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Sports · April 17, 2014

Fauquier native makes it big as NASCAR TV reporter

Before she made it to FOX Sports 1, Kaitlyn Vincie learned to edit video and posted her own NASCAR reports on YouTube.
Vincie interviews Jimmie Johnson, six-time NASCAR Cup series champion.
“I like Warrenton. I like that it’s a small town,” Vincie says. “The last time I came home, it was comforting to see it hadn’t changed much. I was kinda sad Borders left and Fauquier is a completely different school now.”
She doesn’t get rattled. It never seems too big for her. I think that’s just her personality and demeanor in life . . . . She’s been really good about not being afraid to ask the tough questions.
— FOX VP of Media Relations Erik Arneson
Kaitlyn Vincie
Age: 26

Home: Charlotte, N.C.

Work: Fox Sports 1 TV NASCAR feature and pit reporter, 2 years.

Experience: 2012, SPEED Channel road tour team member, social media reporter; 2010-12, Langley Speedway TV.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, communications, Christopher Newport University, 2010; Fauquier High School, 2006.

Family: Father, John; mother, Margaret; sister, Meghann, 29.

Hobbies: Reading magazines, boating, running, watching Virginia Tech football.

Favorite raceway: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tenn.




One look behind the scenes hooked the Fauquier High graduate on stock car racing.

In 2008, Kaitlyn Vincie scored garage passes to a NASCAR race in Charlotte, N.C. “The coolest ticket you can get” attracted the Christopher Newport University sophomore to the sport.

Six years later, Vincie has achieved her dream, earning a living in sports journalism. The 26-year-old works as a TV personality for FOX Sports 1’s racing coverage.

“It’s just such an awesome sport,” she says in a phone interview from her home near Charlotte. “It’s intriguing because it’s so complex in many ways.”

That description also applies to the track Vincie ran to her job. Those garage passes sparked an idea: She started a weekly NASCAR column for The Captain’s Log, CNU’s student newspaper.

Vincie found a helpful mentor nearby. As a sports information intern, she met Al Pearce, a journalist who has covered stock car racing since 1969. A Newport News resident, Pearce helped her with a wealth of information.

“She liked it and wanted to get into the business,” he recalls. “She wanted to know everything that a person would know about how to handle situations. She knew the sport and studied it. She picked my brain for hours on hours and days on days.”

After Vincie graduated in 2010 with a degree in communications, a friend spotted an opportunity on Craigslist. Langley Speedway in Hampton needed a TV reporter.

Vincie auditioned and landed the gig.

She waited tables three nights a week while working at Langley. When her first race season ended, the former Falcon track star again worried about the future. With no guarantee of sponsorship for a second year, she came up with another idea: Posting YouTube videos of her own NASCAR reports.

Producers from Langley visited her home in Newport News and helped Vincie set up a green screen and video equipment. She carefully studied video editing software.

Her desire to land a permanent on-air job continued to drive the project. Executives at NASCAR Illustrated – one of the sport’s most popular publications – liked what they saw and added her clips to the magazine’s website.

The free exposure thrilled Vincie, and Langley decided to host programming for another year.

But, after a second season of coverage at the short track, she called it quits.

Sending hundreds of resumes brought no full-time job offer. With adulthood and its financial responsibilities coming into focus, Vincie left racing.

For two months, she worked at Body & Sol tanning salon in Newport News as marketing director. Vincie describes what happened next as “the stars aligning.”

An email came from the source Vincie desired most. The Speed Channel, cable TV’s dominant race station, needed a social media reporter. Network recruiters thought she might fit the opening.

“I had been in their ears over and over again to see if they had anything open,” Vincie says. “They needed an emcee for their traveling stage . . . to get the crowd pumped up.”

She got the job two days after her interview and left the tanning salon.

Most race weekends in the 2012 season, Vincie flew from Newport News to tracks around the country. She was “super stoked” to follow the nearly year-round sport.

That summer, she decided to move to Charlotte, where The Speed Channel had its headquarters. The channel placed Vincie on “Race Hub,” a show that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the drivers, cars and race teams.

“My bosses knew I had interest in being on air. There were six races left in the season, and it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had,” she says.

In an audition of sorts, Vincie performed well on the show.

That led to a full-time spot on “Race Hub” as a features reporter for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series telecasts, a position she still holds.

She also works as a pit reporter for K&N Pro Series East races on FOX Sports 1, the network started after FOX bought Speed in August 2013.

Recently, she developed an idea for a brief comedy video that runs on the FOX website called “The Mock Run.”

“She doesn’t get rattled,” FOX Vice President of Media Relations Erik Arneson says. “It never seems too big for her. I think that’s just her personality and demeanor in life . . . . She’s been really good about not being afraid to ask the tough questions.”

Her confidence stems from early conversations with Pearce. She sent her YouTube videos to the journalist for pointers. Countless phone calls and meetings over pizza helped her learn about one of the country’s most popular sports.

Pearce remains one of her biggest supporters in the business. Her professionalism continues to impress him.

“I’m elated she’s done as well as she has,” Pearce says. “She has a very solid reputation in the media, and I’ve got no doubt she approaches everything the right way.

“I’ve never heard anybody say anything but positive things about what she does. If she chooses, she can do this for a long time.”

Vincie says she’s found her dream job, but still looks forward to growing professionally. She consistently speaks of her desire to improve, the experience she needs and her plans to get there.

Determination ranks among her strongest attributes.

“She doesn’t give up easily and has a pretty strong work ethic,” her father, John Vincie says. “She was that way as she was growing up. When she wanted something, she would go after it.”

The Vincie family moved to The Plains from Bridgewater when Kaitlyn was 15.

She ran track in high school and still calls former teammate Sarah Bowman Brown – perhaps FHS’s greatest athlete – her best friend. Vincie worked as a manager for the Falcons wrestling team each of her four years at the school.

Additionally, the distance runner covered sports for The Falconer and spent time as a student trainer.

“I can still tape an ankle,” she says with a laugh. “I like Warrenton. I like that it’s a small town. I don’t get back often. The last time I came home, it was comforting to see it hadn’t changed much. I was kinda sad Borders left and Fauquier is a completely different school now.”

These days, fans submit autograph requests to the website of a TV personality, who has traveled far from Fauquier County and has put waitressing and tanning salons in her rear-view mirror.

“Only concern yourself with you,” she says when asked for advice to others who have big dreams. “Your performance, your work ethic and what you’re doing. Don’t worry about anybody else.”

> Please, send sports news items and/or photos to Sports Editor Mark Trible: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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