Checkered Fan of the Month (April 2012): Mandy Sigler, Jeff Gordon and Team Hendrick Fan
With every sport in about every part of the world comes stories that can come from the participants to the fans in the grandstands or homes who watch their heroes gut it out in a competitive contest.
The same can be said with NASCAR racing, where fans deck themselves out in their team's favorite colors and liveries, almost like warriors preparing for an epic match.
One of those fans who gets dressed in her "Sunday best" is 23-year-old Mandy Sigler of Crown Point, IN, who's been a devout NASCAR and Jeff Gordon fan for the past 18 years.
"I was five and liked thathis car was so colorful so it stuck and I've been a diehard fan since," Sigler said. "My parents watched and raced sprint cars to they were all for him too."
That passion for Gordon soon extended towards his corporate teammates during his run, particularly the Hendrick Motorsports roster from late 2003 to 2006. As if that wasn't enough, her love for NASCAR also is with her two sons Trey and Keegan.
"I've always rooted for Hendrick as a team," Sigler said. "Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers were my other main men from Hendrick."
Her heart also had room for Adam Petty, who she said "was tied with Gordon as my number one drivers."
How does Sigler handle race days, whether they're good or bad for her favorites? Well, that depends on how their favorite Jeff Gordon does on the track, which varies from mother to her sons.
"That depends, if it was just bad luck or if they've been taken out," she said. "If someone wrecks them, I get mad and possibly hold a grudge against that driver. I don't like Robby Gordon to this day cause he crashed Jeff years ago.
"My four-year-old however better watch out. He throws things when Jeff does bad."
Certainly, Sigler raised her sons to be Gordon fans, because, "They're well groomed. Now we're working on the rest of team Hendrick."
Sigler's favorite NASCAR memory was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in 2006 on Jeff Gordon's 35th birthday, a forever picture in the young race fan's mind.
"They were doing something special for a handful of drivers," she recalled. "He came out on pit lane, sat on the wall back to us, and my mom and I screamed from the bleachers, 'Happy Birthday, Jeff!' and he turned around and gave us a big wave.
"It made my entire weekend and I couldn't stop smiling."
Fun loving, congenial, and sweet, Sigler is one of the more interactive fans in the social media rounds, always willing to chime her thoughts for Gordon fans as well as racing fans around her through her Twitter (AdamPetty4Ever).
As for her plans with her sons Trey and Keegan, she jokingly said she'd love to see Trey marry Jeff Gordon's daughter Ella while Keegan would marry Casey Mears' daughter Samantha since they're "close in age."
Whatever their plans are for the future, it's my honor to announce Mandy Sigler as the first ever "Fan of the Month" here on The Podium Finish! Congratulations, Mandy!