By Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie
Here is a new feature where we will interview some of our loyal Final Lappers, so everyone can get to know them a little better. Our first subject is a passionate fan from Canada, Gail Delaney. Gail and I had a great chat, and we learn a lot about how fans in Canada consume the sport as well as who her favorite drivers are.
Enjoy! And if you’d like to be interviewed by us, go to patreon.com/thefinallap and make a donation.
Toby Christie: How did you hear about the final lap and how long have you listened to our show?
Gail Delaney: I have probably been listening for maybe two or three years, when I finally figured out on my ipad how to get all of the podcasts I liked, I had them all together. Then I can go see what’s new. I think I probably saw the first link on Twitter, then I listened and subscribed.
TC: Wow you’ve been listening to Kerry and I flapping our gums for two to three years?
TC: Wow, I’m so sorry. Who’s your favorite NASCAR driver?
GD: Well I’m a Team Penske person. I never thought that I would even care about a team, but in the last two years – I always liked Brad, because of Brad I joined Twitter because of the photo he took of the truck that blew up, and I was watching the race and everyone is talking about this picture on Twitter, and I thought what the hell is Twitter? I’m 63 years old and I don’t know about a lot of this stuff.
So I had to become a fan of his, and he came to – I’m in Eastern Canada – and he came to Nova Scotia for a special race that we do once a year, and they always invite a NASCAR driver. He came, and I went, and I’ve always been a fan of his.
TC: You are in Canada, what’s NASCAR race coverage like in Canada?
GD: I’m really kind of lucky. We get the network broadcast. We did have the SPEED Channel a number of years ago, which went away. But I have a provider, they’re in Eastern Canada and sort of spotted across the country. They pick up the FS1 channel, so I get everything. I get practices and the trucks and I get everything. But I hear – from following people, I’m in this group with Jeff Gluck – other Canadians are always saying, how come I can’t see this?
TC: That’s huge and super cool that your provider, shows everything. That’s great. If you could change one thing about NASCAR what would it be?
GD: I can’t seem to get over the fact that it’s getting more like a science fair than a race. I really have trouble with all this engineering stuff. I don’t feel they’re on an even playing field. I feel really bad for the Matt DiBenedetto’s and Landon Cassill’s. The ones who are huge, they’re the ones who win. They have all of the money and all of the sponsors. This engineer thing really irritates me.
TC: Yeah it really is hard to overcome for the little guys.
GD: I think I heard an interview with Clint Bowyer when he went to SHR he said, “boy it’s great to go from team with two engineers to a team with 30.” I don’t know what they can do about it, but I think they need to go back and look at how it got here. It wasn’t always like this.
TC: Who is a driver who is currently out of the sport that you’d like to see get another shot?
GD: Well I met Blake Koch in Charlotte last year, I was really impressed with him. I was impressed with the whole team. I was really shocked when he wasn’t brought back, I thought they were such a good fit.
TC: What tracks do you usually go to?
GD: Well Loudon would be considered my home track, and that’s nine hours away.
GD: Yeah, for us to go to a race, it’s an event. We don’t just go somewhere for a race, we make a week or two vacation out of it. We don’t go to that many. We try to go to two per year. We are real fans of the Carolinas, and we like the civil war history stuff so we tend to go to tracks where there is a lot of that stuff around. We are going to Richmond in May, we have been to Martinsville, we’ve been to Phoenix because we have friends from Alberta who have a winter home there and they invited us. We have been to a lot of tracks, but I can’t really say we have a home track.
TC: Last question, what got you into the sport?
GD: Well, I grew up in Toronto. I had connections with a beer company, Molson’s and they sponsored – I don’t know what they called it back then – I saw a race where James Hunt and Niki Lauda were in that year where they were in that big contention. I’ve always liked racing. I like the speed, the smell of gas all of that stuff. But then I moved, had a family, they were busy. If I was home and NASCAR happened to be on I watched it. I sort of watched it from a far, then some friends and I decided to go to a NASCAR race. My first one was in Dover about 10 years ago. Once I got in it, and discovered I could watch everything on TV – I started watching Race Hub every night. Once you start learning about the sport, you begin to feel you know the people involved in it.
The one neat thing I want to tell you is that the community – we had a farm for 25 years – the community that it was in that the kids went to school in, Kevin Harvick’s shock guy is from there. His name is Mike McCarvel, they call him Nook, and he is from this community of 1,200 people. Now there is a young guy who is the engineer for Johnny Sauter from this small place. When you get these kind of connections, it makes it fun to watch.
TC: Wow, that is really cool. Small world! Thanks Gail for taking time out for a chat.