Welcome to today’s “Couch Sessions” with Couch Crew Chief. This is your spot for a little race therapy, we talk about what you want and have some fun in the process.
CCC: Thanks for visiting me in the Keys this week.
JF: The Keys? We are in a hardware store and you’re getting a key made.
CCC: Which reminds me, do you have $3 on you?
CCC: I’m getting a key made and someone has to pay for it.
CCC: So that’s a no?
CCC: Today on Couch Sessions I am proud to have Jake Finch in for some race therapy! Jake, how long have you been into racing and NASCAR?
JF: I have been into NASCAR for pretty much my whole life. I remember being 2 or 3 year’s old watching the races while I held my own races with my 1:64 diecast car’s.
CCC: Sounds a lot like my upbringing! Who have you had for favorite drivers in the past and now going into the future?
JF: I don’t remember being a fan of his really but, my mom always said when I was real little I liked Rusty Wallace because of his name “Rusty”. But I do remember being a fan of Bobby Labonte in the late 90’s early 2000’s then around 2002 I joined the infamous “Jr Nation”. But after a spell of not really following the sport in ’08-’09. I decided to turn to becoming a Harvick fan which led to becoming a Austin Dillon fan in 2012 and I will probably be a fan of his for a very long time.
CCC: For what it’s worth, I think you are in good company nowadays. What in particular do you like about Austin? Is there something that really pulls you in to be a fan of his?
JF: Well, at first I really wanted to find a driver that was young and coming up through the ranks, someone that I could develop with as a fan. Austin fit that mold perfectly. I think one thing that I really like about Austin, is that he has a drive for what he does and he knows how to get the job done when things aren’t going to plan. That is what set’s him apart from the other’s.
CCC: He really is earning his way, I think people believe it’s just given. Knowing the family and history, I know Richard hasn’t given him anything. He has to earn it like other drivers. He may have had the foot in the door and has help, but he is still earning it. As an Austin Dillon fan myself I know I hear this next question a lot. What do you think of Austin running the 3? Should he? Has he earned it? Does he need to earn it?
JF: From my standpoint it’s just a number. If anything it’s Richard’s number. Yes, Dale Earnhardt made the number famous and I understand where his fan’s stand with it. But, Richard did the right thing keeping it off the track like he did. But, I also think it’s good to have it back out there. I don’t think Austin had to earn but other’s may think otherwise. If he had to earn it, he earned it and added to it.
CCC: I completely agree. Junior Johnson did great things in the 3 before Richard and Richard added to the history and Dale made it beloved, also hated. Depending what side of that fence you were on. It’s a great story how and why Richard got the number from Junior, if people don’t know they should look into that history. On Friday you were at Talladega, I heard you got to talk to Andy Houston, how cool was that? Get to see any other team members?
JF: Oh yea that was definitely really cool. Andy is my favorite spotter not just because he’s Austin’s but he’s just a really cool guy and I really appreciate him taking the time to chat during his break in-between practices. I didn’t get to meet any other team members this trip but hope to one day chat with Slugger.
CCC: What did you think of Talladega as a whole? How about Austin’s run at the end?
JF: This race really surprised me. Usually the spring race isn’t as exciting as the fall race. But they really proved me wrong this time. I enjoyed every bit of it. When it comes to Austin’s race I think this was his best plate race so far in his Cup career. He definitely wasn’t holding back and he was racing for the lead. Unfortunately, after both wrecks I thought they weren’t gonna get a top 10 and I was gonna be happy with a top 15. But, that run up to 3rd was awesome. Listening to Andy telling him to “Block the 1, block the 1” was so exciting and it felt kinda like a win!
CCC: I know exactly what you mean! My heart was pounding. I actually thought he might pull it off. Listen to the radio every weekend?
JF: Yes, that is one thing that I really love about NASCAR, you get the chance to not just hear the cool behind the scenes stuff but also you can follow your favorite driver a lot easier.
CCC: I totally know what you mean. You basically become one with the team. So how do you think our team is doing this year?
JF: I think these guy’s are doing a awesome job so far this year. I was kinda optimistic at the beginning because of the new rules package. I think pit road as a whole is our Achilles Heel, but other then that I am happy with their performance.
CCC: I think that’s the general consensus really. Listening in I think we both know that pit road isn’t always on the guys and isn’t always on Austin either, but I know they are working at it and getting better. I actually think the move back to mandatory 5 lug nuts will help our guys. I just don’t want to see Slugger get unnecessary penalties. Has social media helped draw you in more this year by connecting to the fans and team more?
JF: Social media has it’s up’s and down’s especially for NASCAR fan’s. Personally, it’s really cool to interact with some of the team members and also other Austin Dillon/RCR fans. It’s almost like a family and it’s really cool to have that. It has in a way helped me stay in tune with what’s going on in the sport and with the team.
CCC: It really is a double edged sword. Sometimes hard to stay on the positive side. On that note, I think that’s about all the time we have for today. Any final thoughts? Final words of encouragement to the team? Anything else you would like to add?
JF: I want to thank you for letting me come hang out with you even though you promised to buy lunch and we haven’t even left this hardware store yet. But I am looking forward to the rest of the season. I think we’re getting a step closer each week to celebrating a win. Austin, Slugger, Andy and the rest of the 3 team I’m proud of you guy’s, keep doing what your doing and remember #GiiC! Lastly, fellow #AD3Nation members you guy’s rock!
CCC: Lunch will be provided… If you have that $3 I can add it to what McMurray & McDonald’s owes us and we can hit up the dollar menu! Thank you again! Anyone who wants to follow him, he is @jak3finch and well worth the follow! Take care and always remember, keep your nuts tight, especially the one behind the wheel.