Climb Up The Pit Box

Welcome to the start of my new blog. I wanted to just share my thoughts and observations of the racing world and even give you a more in depth look at me. As I blend more and more of my personal account with my race day account I figure it’s time to welcome you atop the pit box with me, offer you a spot on my couch, maybe even crack a beer and some jokes together.

Lets start with the basics, amazingly my name really isn’t “Couch.” My name is Jonathan, you can call me Jon or Couch or Couch Crew or Crew Chief or even Chief, hell some even call me asshole. I’m good with anything so long as it’s said in good humor. I like to laugh a bit, I try not to take myself or anything too seriously. As for the rest, I live in Appleton, Wisconsin. Not exactly NASCAR central but I’ll get to that in a minute. I was born July 10, 1979. I’m married and I work in a factory that supplies NASCAR teams with some equipment.

Now to answer the question that is on everybody’s mind, “Why are you so into NASCAR? How did you become, couchcrewchief?”

When I was a kid, like 4 or 5, my grandfather always watched NASCAR or listened to it on the radio. His nephew… This young guy at the time, Richard Childress, use to race in the series and owned a car. Now, some of you may have heard of him and some of you may know the car he owned. That car number became part of my identity. That driver became my hero. My grandfather’s nephew, my second cousin, became an idol. My entire life became about Daytona and championships. While the kids in school worshipped Brett Favre and Sterling Sharpe and Reggie White, I was watching Dale tear up Labonte, Wallace, Gordon. I watched Dale win championships and suffer heart break again and again at Daytona. The year Dale won I was in basic training. The year Dale passed away, I was in Korea and slept through the race.

I became a Dale Jr fan for awhile and vowed to return to my RCR home when he fielded another black car. Dave Blaney drove the 07 Jack Daniel’s car and then Clint Bowyer. I followed Bowyer to the 33 team, but it never felt like home. Don’t get me wrong, Clint is a great driver and fun to watch, but something wasn’t right.

Then, it happened. Austin Dillon in the number 3 truck. God I was excited. I wanted so bad to see that number 3 in Cup. When Austin ran the 98 one year I messaged him on Twitter and told him to run the 3, it was ok, that was his number. He messaged back and said it wasn’t time but they had stuff in the works for the following year. Then there was the 3, in Nationwide. So close. Finally, the 3 in cup with black livery. The 3 was back. I had a home. The entire 3 team has been welcoming and hospitable. Listening to their radio, I feel like an extension of their team. I win and lose with them. I feel the heartache when things go bad and I feel the excitement when they have a great day.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I don’t pick up Ty in Xfinity. Why would I pull for Derrike Cope? I know you’re thinking, what’s the deal? Of all the drivers, of all the teams, of everyone I have met and talked to at Road America, my home track, Derrike is the most welcoming of fans I have seen. He works on the car and motor. He welds and shapes and forms and tunes. He is pure racer. I have to champion his effort. You don’t win a Daytona 500 on accident, that’s something he has done.

Now, how did I become the couchcrewchief? It started with myself and some other fans of Clint Bowyer. We would all watch the race on TV and they would relay the info Clint was giving in car. I would try to guess the adjustment. I did pretty good. 3 months after I started the couchcrewchief account Miss Sprint Cup tried “Couch Crew Chief” polls. I told them they could do it but at least give me some credit for it. Well, they quit doing it, but I knew I was onto something. The group broke apart when Clint moved to the MWR stables. My couchcrewchief account went dark for 2 years. Last year a friend of mine wanted in-car updates on Martin Truex Jr at Daytona so I relayed the in-car audio. She now does @Speedy_T_Rex and updates on Twitter. I took A.J. Allmendinger for a few races last year as I thought that would be a more entertaining radio. He bad mouthed RCR and ECR engines who they have an alliance with.

Finally I returned home to my 3 team. I started doing this and I love it. I was listening at Daytona last year during Austin’s big wreck. The terror I heard in Richard’s voice cannot be described. Before my grandfather passed away I remember him telling me that Richard didn’t want the boys to race. Anything but that. Richard didn’t want his grandsons hurt in his cars. So when that wreck happened I just stared at the TV, listening to the in-car radio as Richard yelled for Austin until the “all clear” came from the pit box that Austin was out and walking.

That is how I came to use couchcrewchief to update the 3 team and Austin Dillon in-car radio. I will update anyone on their driver status if they cannot see the race, don’t be afraid to ask.

With that said, I bid you a fond farewell. I’ll see you at the track and see you from on top of the box.image

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