What’s Next

Dear Friends,

When I told you on Friday it was my last day with USA Today, there was a lot of speculation about why and what was next. Well, I’m here to give you those answers.

It might seem surprising/crazy/borderline insane to leave a great job voluntarily, but that’s what I did. Ultimately, it came down to this: USA Today needs a NASCAR writer in Charlotte, but I might not live in Charlotte for much longer.

My wife, Sarah, is trying to become a Child Life Specialist (someone who works in a children’s hospital and helps sick kids and their families). She’s currently doing an internship in New Mexico, and she’ll be able to look for jobs after she’s finished in May. It’s a no-brainer for me to support her career and I need to have the flexibility to relocate, because who knows where we’ll end up?

It also seemed obvious that it would be a jerk move to leave USA Today hanging in the middle of the season. What if Sarah gets a job at the start of the Chase and I leave them shorthanded? That wouldn’t be very professional, so this was the right time in order to give them a chance to replace me before the season.

So where does that leave us? Believe it or not, right here. This is my new home for NASCAR coverage.

Let me explain:

My plan is to start a reader-funded NASCAR website and podcast. I will work directly for you, write only about what I think interests you and won’t waste your time with things that don’t. There won’t be any clickbait because, if this works, my income won’t depend on pageviews.

— You can help me by giving small contributions through my Patreon page. Patreon is like a GoFundMe site, except it’s monthly; it offers a chance for people to support someone’s work by becoming a “patron.” So if enough people pledge a small amount (say $2 a month, the cost of one USA Today), I could keep covering NASCAR for a living and hopefully still travel to races.

— This will not be a subscription site. I thought for a long time about this, but I don’t want to put my NASCAR coverage behind a paywall. That would punish the people who might not be able to afford to pitch in, and I’d rather you just be able to give what you’re comfortable with (even if that’s nothing). However, I tried to offer some modest rewards which I hope will express my thanks to you for investing in me (you’ll see those on the Patreon page).

So there you have it. There’s no magic job waiting for me. As Carl Edwards said in his retirement news conference: “There’s no life raft I’m jumping onto — I’m just jumping.”

I’ll be honest: This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done — I gave up a solid income, health insurance, travel budget, etc. — but it’s also the most exciting. I’m totally comfortable with the decision and it would be an absolute dream to make a living while remaining independent.

I don’t know if this will work, but I guess we’ll all find out at the same time!

If you’d like to learn more about how to keep me employed and watch a video I made about all this, please visit my Patreon page.

35 Replies to “What’s Next”

  1. Help fans get deals on race tickets?

    Try to appeal to the demographic that chugs energy drinks.

    Include a glossary of all the jargon used by media announcers:

    “pit road closed”

    Appear often on SXM90 to talk up your site?

    Include a “new fans” tab.

    Good luck, Gluck!

  2. The best of luck to you Jeff. Have always appreciated your columns and answering my questions on Twitter. If things don’t work out, I am sure there will be someone that will grab you up in a heart beat. Again, best of luck!!

  3. I respect your decision Jeff and I’m glad your jumping! I wish I could but need the income, I’ve always wanted to work in NASCAR doing media stuff but my path just didn’t go down that way. I still find myself thinking about it from time to time. Good luck whenever the road may lead and good luck to Sarah as well!

  4. All the best to you Jeff. In 2006 I gave up everything just like you are. No life Raft…I just jumped. I had a great job, benefits, etc…but I wasn’t following my passion. Best decision I ever made!

    Your path is going to unfold & develop exactly as you envision it.

    Keep us posted.

    Best wishes!

  5. Jeff,
    I follow GetGermanized which is doing exactly what you describe.
    His site is to teach people about Germany and the language. But his videos are free and he seeks financial support through various means. Take a look at his site or even contact him to get ideas on running a site like what you describe. Can’t hurt.

  6. Good for you Jeff. Always one step ahead. If you raise enough will you attend most races and keep up the tweet-ups?

  7. I’m so glad it will be podcast based. I always looked forward to your podcasts and for me it is one of my favorite ways to get Nascar information and insights

  8. This is very grave thing to do… best of luck and I truly hope for your success!

  9. Jeff make sure to look into Google Adsense or the like – you get paid for views – people don’t have to click – you can make some good money. Very excited for you, best of luck!

  10. Good for you. It takes a gr88t man to support his wife this way, Congrats on your new adventure.

  11. That’s fantastic of you to support her!! The job as a child life specialist is a selfless, always giving, under appreciated and draining but rewarding profession. Ours are working long hours for small pay with a big degree, while others ask them the “play” with the child or “watch” the patient. When there is a ton more to it. God bless and good luck to the both of you and your family!!!

  12. I think you will have more freedom to give your honest opinion not subject to USA Today approval. I will pay for a few months to see if I like what you’re offering. Been with you 5 years.

  13. Been a longtime on twitter, and I have loved your coverage! Your articles actually inspired me to write for online websites etc. your passion for the sport was refreshing to find when it seemed like most writers were just writing for NASCAR cause it’s their job. I’m really excited for this website and to see what’: next for you!

  14. Way to go, it’s tough to make the leap of faith but worth the struggle. Email if you need someone to lift heavy things or buy coffee ☕️

  15. Congratulations and good luck on stepping out there. Are you going to set up a e-mailing list? I would definitely get in on the funding page if I was getting updates on the big stories.

  16. Jeff, congrats on the new endeavor! I think it is great that you are so supportive of your wife and that you two are able to work together for a solution that would be beneficial to the both of you! Good luck!

  17. Good luck. I hope it works, your the best and don’t retweet everybody’s stuff. Will try to help ad I can.

  18. Congrats Glucky. It ain’t like you’re moving back to the I.E. Best of luck to you and yours. You’re going to be fine.

  19. Congrats Jeff… This is exciting! I was worried the announcement would take you away from NASCAR :-(. Looking forward to more great content and laughs :-).

  20. Good Luck. I have a story idea for you. I love this sport. I grew up at short tracks on Saturday nights and love to learn every aspect of the sport. One area the regular media misses or glosses over is the spotter. I want to know more. What gear do they have or allowed to have? What is their day like? Do they stand near teammate spotters? Assigned spots? What about sun, heat, rain? What do they do when not at the track? Please open this area of the sport up to the fans!

  21. I’ve got so many .coms popping in my head ????????????


  22. All the best, Jeff. I’ve enjoyed your work from multiple angles — when I was in your end of the media center, at the front of the media center and now that I’m out of the media center entirely. NASCAR is lucky to have someone like you covering their events.

  23. I’m so proud of you for doing this to support and be there for your wife. It says a lot about how selfless you are. Will do my best to help as I can. Agree or disagree on an article, always have respected what you’ve written. Good luck to you and the wife!!

  24. Always respected your coverage of NASCAR, and thought of you as a stand up kinda guy. You proved it right here supporting your wife and not wanting to leave your employer in a pinch should you move. Will be looking forward to your next chapter. Good Luck!

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