Couch Sessions: #AD3nation member, @TpWheaton1Tim

Welcome to another “Couch Sessions” your place for some race therapy, we can talk about whatever you want and have some fun! If you would like to be on “Couch Sessions” just send me a DM on Twitter. I don’t care if you are a fan, a sponsor, a crew member, a driver, an owner, or an official. You can even be anonymous as long as you use a superhero name.

CCC: Come on in and have a seat on the couch, feel free to lay down and make yourself comfortable.

TW: Is this a therapist office?
CCC: Don’t worry, he won’t mind, he’s out of town. I told him I was going to the Koi pond expo in San Diego so he went to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong.
TW: How did you get in here then?
CCC: I had a key made after he dropped his keys… in his drawer… and went to the bathroom.
TW: …
CCC: What?

CCC: Welcome to another “Couch Sessions” with Couch Crew Chief. Today we are speaking with Tim Wheaton. Member of #AD3nation. Tim, thank you again for joining me, how long have you been a NASCAR fan?

TW: Probably since diapers and was old enough to understand that they are always turning left!

CCC: What’s the biggest difference you can see between then and now in our sport?

TW: The technology. Things are more hi-tech than they used to be by far!

CCC: It has come a crazy long way, I remember when they still had chrome bumpers! How about the racing compared to then, how much has it changed? Is it for the better or worse?

TW: I think its a little of both. Yes it’s exciting to watch. But I feel NASCAR needs to stay consistent with their rules! They always say rubbing is racing but I think it can go to far. And penalties need to be in place to keep the sport safe for the fans and the drivers.

CCC: Yes, rules are needed for sure. Which is the bigger problem lately to you as a fan, the rules they keep changing or the consistency of how they are applied?

TW: How there applied. I feel sometimes they cater to particular drivers and not for the underdog. Rookies in particular.

CCC: Speaking of particular drivers, I know you’re an Austin Dillon fan. What drew you to Austin as a driver?

TW: Actually it was the number 3. After his wreck in Daytona and his passing. It seemed like there was something missing on the track. And then when rumors started running about bring back the 3 I had mixed feelings.

CCC: I can understand the mixed feelings. I think most had them. Now in his third season of Sprint Cup competition how do you feel Austin and his team have done? How does it feel to have the 3 back on track? As a Dale Sr. fan, are you happy with how it has turned out?

TW: Austin has really matured and has made some great strides this year! And seems more focused! The Team has been very impressive. I don’t think I have seen a team with such heart and passion!

CCC: It could be measured in tons, they are really working for it. Has social media and interaction with the team more this year made you a more intense fan? Find yourself watching and wanting more?

TW: They have talked on TV about Austin and his team but I feel some things are over looked. Just like at Talladega! Austin and his team made huge strides in that race and I personally didn’t hear anything about it. I goes back to fan favorites.

TW: Austin isn’t a JR, or Harvick or any of the Busch boys. He is carving out his own name and team.

CCC: The TV really does play to certain fans. Austin is getting a little more attention, but not always for the best. I think they over-look him at times. This weekend they go to Kansas under the lights, how do you think he will do?

TW: I think Austin will do well. One thing about Austin and his team this year is they have been very consistent!

CCC: That they have. They are also a young team that hasn’t been together long. Once they have time together I think everyone had better watch out for some big time wins. Where do you think the first win will come?

TW: I think Austin and his team could win at anytime. Maybe next time Whitney can give Austin some new dance moves for when he crosses the finish line for the checkered flag. Lol.

CCC: Haha wow, you went there. That was pretty rough wasn’t it? I am glad to see him have fun out there. I think when he is confident and having fun, you’ll see that win. I would love to see it happen at Daytona or before. What do you think the biggest difference is from the last 2 years to this year?

TW: Austin is seeming to have more fun than he has in the last 2 years. He isn’t panic stricken as much as in the past. I think his team helps in that department.

CCC: I can really see that, I think Slugger has been a huge help too. Sometimes you just need someone to take charge of the chaos, even if it is the driver. Speaking of Crew Chiefs, what do you think of the returning lug nut rule and the new penalties that are attached?

TW: Well back in the day. Leaving off lug nuts was never heard of. I really think it’s a safty issue and it should be addressed. We dont want to see anyone get hurt and I think NASCAR should make the sport as safe as possible for years to come.

CCC: If you were in charge of NASCAR for one day and could make or change one rule, what would it be?

TW: Man thats a tough question. I think one thing that would help NASCAR a lot is for NASCAR to listen to the hardcore fans. Most of which are the blue collar worker spending their hard earned dollar to go with NASCAR’s high priced tickets. But I enjoy seeing the kids getting involved watching the sport.

CCC: Absolutely, the kids are the future of the sport and I think the cost to families gets too high. It’s pushing families away so fewer kids are involved. That has to change if NASCAR wants to stay as big as they are. I think that’s about all the time we have for today. Before we go, do you have anything else you’d like to add? Any message to the fans? Any encouragement for the team?

TW: Definitely! Cheer the 3! Send them that message and encourage them! They’re doing a phenomenal job as well as Austin has made some great moves like at Talladega. Moving from the back of the pack with 15 pit stops and still coming in 3rd place! Thats really unheard of! The team is really a great group of people that dont mind stopping what they’re doing just to say thanks!

CCC: Absolutely! They are great guys and great with fans. They work hard and still have time for all of us. Thank you again, Tim. If anyone wants to follow Tim on Twitter, look him up @Tpwheaton1Tim he is a great follow and great fan! Thank you again! Enjoy the race and remember; keep your nuts tight, especially the one behind the wheel.

Couch Sessions:#AD3nation member @jak3finch

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?
JF: Why?
CCC: I’m getting a key made and someone has to pay for it.
JF: …
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.

 

Kansas Setup

Welcome to the Heartland, Kansas. Home of Clint Bowyer! We setup for night Saturday night mayhem and fun following an amazing Talladega.

In his short career Austin averages 8th place in both Xfinity and Truck series, Cup series is a rough 24th. All of this adds up to an average of 14th career average. Austin has opened his momentum modifier back up to 7 positions average for the year over his career averages. That said, I am projecting a 7th place finish for the weekend.

Is it possible? It is easily possible. His truck and Xfinity averages show he has a good hang of this place. The last few years in Cup have been about finishing, this year… It is all about the win. The team has shown speed and handling on the mile and a half this year already, so this is where it can all come together with a little bit of luck.

The team showed in Talladega that they don’t give up, they don’t quit. All that hard work pays off. If that’s what they do at the track imagine what the boys are doing in the shop! All that hard work and effort eventually buys you some luck!

Luck is something this team desperately needs. They have made plenty of deposits into the luck bank and the time to withdrawal is now! Saturday night races always provide an extra spark and I am confident this team will be amped up for it.

So make sure you wish the team luck before the weekend! This could be the week for not just another top 10 but for the win!

Have a great week everyone, see you in the box!

Talladega Rollout

Hearts have pounded, cars are shells of their former glory, fans have screamed and crews are tired. On a day that saw the 3 car roll off P2 and move through the pack at will, things happened, things that resulted in an absolute miracle.

We all saw it, we know about all the accidents. We saw the 3 get beat and banged and bent and bent and bent and rebent. The crew lead over the wall by car chief Greg Osbourne now only worked on the car 17 different times, they fabricated a whole new nose. They cut and chopped and sawed. The beat, they bent, they dropped it on a block. At one point they screwed down the hood right into the air cleaner.

If this was Bristol or Darlington or Martinsville, you’d expect it. It wasn’t. This was a track where Clint Almquist sculpts the aero for weeks to make the car fast. All of this, gone. So much hard work, gone. So much hard work done in minutes.

Aftsr the team ran out of tires, NASCAR gave them another set. Every person was assigned a job. Every person went over the wall. Every person had hands on the car and made it drivable. After the toe was knocked out and barely drivable, there was a miracle.

I don’t think you can normally compare Austin Dillon to Dale Earnhardt Sr. Today, was an exception. Austin came from 17th and raced up to 3rd in 3 laps. A car that was beat to hell was able to go anywhere at will. I sat in awe listening to Andy Houston call him through the pack.

There just isn’t much else to say, it was wild. These restrict or plate races are crazy. Since this is meant to be a review and not an opinion piece, I will leave it at that and remind you… In the end, the hero always gets the girl.