Welcome to a new feature I call, “Couch Sessions” which is meant to be an interview series. Obviously, I need people to interview, so here’s who I am looking for:
- Everyone. Simply put, I don’t care if you are a fan, a sponsor, a driver, a blogger, a mechanic, a crew member, the spouse of a crew member, the engine tuner, the fabricator, the owner. The world of racing keeps going round. I don’t care if you watch NHRA, NASCAR, WeatherTech Sportscars, IMSA, IMCA, SCCA, Mazda MX-5 series. I want to interview, you. If you want to remain anonymous, you can. As long as you have an opinion and something to say. These articles are meant to be entertaining and informative. So let me know you want to be interviewed and let’s enjoy.
Today’s innocent bystander happens to be my friend and cohort, you may know her from Twitter as, @Speedy_T_Rex.
CCC: Welcome Speedy, you’re the first ever interview for me on this blog. Ever been interviewed on horseback before?
Speedy: Horseback? This is a carousel! And you made me buy my own ticket…
CCC: There’s no free rides here.
Speedy: YOU MADE ME BUY YOUR TICKET!
CCC: I wanted to ride the boats….
CCC: I felt that eye roll.
CCC: You’re the updater for Martin Truex Jr., for those who don’t know, how long have you been doing this?
Speedy: For just over a year now. I started after the 2015 Daytona 500. The Atlanta race was the first one I live tweeted.
CCC: So you had quite a year then. Running top 10 followed by an emotional victory, and a manufacturer change. What was the biggest moment for you as the updater?
Speedy: My biggest moment last year was probably live tweeting the win at Pocono. I’m sure that sounds a bit like a cop-out, but it was actually an interesting challenge at the end. Adrenaline doesn’t care if your fingers need to type, and mine were shaking like crazy even before the checkered flag flew. I wanted to cheer the win but I had to stay focused on doing my job.
Speedy: Though I should add that there are other moments that stand out almost more vividly than that one. But that’s one of the biggest highlights.
CCC: Is there anything you leave out of your updates that is said over the team radio?
Speedy: Rarely. Other than the times when someone says something incoherent on the radio–which I usually try to mention–there isn’t much I don’t tweet. The only specific time I chose to withhold something said was during the 500 when they were discussing a plan over the radio involving the Gibbs cars. This is a competition and I don’t want to post something that could take away from that. But I still made mention of what I did as part of the update.
I want my followers to see the raw side of racing that isn’t shiny and clean all the time like they show on TV, and I feel like being transparent as often as possible is the easiest way to give them that.
CCC: So you’re very aware that other teams may be monitoring your Twitter feed as an alternative to the team’s live radio, how likely do you think it is that multiple teams may monitor your feed?
Speedy: Yes, that was something I was aware of as a possibility from the get-go. I honestly can’t say if other teams are tracking my feed or not. Though I’d be honored that the competition found what I did valuable enough to follow along. During the race, chatter usually doesn’t give away any great miraculous secrets. I think teams are automatically aware that the scanners are available for anyone to listen in on, so they are careful about giving out the nitty gritty. But, again, if something is said that I feel is too risky to mention, I’ll leave it off. Also, if it came down to whether they were pitting or not, by the time what was said is transcribed and sent out, the action is already finished and so they couldn’t use that in the moment.
CCC: Speaking of transcript, as an updater I don’t get to see your feed much during a race but I have noticed your driver has, at times, been annoyed with the 3 car. Do you think that has more to do with them having worked together the past few years and expecting a break or just the fact that the 3 car is so much better now than in the past and is putting up a lot more fight leading to prolonged battles?
Speedy: I’d say the answer is two-fold but not because of either option you gave (but I see what you tried to do there, Couch). I think that occasional annoyance comes from the friction of different driving styles mixed with the level of driving experience that he sees in others. MTJ is a level-headed and (usually) calm driver and I think his comments come when he’s frustrated by a driver somehow forcing him to drive in a way that isn’t his norm. You know, or if he thinks a driver just did a boneheaded move. When it comes to the 3, from what I’ve seen via you, Couch, is that they’re driving styles are quite different and I think that’s where those comments come from.
Now, this is just my personal observation. I can’t say what the real answer is, only MTJ could do that.
CCC: As an outside observer you have unique perspective. What are your thoughts on the 3 team this year?
Speedy: There’s a lot of passion coming from the 3 team this year. They seem like a younger bunch, overall, and seem eager to bring that energy to the sport. Which is probably mostly centered around your driver and his personality. But, there’s more maturity there than last year and the proof of that is coming from how they’re running this year compared to last. It’s actually fascinating to see the obvious differences between my updates and yours. I think it helps show how each team is unique in their own right even though we’re all after the same thing and go about it in similar ways.
CCC: Speaking of other drivers, any truth to the rumor that you got hair gel in your eyes from sitting behind Jamie McMurray on the airplane?
Speedy: Now Couch, you know I try to avoid throwing people under the metaphorical bus or, in this case, plane.
CCC: I guess we will never know! Let me ask you this then, what drives you to keep doing the updates?
Speedy: It has been and always will be for the fans. Not that I ever need to be reminded, but every time a follower tells me how much they appreciate what I do or how glad they are that they found me, I’m given further proof of why I do this. Fans drive sports and racing is no exception. I’ve been on almost every side of the racing industry and I think that helped me figure out how much of a difference good updating can be to a fan. Fans and followers might not be involved with a racing team but live updating gets them one step closer and helps build a deeper connection.
CCC: I agree completely. The fans are an absolute inspiration and it’s not always fans, sometimes it’s family members of people on the team, sometimes it’s someone who has a question and DMs me because they want to know without distracting others. It’s the followers who feel closer through updates. Any final thoughts for the readers?
Speedy: Don’t ever go on a carousel with Couch. I don’t know how the hell you convinced the person to keep this thing going the whole time but I swear I’m dizzier now more than a driver after 500 laps at Bristol. We might be going left but this is one tight turn.
Or was that not what you meant? Ha.
CCC: Ha, I told him you tipped well! Let’s go ride the boats. This one is on me. Thank you for visiting with me on the first of my new series, “Couch Sessions.” Have a good night, good luck this weekend. Just finish 2nd to the 3.
Speedy: I hope the readers know they can say hello at any time over on Twitter. I enjoy the interactions as well as the questions that I sometimes receive. I might not be right on top of them during the madness of a race but I try to answer everything as quickly as I can and to the best of my abilities.
Speedy: Thank you for the interview invitation. I enjoyed it and hope I kept everyone entertained. Good luck this weekend to you as well. You know we refuse to step aside for anyone, especially the 3, but I’m sure it’ll be a helluva time fighting for the top spot. And speaking of which, I hope you’re ready to lose at boat racing.
CCC: The boats are all tethered together and I want to get on first. Hahaha
Speedy: Just you wait, friend. Just you wait.
Be be sure to follow your Martin Truex Jr. updater on Twitter @Speedy_T_Rex
***Some situations in Couch Sessions may be completely fictional. The views expressed herein are solely those of the interviewer and the individual interviewed. Couch Sessions was filmed before a live studio audience.***