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
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?
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.
5. Who is your most disliked driver?
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.