By Tyler Hooks
Future Stars of RC is a regular column on LiveRC where aspiring RC journalist Tyler Hooks has a conversation with fellow up-and-coming racers across the country, covering youth-friendly topics such as school subjects, watching TV, throwing huge whips and, of course, girls.
The Dirt Nitro Challenge saw some fantastic racing on all levels, Pro, Open, and Sportsman and saw quite a few firsts for the event. David Ronnefalk was the first European to win Pro Buggy, but the Rock brothers were the first brothers to win their respective classes in the same year with Dean Rock taking the Open Truggy title and Jack Rock taking the Sportsman Truggy title in the span of about two hours.
Name: Dean Rock
Age: 16 years old
Sponsors: Tekno RC, AKA, Nitro Pro Fuel
Name: Jack Rock
Age: 13 years old
Sponsors: Mom and Dad
TH: When did you first begin racing?
DR: I began racing at our little hometrack in Lompoc in 2012.
JR: I began racing in 2012 when I was 6.
TH: What is your biggest racing accomplishment?
DR: Finishing first in Expert Truck at DNC!
JR: My biggest accomplishment was getting three podiums at the Nitro Challenge.
TH: What is your worst racing failure?
DR: This past week at DNC when I mistook somebody else's car as my car during the Expert Electric Buggy A-Main. But luckily I managed to finish fifth after losing a third of a lap to the leaders on lap one.
JR: My biggest failure was not gluing tires before a practice run and having all four tires and all four foams fly past the car.
TH: Where do you attend school, and what is your goal for a future occupation?
DR: Cabrillo High School here in Vandenberg Village; as of now I plan on being a part of the quickly-expanding automotive industry.
JR: I attend Vandenberg Middle School in Vandenberg Village. Like Dean, I want a job in the automotive industry.
TH: What is your favorite class?
DR: The automotive shop class for school and nitro truck for racing.
JR: My favorite class in school is Spanish and my favorite class for RC racing is 13.5 4WD buggy.
TH: Do you have a girlfriend?
DR: No as of now!
JR: Not at the moment.
TH: What do you think of the old saying “girls just get in the way of racing?”
DR: That may be true for some girls, but not my mom!
JR: I don't think any girls in RC get in the way!
TH: What is your real dream car?
DR: The 1962 Pontiac Tempest that I will soon be turning into a dragcar.
JR: My dream car is a Porsche 911 GT3.
TH: Huge whips, driving absolutely flat out or more calculated driving, smoother on the throttle?
DR: Calculated driving for efficiency and fuel mileage!
JR: I think smoother on the throttle because you can drive the car smoother and have more control over it.
TH: Action sports or conventional sports, what do you follow in your free time?
DR: In my free time I will go shooting with my grandpa at the range, or I will occasionally watch a Lakers game.
JR: In my free time I like to shoot with my grandpa and drive my Axial crawler.
TH: This interview comes right after The Dirt Nitro Challenge. How was the race for you as a whole?
DR: As a whole DNC was awesome! After looking at the results I was the only driver to make all 3 expert A mains, and finish all 3 mains with no issues!
JR: My race results were better than expected! I had goals of just making the A mains and I exceeded my expectations.
TH: Who did you look up to when you were an even younger racer? Who has been the biggest help to you as a driver?
DR: Ever since I began racing Jerry Gerue has taught me everything that I have learned so far. Thanks Jerry!
JR: I would look up to all the faster drivers because I used to watch and see what lines they take or how much speed they carry in corners.
TH: What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to a new, up-and-coming racer?
DR: What ever you do, always stay positive and have a smile on you face!
JR: Don't get mad if your day went bad!