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.)

Fan Profile: Robert Keplinger

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: Robert Keplinger
Location: Dallas, Texas
Twitter name: Captain_Bert
Age: 27

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

From 1995 to 1999 and then 2014 through today.

2. How many races have you attended?

As of the start of this year, 13 races.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Kyle Larson.

4. What made you a fan of Larson?

I like his dirt-racing background.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kevin Harvick.

6. Why don’t you like Harvick?

Dude just seems like a butt. But he’s my best friend’s driver, so I guess maybe that is why, too. I don’t really dislike him, but I won’t say that I am upset when something bad happens to his race.

7. What is your favorite track?

Homestead.

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

More short tracks.

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

The current trend back to more daytime races.

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

Only a couple times a race, if that.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Support your local racetracks.

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

Good question.

Fan Profile: Lee Anne Fuller

This is the latest in a series of 12 Questions-style NASCAR fan profiles, which is part of a reward tier on my Patreon page.

Name: Lee Anne Fuller
Location: Alexandria, Va. — but formerly Martinsville.
Twitter name: GFTLFAN (GTFL stands for “Go fast, turn left”)
Age: 58

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1976.

2. How many races have you attended?

Too many to count.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

If you’re talking about all time, it’s David Pearson. But now it’s Denny Hamlin.

4. What made you a fan of those drivers?

I became a Pearson fan after the finish of the 1976 Daytona 500. As for Denny, I was a Dale Jarrett fan — and when he retired, I picked Denny because he’s from Virginia.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

At one time it was Tony Stewart, but I got over it.

6. Why didn’t you like Stewart?

He was not a fan of my hometown track, so I wasn’t a fan of his.

7. What is your favorite track?

Martinsville Speedway.

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

Go back to the vendor trailers for driver merchandise. That big tent (the Fanatics tent) is a disappointment.

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

The interaction between drivers and fans.

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

So much that it’s embarrassing.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans? 

If you can’t attend the race or be somewhere to watch, then Twitter-watch it. The Twitter feeds are faster than TV sometimes anyway. It helps to follow a driver’s spouse or significant other on Twitter.

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

Even with all the rule changes and the playoff changes, when I hear the engines fire, smell the rubber coming off the tires, feel the thunder of those cars coming down the straightaway and see that green flag drop, I’m still a GFTL fan for life!

Lee Anne Fuller (Courtesy photo)

Fan Profile: Steven Lindon

This is part of a series of 12 Questions-style profiles of NASCAR fans. All of the people featured here are $25 or higher patrons on my Patreon page, which comes with this profile as a reward.

Name: Steven Lindon
Location: Saint Clair Shores, Mich.
Twitter name: @sclindon
Age: 41

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 2005.

2. How many races have you attended?

I’ve attended 15 Cup races, six or seven Xfinity races and six or seven Truck races.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Jeff Gordon, although I’ve adopted Chase Elliott as my new favorite.

4. What made you a fan of his?

My brother was a big fan of Gordon’s and he took me to my first race in 2005. I like who (Gordon) is as a person and he was a great driver.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kyle Busch.

6. Why don’t you like him?

He’s arrogant and cocky and a dirty driver.

7. What is your favorite track?

Good question. I’ve only actually been to two in person. Michigan is my home track, but sometimes those races get boring. I really enjoy Martinsville and hope to see a race there someday.

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

I’d make the races a little shorter. They should be three hours or less.

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

The fan access. No sport gives you the fan access that NASCAR does.

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

It depends where my driver is running. At least two or three times, but if the 24 is in the mix, it can go up exponentially.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

I would recommend going early enough to go to a tweetup. It’s very cool to meet other Twitter users who love NASCAR.

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

I’m married, we have a 14-year-old and I’m left-handed — just like Dale Jr.

Steven Lindon with me at the 2015 Homestead tweetup. (Photo courtesy of Steven Lindon)

Fan Profile: Billy Mashburn

This is part of a series of 12 Questions-style profiles of NASCAR fans. All of the people featured here are $25 or higher patrons on my Patreon page, which comes with this profile as a reward.

Name: Billy Mashburn
Location: Bakersfield, Calif.
Twitter name: @billy_mashburn
Age: 24

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

My entire life — since 1993.

2. How many races have you attended?

Three. My fourth will be next week at Fontana.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Kevin Harvick.

4. What made you a fan of that driver?

I grew up a Jeff Gordon fan, but in 2001, I became a Harvick fan. He is from Bakersfield. He grew up near where I grew up. He went to school with my mom, and I actually know his mom. We talked about his first win at Atlanta the day after it happened.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Kyle Busch.

6. Why don’t you like that person?

I have never liked his attitude. I wasn’t entirely fond of the fact that the Chase format allowed someone to miss multiple races and still win the championship.

7. What is your favorite track?

Bristol.

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

I do not like the final race being “straight up.” I am a fan of the new format because it rewards consistency once again, but being better at Homestead is still what will technically crown the champion.

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

Race lengths. The endurance required is one thing that makes the races so exciting. If they were much shorter, it would take away from that fact.

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

Quite often!

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Find people who love the sport. They may not love it at first, but if you see even an inkling of hope that they may grow to love NASCAR, cultivate that hope! Expose them to NASCAR as much as possible. You know how amazing NASCAR is, so it is just a matter of time before they know that as well.

And do not be discouraged by those who say it is “boring” or they are “just driving in circles.”

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

NASCAR has been my main passion my entire life. I love absolutely everything about it. Even as a young kid, I would spent countless hours on Jayski.com reading articles, trying to understand a new rule or looking at paint schemes.

I love NASCAR. I will never stop watching it. I love watching it, reading about it and talking about it with others.