Fan Spotlight is a new feature on our website that looks to honor some of the diehard NASCAR and racing fans that come to Kansas Speedway every year. If you’d like to be considered for the Fan Spotlight, please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject line Fan Spotlight.
For March, we’re spotlighting Jed Weathers. He’s been a ticketholder at Kansas Speedway since June of 2011 and is currently serving on our Fan Council. Originally from Los Angeles, California, he currently lives with his wife in Blue Springs, Missouri and has gone to over 40 races at multiple tracks.
Kansas Speedway (KS): Who is your favorite driver and why?
Jed Weathers (JW): Brad Keselowski. For years, I was a Jeff Gordon fan. But as his career kind of waned, I wanted to follow a driver who was a little more competitive and was younger because I knew Jeff was on his way out so that’s why I originally picked Brad back in 2014. The way he competes on the track makes me believe he’s one of the best wheelmen in the sport. I think he’s always giving 110 percent.
KS: What would you say to a NASCAR fan that doesn’t necessarily like Brad Keselowski and you are trying to convince him to be a Keselowski fan?
JW: What I would say is that he competes at a high level right on the edge, just like all the great drivers did like Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Tony Stewart. They weren’t liked by everybody but they also raced on the edge and they’re competitive. If Brad sees a hole, he’s trying to fit into that hole because he’s like “this is my space.” And he claims it. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and that’s why people don’t like him. But you have to look the fact that he’s competing for every spot and for every hole. I think he’s going to be one of the drivers that benefits from this new format. I think drivers that take chances, drive aggressively and that don’t get rattled, those are the drivers that are going to be racing for the championship at Homestead.
KS: When was your first race at Kansas Speedway?
JW: My first race was in June of 2011 and Brad Keselowski actually won that race! I’ve been to every race since then.
KS: What was your favorite NASCAR moment?
JW: In 2007, I was at Phoenix and Jeff Gordon won his 76th career race, which tied Dale Earnhardt on the all-time win list. As a Jeff Gordon fan, it was huge being there for that moment and then also seeing him honor Dale Earnhardt Sr. with the No. 3 flag on his victory lap.
KS: You had to choose a new driver because of your favorite driver leaving the sport. What are your thoughts on the new crop of talent that has entered the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the last two seasons?
JW: I have ultimate faith in the talent pool in NASCAR. I think it has proven itself with drivers like Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney. These guys are great drivers and I have faith in the sport that it will continue to be strong because of their personalities. They’re also involved in social media, you get more of a glimpse of their lives. The sport is going to continue to flourish.
KS: What do you enjoy the most about Kansas Speedway?
JW: So many things! My favorite thing is the actual venue. Whenever I come here, I compare it to the other tracks. From the moment you drive in you see the friendliness of the fans and the diversity of the fans all the way from tailgating to the walk in to the track.
I believe the racing on the track has gotten better and I think it’s gotten to the point where it’s really racey. But compared to other tracks, it’s just a different vibe. Also, there are so many things to do around the race track. You don’t feel like you’re driving out into the middle of nowhere like some tracks. Kansas Speedway is in close proximity to so many things. I love the way it is operated and maintained and it’s just a joy to come here every year.
KS: When did you get into racing?
JW: When I was a kid and I’m 48 now, my dad bought me a toy race track. This race track had a Richard Petty car. At the time, I didn’t know the difference as I was just playing with my race cars. One weekend, I’m watching TV and I see the No. 43 car. At that time, I didn’t realize there was racing and I didn’t know they really existed. From that moment, I started watching it! I didn’t go to any races until I was grown but that’s how I initially got interested in it. When I got in the Marine Corps, my Marine brothers were huge NASCAR fans and we started watching it together. When I was stationed in California, I started going out to Fontana. That’s when I seriously got into racing and NASCAR.
KS: Do you think there’s a special connection between NASCAR and the military?
JW: I don’t know if there’s so much a connection with the actual soldiers or military but there is something patriotic about NASCAR compared to other sports. One of the many reasons I like Brad Keselowski is him honoring the flag every time he wins. Also, his pit board is a flag. I give him extra respect for that.
KS: You meet someone who is coming to their first NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway, what advice do you give them?
JW: The No. 1 tip I’d give them is to rent a headphone scanner so you can follow along with the race. It’s a lot easier to follow listening to the radio broadcast or following along with your favorite driver. Whenever I bring someone to the track that is new, which I do frequently, I’m always handing out my scanners and telling them how to use it.
Also, remember to bring your own beverages and food. I’ve talked to a lot of people and they complain about the ticket prices. I’m like well, I understand ticket prices may be higher than say a baseball game but you can bring in your own beverages and it doesn’t have to be alcohol. This is a great tip for families, too.