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.
Name: Caleb Stevens
Ages: 17 years old
Sponsors: Team Associated, Reedy, JConcepts, MIP, Extreme Hobby Shop, Extreme RC Raceway
Tyler Hooks: When did you first begin racing?
Caleb Stevens: I began racing about 3 years ago at Extreme RC Raceway, an indoor off-road carpet track owned by my dad, where we set up a temporary track every other weekend on saturday night. We set the track up and practice on Saturday and then hold the races on Sunday, having to tear down the track after the race day. I’ve been doing this ever since the track was opened, although i’ve been able to go to quite a few other big races all across the United States.
TH: What is your biggest racing accomplishment?
CS: I would have to say my biggest racing accomplishment would be my overall weekend at the JConcepts Turf Nats last year. I raced 3 classes (2WD Mod, 4WD Mod, and Stadium Truck) and all 3 cars were dialed all weekend. I qualified for all 3 A-Mains and ended up improving my position in all classes from my qualifying position. I would end up taking the win in stadium truck and finish just off the podium in 4th in 2WD Mod. The competition was very intense at the track and I finished just behind some of the big names of RC.
TH: What is your worst racing failure?
CS: I was at the First annual JConcepts Extreme Carpet Initiative and qualified in the top of the A group for the mains. For some reason I took my batteries off of the charger and when I was climbing positions in the main, my battery just died with 30 seconds left in the races. I would still end up 4th and 5th after the chaos.
TH: Where do you attend school, and what is your goal for a future occupation?
CS:I attend Independence High School in Thompson Station, TN and am currently a Junior. My future goals for an occupation would probably be a mechanical/chemical engineer or something to do with the business world behind it.
TH: What is your favorite class for school and racing?
CS: My favorite class in school is probably either marketing or AP Chemistry. I like the business aspect of marketing, but I also like the complexity and real-life application of AP Chemistry. As far as My favorite class to race, I love 2WD Mod Buggy. I've always loved how the 2WD buggies make the driver actually “drive” the car. It requires counter steering, careful throttle control, and a good amount of talent.
TH: Do you have a girlfriend?
CS: Not currently.
TH: What do you think of the old saying “girls just get in the way of racing?”
CS: I've seen it happen to some of my friends, but I hope it never happens to me... haha
TH: What is your real dream car?
CS:I have always wanted a Mini Cooper S. I love how they feel like a go-kart and handle so well, not to mention the design. When I got my license this past year, my parents helped me get one last Christmas. If I was a millionaire, I would buy a Lamborghini, because I've always had my eye on them on YouTube or in real life.
TH: Huge Whips, driving absolutely flat out or more calculated driving, smoother on the throttle?
CS: Huge whips are super cool and I try to do them every now and then, but that's not what wins races. Smooth and calculated driving and razor precision is what makes the difference on the track.
TH: This interview comes right after The 3rd annual JConcepts Extreme Carpet Initiative. How was the race for you as a whole?CS: ECI is always a blast and always provides great competition and super close racing. I had a great time, didn't do the best in qualifying, but I would end the weekend with the win in 2WD Mod and take 3rd in 4WD Mod.>
TH: Action Sports or Conventional sports, what do you follow in your free time?
CS: I'm not a very big sports person. I will watch a dirt bike or an F1 race every now and then, but I really don’t have a lot of time for watching sports/racing as often as I would want to, due to my school workload.
TH: Who did you look up to when you were an even younger racer, or who has been the biggest help to you as a driver?
CS: My family has always been there to help me and support me during my racing, especially my dad, Matthew Stevens. He has always helped when I need it, whether it's with parts, soldering, quick tire gluing, etc
TH: What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to a new up and coming racer?
CS: Don't give up. When you first start racing, you think that you're not fast enough to be competitive and win in the main classes. If you stay determined and have the right mindset, anything can happen.