20 Questions with Leif Tillotson
1. How long have you been involved in motorsports?
Since I was born, and even before!
2. What is your earliest memory in motorsports
The Dragon Brothers at Catamount in the mid 70's.
3.Do you see motorsports gaining in poplularity or will it start to decline
as people get bored with it?
It has always been popular and doesn't seem to be becoming less popular. The
only thing I seee making it reduce in popularity is too many greedy people
sticking it to the fans.
4. What is the best race you have ever seen live?
I saw Steve Park run a modified race at NHIS back in 1996. Between he and
the other cars the lead changes were coming a dozen times a lap. I didn't
see anyone in the place sit down the whole race!
5. Do you think NASCAR running Winston Cup races has an effect on the
attendence of local short tracks across the USA?
Definitely, and not always for the better. Winston Cup makes itself like
there aren't other (and better) racers out there at local tracks. Cup may
get all of the attention, but you get more bang for your buck at your local
6. If you were in charge of NASCAR but could only make one change, what
change would that be?
Disqualifcation from the race means loss of points and money and the win.
It's only fair.
7. What advice would you give to a young driver looking to get into racing?
Prove yourself wherever and whenever you can. You'll never rise through the
ranks by being your track champion 13 years in a row. Travel, take different
rides and diversify. It gets you noticed and proves your talent is not jsut
in one kind of car at one kind of track.
8. How did you get invovled in motorsports?
My family has been involved back at least 3 generations. It's in my blood
literally and figuratively.
9. In your honest opinion... whats the best race track in the world? What
10. Do you think the internet has helped people get information about
or do you think it is just a vast wasteland of sites full of rumors and
You take what you can get out of what's out there. Jayski is excellent. All
message boards usually have some good and lots of slander. Take everything
with a grain of salt.
11. You can have dinner with anyone in motorsports ( living or dead) , who
would you chose? Why?
They Petty Family--Lee, Richard, Maurice, Kyle, Adam and spouses. That whole
family has done more good for this world than the populations of many
states. They're an asset to racing and humanity
12.What is your opinion on "bending" the rules and working in that grey
of a rulebook? What about out and out cheating and disreguard for the
The gray areas are opporunities for creative expression. Except when it
comes to driver safety. No tolerance on thin roll bars or sloppy seating
set-ups. Racers will cut corners wherever they can. Like dealing with
schoolkids, you have to be two steps ahead all the time and don't make a
rule unless you've thought about every single way it can be broken.
13. Its the last lap of a dream race.... who are the drivers and at what
track would you like to see them battle it out?
I would have loved to see Richie Evans race. How about Richie and Mike
Stefanik. Yeah. 200 laps at Riverside Park. That would be a dream!
14. What is the one thing you wish more fans would know about motorsports?
How could they possibly learn that one thing?
No true race fans like cautions. No true race fan likes to seee drivers hurt
and our killed. Racing is more people than it is cars.
15. How do you think racing has managed to keep a somewhat wholesome
while other major sports have what seems to be endless scandals involving
drugs, crime, etc?
It wasn't always this way. Tim Richmond died of AIDS. Junior Johnson was
wanted by the Government for moonshining. I think more goes on that we don't
know about (Gordon versu Gordon, for example.) All in all, I have found
racing people (both drivers and fans) to be generally decent. I think real
race fans and racers are a cut above everyone else anyway.
16. What could be done in racing to get it more diverse as far as minority
There are minority drivers out there. They need people to take chances on
them and give them support.
17. What do you think about Imported car manufactors getting into major
league auto racing in the USA?
I don't have a problem. Cars domestic and imported are becoming more similar
anyways. Fuel injection versus carbeuration seems to be the sticking point.
Many, like Robert Yates, would like to have all Cup cars fuel injected
18. Your choice.... one ticket to a big league NASCAR race or a seasons
to your favorite local short track... which would you chose and why?
I don't pay wherever I go because of my media credentials. Go ahead, hate
19.Where do you see yourself in 5 years as far as motorsports goes?
Still in the same spot. I limit my activity because of my family. I choose
what I do based the needs and desires of my family. I have to keep a balance
of family versus racing.
20. When you want a break from the world of motorsports, what are some of
things you like to do?
I do things my wife wants me to do for a change!