Former Busch Series Champion Chuck Bown finds teaching students rewarding. ASHEBORO, NC -- Chuck Bown, the 1990 NASCAR Busch Series Champion used to spend his weekends beating and banging on race tracks across the country competing in either the...
Former Busch Series Champion Chuck Bown finds teaching students rewarding.
ASHEBORO, NC -- Chuck Bown, the 1990 NASCAR Busch Series Champion used to spend his weekends beating and banging on race tracks across the country competing in either the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series. These days, most of his weekends are spent on the golf course, but a new career in racing has developed for the 48-year old NASCAR veteran.
Back in the spring of 2000, Chuck's younger brother Jim started Crewschool.com with the help of sister Sheri. Crewschool.com is a 10-week power packed, hands-on training course designed to prepare students for the NASCAR race team job market. Training is conducted in the family race shop in Asheboro, NC. Students learn various aspects of racecar building, preparation, maintenance, pit stops and a basic orientation into the racing industry.
"I had been competing full-time in the Busch Series in 1999, but when you have experienced success, it was tough to race every week and not be competitive," said Chuck Bown. "I decided it was time to try something new, so I joined Jim with the crew school. It is very rewarding to see the difference you are making in the students lives and to help them fulfill their dreams. Watching them learn and progress throughout the course and then to see their careers develop makes the hard work worthwhile."
Bown has not completely given up driving duties. Most of the 10-week sessions include the students going to a test session and competing at a USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series race.
"I still love to drive," said Bown. "Competing in the Hooter's Pro Cup Series has been a lot of fun. It is important for the students to experience a real race, so they realize the hard work and pressures that go into this type of career. We have a ratio of five students to one instructor, so they are in a very supervised environment where they do all the work themselves. We've had men and women from ages 18 to 51."
Students learn to hang bodies, assemble shocks, weld, do body and paint work, suspension, brakes, etc. They have the opportunity to try out for pit crew positions and crew the car at the race. They also receive assistance with their resume and do mock interviews. Qualified students are helped with job placement.
"I had taken another course in Houston," said Art Simmons, a fabricator and rear tire carrier with Bill Davis Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series. "I learned more in the first two weeks at Crewshcool.com then I learned the entire time at the other school. After the school was finished, the Bown's contacted Bill Davis and I went in for an interview and was hired that same day."
"I think that because Chuck and I have both been competitors in the sport for over 25 years, we are able to offer the students the contacts in the industry that most other crew schools cannot," said Jim Bown, a former driver. "Employers know that Chuck and I are only going to recommend students that we feel can get the job done, and we have had a very good success rate at placing qualified students."
"The school was pretty much what I expected it to be," said Ryan Langley, a fabricator, tire specialist and rear tire changer for Greenlight Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "I got a lot of experience, but I also got the opportunity to prove myself and show that I had the talent to make it in the industry. They felt confident that they could help place me in a job, so for me the biggest benefit was the opportunity to get my foot in the door."