Tuesday, July 3, 2012

From the Grandstands with Molly Horn

The passion NASCAR fans have is truly unique and shows just how much they love their sport as well as their favorite drivers. In this new column I go in-depth with fans to find out what is it about NASCAR and the drivers that makes them fan favorites.

For my first interview I introduce you to my best friend, Molly Horn. While she may not live in a state close to NASCAR races, it doesn’t stop her from being a passionate fan and supporting her drivers proudly!

Horn (left) and I at the June 2011 Kansas. It was her first race.
Lacy Keyser (LK): Your best friend (me) got you into NASCAR. What made you finally watch a race after I annoyed you with it for so long? How long have you been a fan of the sport? 

Molly Horn (MH): I had listened to Lacy drone on and on about NASCAR for almost 2 years. I got to thinking a lot about racing in the beginning of the 2010 season. I had a TV to myself, so I asked Lacy if there was a race on that day. She told me what time and what channel so I watched. When it was over I realized I really did enjoy it. I told Lacy that and she said to me, "That was just Nationwide! You haven't seen anything yet!" I watched the Cup race the next day and was hooked. Since then I watch when I can.

LK: Who are you favorite drivers? Why did you decide to root for those drivers?
MH: My favorite drivers are Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon. The first race I watched, I was asked who I was going to "root for." At that point all I had known about NASCAR is what Lacy had told me. I thought about Jeff Gordon first thing, but EVERYONE knows who Jeff Gordon is even if they don't watch NASCAR. I knew that Lacy detested Kyle Busch at that point, so I chose him to get her goat. After researching a little, and watching his racing style he became my favorite. He isn't vanilla, and neither am I. I think for a person to really be a fan of something you have to identify with it. I identify with both Kyle and Jeff, it’s as simple as that.

LK: Expanding on that, of all the drivers to choose as a favorite, why Kyle Busch? He isn’t exactly the overall fan favorite. And with Kyle being your favorite driver: Are M&Ms your favorite candy or something else? In what ways do you help support your favorite driver and teams? 

As I said in the previous question you need to identify with your driver. He isn't the fan favorite but honestly who is? Haters are everywhere and everyone is a critic, including fans. I've had multiple people come up to me, see my No. 18 Interstate Batteries hat and scowl. I don't mind though. When my dad was teaching me to drive he told me "if you let everyone pass, you'll never get anywhere." Kyle is in it to win it, so why should he let everyone pass?

On supporting Kyle and his team, I actually don't like M&M's. I own very few items of Kyle's gear that are M&M related. I usually go for the Interstate Batteries gear. I picked Kyle for Kyle, not his sponsor. That might sound inappropriate, but it’s the truth.

LK: Would you say you own a fair amount of your driver’s gear?

MH: I own a few different things, but I wouldn't call it a fair amount. I only have one large die-cast car of Kyle's. I own a few smaller ones. I wish I had more apparel to be honest. I enjoy being able to go out and show who I pull for.

LK: Do you think living in Colorado is somewhat of a challenge being a NASCAR fan? Since Colorado isn’t close to many NASCAR tracks?

I wouldn't necessarily call it a challenge, but of course it is more difficult for us than those in North Carolina. It's a task to find gear here, and if you do find it, is it up to date. Its easy to get jealous when you see someone who's close to a track get to go every time the race falls there, but its easy enough to plan ahead. Kansas is a 10-11 hour drive from here, and Phoenix is just as close.

LK: As a fan, how emotional do you get when your driver wins (or loses) a race? On the same note, how emotional do you get when your driver is involved in a wreck?

MH: I'm a competitive person when I want to be. When Kyle wins I'm the kind of fan that runs through the house yelling "BOO-YA!" at my dad. (who is a fan of Jimmie Johnson) Losing is a different story. If it was neck and neck with another driver and he loses, I'm not happy. Although, if I know he tried his best in a race and he finishes in the top ten I'm pretty well pleased. His car just wasn't as good as the other guys.

With wrecks I'm understanding unless it was intentional. When someone takes him out for no reason or for retaliation I get really angry, almost to the point of not finishing the race. I'm all for "boys have at it," but I don't know anyone who wants to see their driver taken out of a race.

Molly made this pumpkin one Halloween In celebration of
Kyle Busch getting the Bristol  Sweep.
LK: What is the favorite memory you have being a NASCAR fan?

MH: I have a couple different favorites. Race-wise, when Kyle pulled off the Bristol Sweep, I was extremely excited. The day Jeff Gordon finally broke his winless streak in the 2011 season also made me happy as a clam.

LK: What's the origination of your Twitter handle? 

MH: This story is actually pretty lame. I've never been very good at coming up with names for handles. I like the first letter of words to match in stuff like that. One day I got to thinking about it and figured one of my favorite bands is Mindless Self Indulgence. My name is Molly, so @mindlessmolly was born.

LK: Where are favorite tracks to either watch or visit? Why do you like those particular tracks?

MH: I love all the short tracks. I also love watching the Richmond and Las Vegas races. I can’t choose a track that's my favorite to visit since I've only been to the Kansas race. I love the short tracks because they are so exciting. Close-together action is the best in my opinion.


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