Instead of sitting in a luxury suite or enjoying the other many perks that accompany a man of his status, you’re more likely to find Curtis interacting with the fans during today’s Quicken Loans 400.
“A lot of people laugh at me because I’m not in the suites, I’m not in my office, I’m not with the officials,” Curtis said. “I’m out with the fans. I do my duties, but to me, it’s important to be with the fans and to show them that I appreciate them out to the track.”
Throughout the week, Curtis has shown his appreciation in many different ways. He participated in a corn hole tournament dressed as Elvis and became ordained to marry couple Brice Swanson and Kimberlee Kent Saturday night at Victory Lane. The self-proclaimed “dork” also has found himself painting fans’ busses and making birthday cakes.
“It’s probably not very presidential of me, but the way I look at it, if the fans aren’t here, I’m not here,” Curtis said.
After getting ordained, Curtis is now a minister of the free ministry of San Diego, CA.
“We joke about it a lot but there was a fine line between having fun with the whole process and still trying to maintain a seriousness because it was after all, a wedding,” Curtis said. “I think we did a good job of that.”
“The fans really drive the ambiance of the track,” Curtis said. “At most tracks, it’s the other way around.
“Even before I became president here, I always thought there was something about this place.”
Curtis’ acknowledgement of the fans doesn’t go unnoticed, either. After I finished talking with Curtis, I was approached by a longtime NASCAR fan named Brian, who traveled here from North Carolina. Brian expressed his appreciation with everything that Curtis does.
“You don’t usually hear about other track presidents going down to the infield or doing anything like Roger does,” Brian said. “He definitely goes out of his way to make sure everyone has a good time.”
With Curtis, it doesn’t end with the wedding or the corn hole tournament. He truly goes out of his way to ensure the MIS experience is one unlike any other. When driver A.J. Allmendinger approached Curtis about having a food named after him, Curtis had the perfect idea.
“A.J. didn’t know that coney dogs began in Michigan,” Curtis explained. “I told him we’d add some jalapenos and some extra spice and name it the “Dinger Dog.”
Like with most of the ideas Curtis comes up with, fans are onboard.
“They’ve been one of the most popular things on the menu,” Curtis said. “It’s been unbelievable how fast they’ve been selling.”
As a race fan, Curtis was looking forward to the Quicken Loans 400 and what was setting up to be another exciting day at the track.
“We know the speeds are going to be extremely fast because we’re the fastest track in NASCAR,” Curtis said.
“As far as anything else, I have no idea what to expect in the race and that’s why I think it’s going to be great. It’s a mystery.”