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
1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?
2. How many races have you attended?
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?
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.