Cody started driving RC cars like most do, running his car around in the yard and the street when he was 7 years old. His first car was a Traxxas Nitro Hawk. It wasn’t until he turned 11 in 1998 that he went to a track and saw organized racing. He visited SoCal Raceway in Huntington Beach CA with his brother Ryan and his dad Paul, and they were hooked. Cody got a used stadium truck with a stock motor, and that was the real beginning to his competitive racing career. Brian Kinwald was a regular at the track, and Cody was able to see how a real pro driver went about his business.
Since that time, Cody has run or raced every week, with only a few extended breaks for family trips or the holidays. Cody’s dad used to pick Cody and his brother Ryan up from school and go directly to the track several times a week. At closing time, the track employees would have to kick them out because they were always the last to leave. Cody’s older brother Ryan was a really good driver, but he quit racing RC to race motocross instead. In 2003, Cody’s Dad stopped racing himself to commit 100% of his time doing the mechanic work on Cody’s cars, following a pattern set by Ryan and Louis Cavalieri.
In 2004, Cody hit the ground running at Nitro Challenge. His first qualifier in the open gas truck class was only a few seconds off the pro gas truck TQ time held by Mark Pavidis. This was really the first moment where there was a buzz about Cody’s abilities. Cody went on to win the gas truck class by a huge margin, and also won the 1/8 buggy open class with his Kyosho Inferno Kanai Edition buggy, giving Cody the open class double win. After this victory, he would attend the Silver State Nitro Challenge in Las Vegas and win the 1/8 buggy open class by a lap. He did this with only one ackerman screw, as one fell out. The car didn’t want to turn completely to the right for almost the entire 45 minute final. Fortunately Cody was able to keep his concentration, and the car held together for the win.
After the success in the open ranks, Cody made the big step up to race with the experts and pros. Racing with the pro drivers at the Nationals was a wake up call, as he found himself unable to get out of the D main in 1/8 buggy, and landed in the C main in 1/10 gas truck. It took a couple years to gain the confidence he could run with the top drivers. Cody would chase Adam Drake around every week for a year or so until he finally beat Adam at a club race with his RC10GT. Cody raced a lot of the Proline Saturday Series, and it was fortunate they had an intermediate class. This allowed the younger drivers to stay interested and continue to win.
Cody was on his way in 2006, with a podium at the ROAR Truck Nationals, and an A Main appearance in 1/8 buggy. In 2007, Cody would again finish 3rd at the ROAR Truck Nats, and he really broke through winning the truggy class at Silver State. This was a defining moment, as well as the iFMAR Worlds final appearance in 2008. Cody was the only Kyosho driver of the 30+ driver team to get the newly released MP9 into the final at 2008 Worlds. This would get Cody the prestigious assignment of “Team Kyosho International” driver, as well as an invite to the Kyosho France Masters, and Japan Masters as well.
From there, Cody’s path was pretty simple, put in 2 years of hard work to get to the 2010 Worlds. It was in Pattaya Thailand where he obviously accomplished the pinnacle of any RC racer’s career, an iFMAR 1/8 fuel off-road title. Cody is still not done, as he is very motivated to win more…