Fan Profile: Jeremy Vitt

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: Jeremy Vitt

Location: Waco, Texas

Twitter name: @vitt32

Age: 29

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 1994.

2. How many races have you attended?

Around 20.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Jeff Gordon and now Chase Elliott.

4. What made you a fan of those drivers?

I grew up as a Jeff Gordon fan. My grandfather was working for Goodyear and we used to go to many a dirt race. He told me this kid from Indiana was the best Midget racer he ever saw and that I should become a fan. Needless to say, the 24 didn’t disappoint.

I’ve followed Chase for awhile, as a friend of mine is from near Dawsonville, Ga., and I’ve visited numerous times. We actually watched Chase one time in a go kart and talked to him when he was probably 10 or 12 years old. I’ve also met members of the Elliott family, and they are such a great racing family and seem very humble.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Jimmie Johnson.

6. Why don’t you like him?

First off, Jimmie is an amazing person and is one of the most humble and gracious winners I have seen.  But from a racing standpoint, I dislike him because he has without a doubt taken away many wins and probably a championship or two from Jeff Gordon. I view it probably how Dale Earnhardt Sr. fans felt about Jeff coming into the sport in the mid 90’s. I’ve always felt that Jimmie hasn’t done a great job of acknowledging that without Jeff, he would quite possibly never had a chance at Cup, let alone a chance with the infrastructure Hendrick has provided. With that being said, I have met Chad Knaus, Earl Barban and Jimmie before, and they were incredibly down to earth and seemed like great people.

A quick funny story: When I met Chad, I was working for University of Kansas athletics at the time, where there is quite the tradition when it comes to basketball. Chad and I were talking about what I do for the sports teams and how they are similar to his race team. He mentioned he thought we had a great football team and had no clue that KU had a basketball team! He then reminded me all he did was eat, sleep and s–t racing. Makes sense why those two have been incredibly successful!

7. What is your favorite track?

Darlington. Can’t beat the history of that track and the uniqueness.

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

Pick a point system and rules package and stick with it for a while. Minor changes are surely needed every now and again, but as fans we can’t get accustomed to one package for very long before it changes again. I’m in the minority, but I loved the old points system! I know it’s never coming back, though, and I think what we have now is the second-best option.

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

The accessibility of the drivers. I have noticed a difference through the years as teams become less and less available, but for the most part drivers still go out of their way to sign and greet fans.

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

Not a bunch, really. I’m a pretty low-key guy, but when Jeff had a chance to win at Martinsville a couple of years ago, I was pacing around the living room.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Just be involved. Racing to me isn’t a sport; it’s a lifestyle. I don’t mean that to be a cliche, but it truly is. I work in the athletic world, and I love the stick and ball sports such as football, basketball and baseball. But racing is completely different. Get involved with going to appearances and getting to the track early and supporting your driver’s sponsor when you can. The NASCAR community truly is one big family and we as fans play a very important role in that family. 

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

My one fun fact about myself and the NASCAR world is that I have sung the national anthem a few times at Kansas Speedway and was able to do it for a Cup race. It was an amazing experience and I was able to meet many a driver and team members.

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)

Fan Profile: Justin Bukoski

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: Justin Bukoski

Location: Portland, Ore.

Twitter name: @justinbukoski

Age: 44

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

It’s sort of a long story, actually. I grew up in North Carolina but was never a NASCAR fan. When I joined the Army, one of my buddies was a huge Formula 1 fan and I got hooked on it. Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning at Daytona in 2001 after his dad died almost got me hooked, but it wasn’t until Juan Pablo Montoya made the switch to NASCAR that I became a fan. As an F1 snob, I was sure he would show NASCAR what a real driver could do.

2. How many races have you attended?

Three.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Dale Jr.

4. What made you a fan of his?

He won Daytona after his dad died and then the win after 9/11 made me a fan even though I wasn’t a NASCAR fan at the time. Once I got to see his interviews, he reminded me of my friends I grew up with. It’s hard not to like that guy.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

I can’t say I dislike them but I don’t like the way Joey Logano and Ryan Newman drive sometimes.

6. Why is that?

I dislike when Newman has a car that’s 5 mph slower than the car that’s trying to pass him, yet he still makes it as hard a possible for them to pass. It’s blocking, not racing. Logano causes a lot of wrecks. He doesn’t always make contact with people, but he puts people in situations that get them wrecked. I don’t like that and he doesn’t need to do it to win. Kyle Busch used to do that.

7. What is your favorite track?

Martinsville.

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

More short tracks and a smaller field; 36 cars are more than enough.

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

The access you get to the pits and drivers. Nothing else like it in sports.

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

Ha! More than once, but less than 10. I’ll have to count now!

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Have an open mind to changes. Also, take a non-fan to a race with you. And if you haven’t checked out Raceview do yourself a favor. You’ll never DVR the race again.

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

Me? Nothing. But I do want NASCAR to know there are fans up here in the Pacific Northwest. Don’t give up on bringing a race up here (just make it a short track, please!).

Fan Profile: Cindy Farr

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: Cindy Farr

Location: Chandler, Ariz.

Twitter name:  @azjrfan88

AgeOlder than dirt!!

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since the 1970s.

2. How many races have you attended?

Around 55.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

4. What made you a fan of his?

His dad.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Joey Logano.

6. Why don’t you like him?

I’m still mad at him over the Matt Kenseth deal.

7. What is your favorite track?

Actually Phoenix, because it’s my home track!

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

Allow more leeway for teams to tweak their cars’ chassis to try and gain and advantage. Lift some of those tight restrictions.

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

I would have kept the Daytona 500 the same and not put stages in it.

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

A lot. Usually because there are too many commercials (I get it, but I don’t like it.) And when my driver wrecks or gets wrecked.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Camp out at the track.

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

I loved NASCAR when it wasn’t “cool.” I miss the down home feel of races. It’s so corporate nowadays. When I see so many dresses and heels or suits and ties at the track, it makes my jaw hurt. I’d love to be at those corporate VIP events dressed in my driver T-shirt, comfy jeans, sneakers and hat, walking through the garage area!

Fan Profile: Justin Rector

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: Justin Rector

Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Twitter name: @joostinrextin

Age: 25

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since I was old enough to be trusted not to ingest my Racing Champions diecasts as a toddler. (So 1993, I’ll guess)

2. How many races have you attended?

Sixteen races across the top three series entering this season; 17 if you count being in my mother’s womb while she attended Rockingham.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Landon Cassill.

4. What made you a fan of his?

After he was dropped by Hendrick, I really admired how he made the most out of his situation by keeping his head up and delivering solid results for smaller teams like Phoenix and TRG. As time went on, I found him on social media and his presence is great. I love the humor he brings to it. He’s near my age, so that’s cool. I admire his fitness regimen and his dedication to living a healthy active lifestyle. Finally, those paint schemes he had on the Hillman 40 car were some of my all-time favorites, especially the 2014 CRC Fiberlock scheme he ran. It’s great to see him constantly grow and improve as a driver.

Justin Rector poses with his favorite driver, Landon Cassill. (Photo courtesy of Justin Rector)

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Clint Bowyer.

6. Why don’t you like him?

Richmond 2013 left a bad taste in my mouth. However, it was his attitude during the 2016 season that really did it in for me. He may not have been in the best of situations, but demeaning his team and the equipment they provided him showed a lot of his true colors to me. He was sort of the anti-Landon when it came to how he handled his time with HScott. Thus I feel he’s undeserving of the ride with Stewart-Haas Racing and look forward to a more appreciative driver taking over the No. 14 ride.

7. What is your favorite track?

Off what I’ve seen in person, Talladega can’t be beat. Watkins Glen, however, is the race I most look forward to on the schedule.

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

This is a beaten drum, but the schedule’s lack of road courses is what I’d have to fix if I was in charge. I understand the tracks are locked into contracts and there’s little to no room for expansion on the schedule. Thus, the idea going around of NASCAR running rovals at places like Charlotte and Indianapolis would pacify the situation until the current deal with the tracks has expired. So, to sum that up, fall Charlotte and Indianapolis would both become road course events. (Editor’s note: Justin wrote this response before the Charlotte roval became a reality.)

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

Honestly, I’m excited for the current set of rules that have been set forth and I wouldn’t touch that. I love the idea of stages and adding points. The Chase bonus points continuing on through each round should have been implemented when the current Chase was introduced in 2014.

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

I’m not much of a homebody, so I listen to a lot of MRN and PRN radio. That being said, I have been known to yell and cheer and groan the further into a race it goes. So I’ll say I yell as necessary.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

Pick a race at a track you have always wanted to go to but have never attempted to go for whatever reason and make a list of reasons why you CAN make it happen in the next year. Over the past year, I’ve attended several tracks I’ve always wanted to see (Darlington, Martinsville, Talladega) and plan to add more in the next year (Watkins Glen, Homestead, Daytona) thanks to doing extensive research on how to go as cheap as possible. My student ID gets me discounted tickets to some places as I discovered last year, but that was just one of many different ticket deals I found (military discount, family packages, etc). Tent camping is also fairly inexpensive and serves its purpose: a place to sleep in between races and drinking beverages. Don’t let a high hotel bill be your reason for not attending a race. Go online to the speedway’s website, call their ticket office and speak to someone, do your research and you can find some great deals to get to your new favorite track.

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

I firmly believe that Regan Smith won the 2008 fall Talladega race and don’t tell me otherwise.

Fan Profile: ANNOYING RACE FAN

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: ANNOYING RACE FAN

Location: SOMEWHERE IN WESTERN PA

Twitter name: ARF. THAT IS SHORT FOR @ANNOYINGRACEFAN

Age: 37 YEARS OF AGE, JEFF

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

SINCE 1998 WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE. MY FRIEND HAD THE NASCAR GAME FOR NINTENDO 64 AND WE PLAYED IT ALL THE TIME. I THEN STARTED WATCHING THE NASCAR RACES ON TV.

2. How many races have you attended?

I LOST COUNT AFTER FOUR

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

(LEANS BACK IN CHAIR TO THINK) HMM…KERRY. THE OTHER EARNHARDT

4. What made you a fan of his?

NOBODY ELSE LIKED HIM, SO I FELT BAD FOR HIM. PLUS HIS MUSTACHE BACK IN THE DAY WAS PRETTY AWESOME.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

WHOEVER WRECKS JUNIOR! THEY DID IT ON PURPOSE!

6. Why don’t you like that person?

HARD-HITTING QUESTIONS, JEFF. IN ALL HONESTY, JEFF, I DON’T DISLIKE ANY DRIVERS. I JUST ENJOY WATCHING TEH RACING EVERY WEEK. (Editor’s note: Annoying Race Fan often writes “the” as “teh.”)

7. What is your favorite track?

(PONDERS) I LIKE THE TRACKS THAT LIKE ME. BUT I DON’T WANT TO MAKE ANY TRACKS FEEL BAD.

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

THIRTY RACES IN A SEASON — 20 REGULAR SEASON RACES AND 10 PLAYOFF RACES, BUT THE PLAYOFF RACES WOULD BE AT TRACKS NOT ON THE REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE. FREE POPCORN, TOO.

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

THE FLAGMAN. I’D FEEL BAD IF I PUT THOSE GUYS OUT OF BUSINESS. FLAG-WAVING IS A LOST ART THESE DAYS.

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

(BLANK STARE) PEOPLE SAY I YELL ALL OF THE TIME, BUT I JUST THINK THEY ARE HARD OF HEARING.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

OUTSTANDING QUESTION, JEFF. EAT LOTS OF PIZZA. ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE IF YOU EVER GO TO A RACE. TAKE THE TIME TO TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE AT THE RACE. CREATE MEMORIES. TWEET-UPS! GO TO TWEET-UPS. YOU GET TO MEET OTHER PEOPLE FROM TWITTER. AND FOR A GOOD TIME ON TWITTER, FOLLOW @ANNOYINGRACEFAN.

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

BEHIND THE TWITTER FACADE OF ANNOYING RACE FAN IS A TENDER INDIVIDUAL WHO JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED AND ACCEPTED.