By Mike Garrison
Welcome to LiveRC's weekly column, "Talk-It-Up Tuesday!" Here we spend a little time talking with industry icons including racers, manufacturers, team managers, developers, promoters, and everyone in between! Sit back, relax, and go behind the scenes as we interview them all!
For this week's Talk It Up Tuesday we join the 2010 IFMAR World Champion, Cody King, as he discusses his departure and return to R/C, his recent life journey, and his plans for the future.
LiveRC: Welcome back Cody to “Talk It Up Tuesday”, and welcome back to R/C racing! It has been quite some time since we have had the opportunity to talk with you, and we are anxious to hear what’s new in the life of Cody King. First of all, you’ve been away from R/C for a little while now, tell us a bit about what you’ve been doing and working on outside of the R/C world?
Cody: Well, the truth is, I acquired an addiction to prescription pain killers. I did a full rehab program that took about 6 months. I’m not going to shy away from that, and I would tell anyone to get help quitting opiates or other prescription medications if they have trouble quitting. I’m thankful I went through the program, and now I’m able to sit here and answer questions for you Mike. I can tell you that there are way too many prescription medications being handed out all over the place, and it’s a real problem. That’s how it started for me, with vicodin. Since I finished my program, I’ve been working for Amazon, bought a car, and just rebooted my life. Things are going well.
LiveRC: Your announcement that you were coming back to R/C racing shocked a lot of us, and we are happy to hear it. What made you decide to return to R/C racing?
Cody: I honestly just missed it. I went to the track with some friends a few months back and took the wheel of my friend’s car, and I was fast right away. It made me want to get back to it, even if it’s just local racing at first.
LiveRC: You are most well-known for your IFMAR 1/8 Off-Road World Championship win in 2010 with Team Kyosho. Since then you have been with several different teams, but for 2019 you are returning to Kyosho. How did this come about, and how do you feel to be back “home” with your Worlds winning team?
Cody: It was the most logical move, and it does feel like coming home. Things got pretty bumpy for awhile there when I quit, and Kyosho was happy to see me doing well. I kinda felt like it was the right thing to do, since I really never wanted to leave Kyosho in the first place. It’s a nice coincidence that the MP10 came out at the same time.
(Photo by NeoBuggy.net)
LiveRC: You mentioned that not only are you coming back, but your dad Paul will also be making a return as your mechanic helping out in the pits. Who is more excited to get back racing again, you or him? Haha!
Cody: Haha probably equal. I’m excited to drive, and I know he wants to be back out there making the cars better.
LiveRC: Our understanding is that you will only be racing locally and only taking steps towards bigger races if it feels right. Do you have any specific goals or races that you hope to feel comfortable and ready to attend in 2019?
Cody: Trying not to look too far ahead. If I make Nitro Challenge in February, that would be pretty aggressive. I could see myself racing JBRL and maybe Nationals if things are going well.
LiveRC: Do you hope to make R/C racing your full-time career again someday?
Cody: I would like that, but it’s a tall order. I’m obviously not coming back with a salary or anything like before, just some support at first. The younger kids are getting the contracts, and I’m not coming out here expecting to make a ton of money.
LiveRC: Will you be racing 1/8-scale only, or do you plan to race 1/10-scale as well?
Cody: Just 1/8 for now.
LiveRC: After many years racing R/C cars with much success, what would you say R/C racing has taught you the most about life in general?
Cody: Planning and not taking things for granted. I had some great opportunities and wished I had taken advantage of those to the fullest.
LiveRC: In the short time you have been away, there has been a number of young rising stars starting to make a real name for themselves (one of them being your new team mate CJ Jelin). What advice do you have for young racers and their parents as they come through the ranks as you have done?
Cody: Take the money they are making and put it away. It’s a very fortunate thing to make money doing something fun, and it’s easy to take it for granted. Also plan early for a transition to business, or another part of the industry if they want to stay in it. Some will go on to other jobs outside the industry, like Matt Francis did.
LiveRC: What is the one thing you’ve missed the most about R/C racing?
Cody: The people of course, and the competition. It’s a great hobby! That’s what it is for everyone starting out, and that’s what I’m getting back to.
LiveRC: Cody we are sincerely happy to see you are doing well, and you are getting back to the track again. We hope to see in action very soon! Is there anything you would like to add before we go?
Cody: Thanks so much for the interview. And thanks to everyone for the support and help on my journey.