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 sit down and chat with one of the youngest Silver State champions of all-time, rising star, and fan favorite Buddy Christian!
LiveRC: Welcome Buddy to this week’s edition of Talk It Up Tuesday! When, where, how and why did you get started in R/C car racing?
Buddy: At the age of 4 I drove my first R/C car at RC Tracks of Las Vegas. My dad used to race there quite often the first few years it opened, and he eventually let me bash around a truggy I raced that same truggy for the first time when I was 5 in the novice class at a club race. My Dad decided to keep me racing because of a disease I have which prevents me from playing contact sports or any sport where I might get injured, so RC is perfect for us.
LiveRC: To best of our knowledge, you are the youngest driver to ever win a Silver State class championship, and you won TWO! How does it feel to know that you won TWICE at one of the most prestigious and challenging races in America?
Buddy: I don’t know if 1/5-scale counts, but I did win Silverstate in a 1/5 scale last year when I was 8. That was a lot easier than 1/8-scale. I did terrible in 1/8-scale buggy last year, I was 6th in the D main I believe. The big improvement I’ve made since then really makes me proud.
(Buddy's Nitro Buggy A-Main Post Race Interview)
LiveRC: The Silver State track was VERY rough, and VERY difficult to maneuver even for the top pro drivers. How were you able to race so smooth, stay so calm, and crash so little in these conditions?
Buddy: Our only practice track in Vegas is the old Silver Bowl that track will teach you how to drive around holes and through ruts whether you like it or not, it is pretty blown out all the time. My dad taking me racing in SoCal 9 weeks in a row before Silver State had me in a pretty good rhythm. I just did what I had been doing in previous race weeks. I never really felt too nervous. I think I was more nervous the week before in my JBRL buggy main.
LiveRC: There were racers in attendance this past weekend that were nearly 10 times older than you! Do you ever get scared or intimidated racing with the older racers and grownups?
Buddy: No not really that’s the way it’s always been for me since day 1. When I first started racing, yes for sure, I was pretty intimidated. Most of the guys I race now are my friends I race with a lot. I think they get more nervous then me lately.
LiveRC: You are obviously very talented with both a buggy and truck, but which one do you like best and why?
Buddy: Truck. My dad usually only lets me practice with buggy so when I get to drive the truggy it’s a lot easier and a lot more forgiving.
LiveRC: Normally it is just you and your dad at the races together, but you had more than just a few people there this weekend to support you. Who all was there to watch you win?
Buddy: My mom, my sister Kayla, uncle Rick, my best friends Jon and Maddison, our pit buddies The Kelly Family, my cousin Brandon, coach Craig who taught me how to whip, and a lot of my Silver Bowl friends.
LiveRC: Do you want to be a professional R/C car racer and/or work in the R/C car racing industry when you grow up?
Buddy: Yes, that is my goal at this time to be a pro and maybe a team manager like Adam Drake some day.
LiveRC: When you aren’t R/C car racing, what are some of your other hobbies?
Buddy: I love fishing that’s what I love doing the most outside of R/C racing. I like riding my scooter and playing VRC of course.
LiveRC: What other races will we see you at for 2019?
Buddy: My race schedule is really up in the air for a while because I have to get a bone marrow transplant which will have me out of racing for around a year. We thought I would be getting the transplant before DNC, but we’re still waiting to start it which should be within a few months. We’re gonna try to get in 5 more rounds of JBRL and finish off my sportsman run but we’ll see how things work out.
LiveRC: Buddy, it has been great talking with you today, and a HUGE congratulations on your Silver State wins! We suspect it won’t be long and the name “Buddy Christian” will be running with the best in the world. Is there anyone you would like to thank, or anything you would like to say before we go?
Buddy: Thank you Mike. I really want to thank David Tally and Brent Ashton for everything they do for me, those guys are a huge part of my successes. Also Tony Schumaker, Dylan and Janet Rodriguez, Tim Wilson, Adam Drake, The Tessmann family, The Kelly family - all of them have helped and supported my racing and I’m very grateful. My biggest thank you is to my parents, sisters and uncle Rick, for what they sacrifice and do to keep me racing.