Hi Guys. My name is Paul, and I’m Cody’s dad.
A little about me.. hmm.. I guess you could say I was always mechanically inclined, even as a child. I have been into radio control and nitro engines since I was a kid myself. Like most kids living in the 70s, I started out using Cox U-control model airplanes. Everybody got those things for Christmas. My Dad really encouraged me, and even took me on tours of the engine manufacturing plants and stuff. He was really into planes because he was a fighter pilot in World War 2. He flew 35 combat missions, and flew air shows for the National Guard for years after that. The hobby got more serious for me when my Dad got us into .60 size power planes. I was around 11 years old when we started that, eventually graduating to pattern flying, and then finally pylon racing in my teens.
Feeling that the punishment for crashing an airplane was too great, and not wanting my own kids to feel that pain, I decided to get Cody and his brother Ryan into cars instead. Also, it was pretty obvious that RC Car racing was more lucrative and main stream if the boys showed some talent, and the interest to take it very far. I had no clue what a profound decision that would turn out to be!
I had a Tamiya Rough Rider in 1981, and even had a track in my back yard. People used to freak because it wasn’t very common back then. They would look at the thing in amazement, like they just saw a UFO or something. I was a decent racer myself. I would win Sportsman 2 wheel drive at SoCal, and was usually the fastest unsponsored gas truck guy at the local club back in 2000/2001. I would be battling with my older boy Ryan, and Cody would get in the mix too. Those were fun days when all 3 of us were battling it out on the track. Eventually I could see that Cody needed more help, and feeling that my talent peaked and I wasn’t getting any faster, it was time to help the kids full time and just wrench instead of wheeling the cars. If I prepared Cody’s cars, he would beat me, so I knew what my role was then.
Believe it or not, I resisted getting into the 1/8 buggy category. I really felt 1/10 classes had enough to offer, and I didn’t want the extra expense and commitment required by 1/8. Well, as fate would have it, somebody had a used 1/8 buggy at the track that previously belonged to Travis Amezcua. We had a chance to try it without spending a ton of money, and it didn’t take long for Cody to show his natural ability with that car. The first day out with the car at Lake Perris, he was chasing Chad Bradley around and people were amazed. “Don’t you know who that is? That’s Chad Bradley! Cody was battling with Chad Bradley!” They told me Cody should keep running this class because he was really good at it. On many occasions friends, or just people in general would tell me they enjoyed watching Cody drive the buggy, and it motivated me to keep doing it. So that was the beginning of gas buggy for us. I saw how much preparation Bobby Tillman and his Dad were putting in, so we just worked at it like they were.
On a personal note, I have to say I feel very blessed and honored to experience Cody’s success with him. I think every Dad who steps out on an RC track with his kid dreams that they could race at the highest level, and win a championship. I realize that I represent that 1/10 of 1% that it actually happens for. I can only hope I can live up to people’s expectations. Obviously I am totally immersed in Cody’s racing activities, and I make no apologies for that. A lot of parents try to give advice that the kids should do it by themselves, but I don’t agree. This is a family activity for us. It’s been a blessing for us doing this father/son activity, and it has enriched us in so many ways.
Preparing for the 2010 Worlds, our plan was to arrive with a meticulously prepared car that was the most advanced and fastest off-road RC car that had ever graced an RC track in the history of the hobby. I think we did that, and now we have to do that again in 2012. It sounds like a lofty goal, or cliché, but it’s reality. Every year the cars get better. In 2010, after two years of development and adjustment since the 2008 Worlds, the MP9 was an awesome machine (to Yuichi Kanai’s credit!). The formula is simple, if you want to win the biggest race in the world, you have to have the best car in the world. I have committed to help Cody in every way I can to win again, so that is my focus; not just for the Worlds, but for the 2012 racing season.
Well, I guess I will give you kudos if you read this whole entire dissertation. lol.. On the non-RC side, my real job is Transportation Engineering. I love to ride my motorcycle. I have a ZX10R and take it to Laguna Seca MotoGP each year with my riding pals. We ride through the canyons from Gorman, through Big Sur California, and it’s just a blast. I feel lucky to live in Southern California, and enjoy the lifestyle here. I love cigars, red wine, and lately I have been experimenting on the beer side. That’s it for now.. drive happy..