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.

Fan Profile: Paul Baker

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:  Paul Baker

Location:  New York

Twitter name: pauljbaker79

Age: 38

1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?

Since 2008.

2. How many races have you attended?

Three.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Kyle Busch.

4. What made you a fan of his?

I moved to the U.S. from England in 2008 for work, so I was intrigued by the sport coming in. My lucky number is 18 — and who doesn’t like candy? As I got more interested in the races, the more I heard his name. Then I started listening to the team radio and I found the blow-ups entertaining to listen to. So I guess the reason everyone else hates on Kyle is the reason I like him. I’ve learned more listening to Kyle and Tony on the radio than I have through any other medium.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

I honestly don’t have one.

6. Why not?

I’m a fan of the 18 and I hope he wins whatever race he enters. But I have a lot of respect for all the drivers. What they can do blows my mind. Driving a car inches from each other at hundreds of miles an hour is insane.

7. What is your favorite track?

Growing up watching cars going left and right, I’m going to go with Watkins Glen or Sonoma.

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

More transparency around the post-race penalties. Everyone wants to jump on the guy who fails, but are we talking a fraction of an inch or a blatant attempt at cheating?

Also, give the drivers a cooling-off period after the race. I know if I have a shitty day at work, the last thing I would want is a camera in my face asking why the day sucked. I get that the raw emotion makes good TV, but the better story surely comes from a clear thought.

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

The access fans get to the teams and drivers. The pits/garages are a mess of people on race day, but it’s unlike the access you get to sportspeople in any other sport around the world.

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

If the 18 is leading with 10 to go, I’m on my feet pacing (I almost wore out the floor during Homestead 2015) — but I don’t yell.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans? 

I feel I should be asking them for advice still. I guess if anyone hasn’t been to a race, they absolutely should. The races I’ve been to have been some of the best days of my life. And to hear the cars at the green flag — words can’t describe it.

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

I’m a Kyle Busch fan — not Kyle Busch. So if you see me at a race with the shirt and cap, go easy on the cursing at me!

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 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: 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)