorneliusen

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1994.

2. How many races have you attended?

I’ve attended 15 races.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

It’s been Brad Keselowski for the last five years.

4. What made you a fan of his?

His tenacity and go get ’em attitude.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Tony Stewart.

6. Why didn’t you like him?

He gave the appearance that he was above everyone else. He let his emotions get the most of him and didn’t race with respect for the sport.

7. What is your favorite track?

Kansas Speedway of the ones I’ve visited, but Pocono is on my list.

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

Certainly not the new rules that were announced this year. It’s made for an interesting year for sure!

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

The ability for one team to only have a certain number of cars. That way, it gives everyone a chance and there’s not one MAJOR player in the sport.

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

It depends on if I am watching the race alone or with others.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Just enjoy it. The sport is great if you can get past your “friends” mocking your love for the sport of left turns.

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

Enjoy life each day — I do!

Fan Spotlight: Bob Morris

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: Bob Morris
Location: Bullhead City, Ariz.
Twitter name: (Bob doesn’t use Twitter)
Age: Old

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1976.

2. How many races have you attended?

Ten.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. What made you a fan of his?

He’s a true old-school racer and not full of himself.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Rowdy Busch.

6. Why don’t you like him?

He is the opposite of the answer to No. 4.

7. What is your favorite track?

Talladega.

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

I would like more night races, like at our local tracks.

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?

Depends on the track. When the races are at tracks of one mile or less, I yell constantly. Other tracks, not so much.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Attend at least one race in the front row on the straightaway! Nothing like it.

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

I prefer beer to wine and trucks to cars.

Fan Profile: Shaun Gilmer

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: Shaun Gilmer

Location: Pleasant Grove, Ala. — just outside of Birmingham.

Twitter name: allofthepeople

Age: 31

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

As long as I can remember. I grew up around it.

2. How many races have you attended?

More than I can count. I have been going anywhere from a couple to a half-dozen race weekends a year for most of my life — for both work and play.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

All time: Davey Allison. Now: Kyle Larson.

4. What made you a fan of those drivers?

Actually, they are both connected. I was raised and still live around Hueytown, Ala. Knowing someone from my very own backyard could make it big in something inspired me.

My grandmother, who raised me, always loved Bobby Allison — so it all just came naturally. Ironically, I now work for him (as the new media manager for Bobby Allison Racing), so you could say things have come full circle.

After Davey’s passing, I stuck with the Texaco Havoline branding (as a fan) and ended up with the Ganassi No. 42 car and never left.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

I have too many friends in the sport, so I’d rather not say. Ha! They are a top active driver though.

6. Why don’t you like that person?

The past and current behavior they have shown toward me and others.

7. What is your favorite track?

Past NASCAR affiliated track: Birmingham International Raceway. Current: Talladega.

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

I would find a way to better make the traditionalist fans understand that the sport has to evolve to survive.

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

Make sure the fan access never changes.

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

Ha! A couple of times per race, at least.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Give change a chance. “The way it was” would not keep us in business. Be open-minded.

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

One of the things I am most proud of is being given the Key to the City of Hueytown as a child for trying to help build an Alabama Gang Museum. I still hope one day we can.

Shaun Gilmer, left (in 44 hat), stands with Brian Scott at a Talladega race. Gilmer previously worked with Scott as a new media manager. (Photo courtesy of Shaun Gilmer)

Fan Profile: Bob Vick

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: Bob Vick
Location: Morristown, Tenn.
Twitter name: @oxybob
Age: 55

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

 Since 1970.

2. How many races have you attended?

Around 200, if you include all three series.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. What made you a fan of his?

I started following him when the family was racing at Myrtle Beach.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kurt Busch.

6. Why don’t you like him?

His past actions, but I pretty much like all the drivers.

7. What is your favorite track?

Bristol Motor Speedway.

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

I’d add a road course to the playoffs.

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

The championship weekend with four drivers that can win in each series. I was there last year, and it was great fun!

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

Not regularly, but it does happen. Actually, it happens more often when the Tennessee Volunteers are playing!

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

At the track, scanners are mandatory. A headset with an intercom is great for talking to the people with you at places like Bristol.

Also, I use Twitter during the event. Good follows for me so far include Jeff Gluck, Claire B. Lang, Bob Pockrass, DeLana Harvick, Jim Utter, Steve Letarte, nascarcasm, The Orange Cone and my favorite teams.

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

I am a very passionate fan and have been for a long time. I love seeing our sport grow and evolve. Bristol is my closest and favorite track. I really also enjoy how the tracks are doing things such as concerts and other events to add value to the race experience.

Bob Vick of Morristown, Tenn., at his favorite track — Bristol Motor Speedway. (Courtesy of Bob Vick)

Fan Profile: Erin Martin

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: Erin Martin
Location: Winnetka, Calif.
Twitter name: @Jrsgr88stfan
Age: 48

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1985.

2. How many races have you attended?

I’ve attended 20 races at Fontana — including this year — and one at Dover.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Dale Jr.

4. What made you a fan of his?

This might be blasphemy, but I wasn’t a Dale Sr. fan; I was a Mark Martin fan. When Dale Jr. started driving, there was just something about him I liked. Maybe it was the bleached blonde hair — I don’t know. I loved how Dale Sr. interacted with Dale Jr.; it was endearing. After Dale Sr. died, that was it, and I became even more dedicated to what is now Junior Nation.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kyle Busch.

6. Why don’t you like him?

In 2008, Dale Jr. was leading the race at Richmond, and Kyle just wrecked him. I will never get past that moment. I won’t buy M&Ms, Interstate batteries, Doublemint gum or Pedigree dog food.

7. What is your favorite track?

Bristol.

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

I would make the races shorter. People consume sports differently now. It takes a lot to sit in front of the TV for three-plus hours to watch a race. If I wasn’t so invested in Dale Jr., I’m not sure I would sit there for three hours each week.

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

Please keep the road course races. The last couple of years, those have been the most exciting races. And for me to say that is HUGE, because I have always disliked the road courses. But man, they have been good the last few years.

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

If Junior is leading, I yell a whole lot and I pace back and forth. I feel like I drive every lap with him.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

My advice would be look beyond the driver. I have become a fan of the 88 team as well. There are a whole lot of people who work their guts out to get that car on the track each week. When you see them, acknowledge them, thank them and let them know you see them.

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

I’m not only Dale Jr.’s greatest fan, I’m Jeff Gluck’s greatest fan! (She made me keep this in there.)