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.

Fan Profile: Sally and Bob Wichert

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.

Names: Sally and Bob Wichert
Location:  Citrus Heights, Calif.
Twitter name: @NorCalFanSal and @RobertWichert

1. How long have you been  NASCAR fans?

Bob has been a NASCAR fan since 1969. Sally has been a fan since 1995.

2. How many races have you attended?

Around 40.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Jeff Gordon, but he’s retired. So Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.

4. What made you a fan of those drivers?

Jeff was our local driver, he changed the face of NASCAR from being just a southern sport, he was good-looking, very fan friendly and knew how to beat Dale Earnhardt at his own game.

Kyle Larson is now our local driver and we’re also fans of Chase Elliott because he took over the No. 24 car.

5. Who is your most disliked driver?

Brad Keselowski is Bob’s most disliked; Clint Bowyer is Sally’s.

6. Why don’t you like those drivers?

Bob says Brad is snotty.

Sally says Clint is a smart aleck and a complainer. He’s not fun to listen to on the radio because he’s usually always mad about something. She doesn’t appreciate his humor either.

7. What is your favorite track?

Fontana has taken over in the past few years; Talladega is a close second.

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

The charter system is still a mystery. Make it transparent, along with the purse money. We really just want to know what the drivers make each race.

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

The lucky dog and double-file restarts.

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

Bob yells a lot. Sally yells whenever someone makes a bonehead move — either on the track or pit road that affects her driver’s position.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

If you’re at the track, go to the tweetup, get a FanView to enhance the experience and get seats high enough that you are able to see the entire track. Also, if you are able to obtain a hot pass for access to the garage, you won’t regret it.

If you’re at home, subscribe to RaceView on NASCAR.com for live data on track position and the speed of each car and to listen to in-car radios.

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

Bob likes to ride his motorcycle whenever he can. We are both dog lovers. Sally has Jeff Gordon’s Saturday Night Live guest host episode on VHS tape.

Bob and Sally Wichert are featured in this edition of the NASCAR fan profile. (Photo courtesy of the Wicherts)

Fan Profile: Scott and Teri Wilfong

This is the first in 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. To learn more about the benefits of becoming a patron, visit my Patreon page here.

Names: Scott and Teri Wilfong (formerly known as “Carl’s Crew”)
Location: Merritt Island, Fla.
Twitter names: @ScottWilfong and @TeriWilfong
Ages: Old

1. How long have you been NASCAR fans?

Since 2004.

2. How many races have you attended?

At least 50; we’ve never actually counted.

3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?

Carl Edwards.

4. What made you a fan of Carl?

Over the years, he got to know us pretty well. He always took the time to stop and say hello to us, would always wave to us from the car during practice and, above all, he truly valued us as fans. He had been that way from the first day we met him.

5. Who is your most disliked driver? 

Tony Stewart .

6. Why don’t you like Tony? 

This is one example of many. Before qualifying in Vegas several years ago, there were seven people in our group sitting on pit wall watching the drivers walking to their cars. Some drivers would wave, some would smile or say hello, while others actually walked over for photos and or autographs.

Scott’s sister was a Stewart fan at the time, but when he walked by — alone, not more than 10 feet from us — his response to her calls of, “Hi Tony, good luck!” was a cold, expressionless, straight-ahead stare. We had been to several races and seen this lack of acknowledgment from him before, unless there were cameras around. Scott’s sister, at that point, was a fan no more.

7. What is your favorite track?

Las Vegas.

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

Our pet peeve is the accessibility of hot/cold passes. There isn’t a single, true NASCAR fan that wouldn’t want to be able to walk the garage. But unless you’re an owner, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, pet, celebrity, media (hi, Jeff) or any number of other things we’re not, we have no chance.

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

The playoffs. It’s been pretty entertaining the past couple of years. Let’s see how this year goes with the changes to how a team can receive points.

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

During the FOX portion of the season, every time D.W. opens his mouth. No joke.

11. Do you have any advice for other fans?

At Las Vegas, the Neon Garage is an absolute must. Also, one thing we do that really adds to our race weekend is we like to stand where the cars go onto the track from the garage during practice. Some tracks let you stand fairly close, so you really get the feeling of power these cars have. Again, Vegas is our favorite for this. I hope they never change that.

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

We don’t feel we’re very interesting, so we can’t think of anything.

A Carl Edwards selfie with Teri and Scott Wilfong from the NASCAR banquet in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy of the Wilfongs)