This is part of a series of fan profiles that were offered as a reward on my Patreon page. Due to higher-than-expected demand, that reward has been temporarily discontinued.
Name: Nate Ulery
Location: Arlington Heights, Ill.
Twitter name: @UleryNate
1. How long have you been a NASCAR fan?
Since 1991, when I was 14 years old.
2. How many races have you attended?
3. Who is your No. 1 favorite driver?
4. What made you a fan of his?
I was a Rusty Wallace fan as a kid and then followed Tony Stewart. After they both retired, it wasn’t as much fun to watch races without a favorite so I decided I needed to pick one by the end of the 2017 season. It was great seeing Chase get competitive at the end of the season — especially with Denny Hamlin, so he became my favorite.
5. Who is your most disliked driver?
6. Why don’t you like that person?
I don’t like the way he drives — especially after what he did to Stewart at California and Matt Kenseth at Kansas.
7. What is your favorite track?
Bristol, historically — but the road courses may surpass it soon.
8. What is one thing you would change if you were in charge of NASCAR?
Change the playoffs so drivers aren’t tied going into the last race. The work the rest of the season and during the playoffs should give some advantage to a driver. I understand that isn’t the norm in other sports, but in other sports you don’t compete against all of the other teams every single week.
I would also like to see NASCAR be more inclusive by banning the Confederate Flag at all races and making it clear that racist behavior will get you permanently banned from all sanctioned events. More about my point of view on this topic is available at viewsfromthegrandstand.com.
9. What is one thing you would keep the same if you were in charge of NASCAR?
I wasn’t sure about stage racing when it was first announced, but I have grown to love it. It adds some real excitement to the race by giving drivers the incentive to race midway through the event.
10. How often do you yell at the TV during a race?
More than I should.
11. Do you have any advice for other fans?
Follow Brent Dewar and interact with him on Twitter. No other sport’s president engages fans like he does.
12. What else do you want the NASCAR world to know about you?
NASCAR has provided me a series of great experiences which is one of the reasons I love the sport and like talking about it. A few examples:
— When I was a kid, a family friend arranged for a personal tour of Petty Enterprises by Maurice Petty (Richard’s brother).
— As a teenager, I wrote the president of Talladega Superspeedway and volunteered my dad (a local church pastor) to give the invocation before the race. He called a few days later and asked my dad to give the prayer for the Fram Filters 500 Busch Grand National Race. We had pit passes and garage passes and were able to meet every driver in the field. My dad volunteered me to write an article about the experience for our local newspaper.
— After that article was published, the sports editor at my local paper received positive comments from his readers about having more NASCAR coverage and it coming from a teenager. Over the next six or eight years his staff showed me the ropes and throughout high school and college, I ended up covering about a dozen NASCAR, IndyCar and IROC races as a by-lined author for the Midland Daily News. The press corps was very accommodating to a young writer and really helped show me what to do. I loved it, but also knew it wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted with all of that travel, so supporting Jeff has become my way of seeing someone else live out my dream.