TALK IT UP TUESDAY: 2010 World Champion Cody King
Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 11:38am
By Aaron Waldron
By Aaron Waldron
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!
Cody King has done his fair share of 1/10-scale racing throughout his career, but there's no doubt that he was made to drive 1/8-scale cars and trucks. He and his father/mechanic, Paul, picked up a Kyosho buggy in 2002 and the rest was history - he won the Open Buggy class at both Nitro Challenge and Silver State in 2004 and was well on his way to stardom. Once joining the pro ranks, Cody finished on the podium at back-to-back ROAR Nationals in 1/8-scale truck in 2006 and 2007, won the Truck class at Silver State in 2007, and scored the 2007 RC Pro National title. His made the finals at the 2008 IFMAR Worlds, in his first try, and two years later he outgunned defending champion Atsushi Hara in a battle that came down to the final lap.
Aaron Waldron: How do you feel about the fact no one was run on the new configuration of the Naxos World Track? Do you think that the extended practice this week is a good idea?
Cody King: It’s really hard to say anything about the track until you get there. It looks like it should be fun. I do think the extended practice is a good idea. It helps get everyone up to speed with what the track is going to do, also more practice is never a bad thing when it come to setup.
Paul King: I think the track is quite similar to what it was before, so the extended practice is good for us with no warm-up race. It's true we need to wait until we get there to look at it, but seems like they put plaster on the track.
AW: The Naxos World Track looks wild - it’s really big, with different surfaces, and several tricky sections of the layout. Is it a disadvantage that we don’t have similar facilities like that in the U.S.?
CK: I don't think so, our tracks are pretty difficult. I think Team USA will be fine!
AW: Your 2010 Worlds win was just the third victory for an American driver in the then-24 year history of the event - but it was the third time in just five races. Why do you think the American racers progressed so quickly in 1/8-scale racing?
CK: Wow, that is strange. I think we had plenty of good drivers in the USA, but the focus just wasn't on 1/8-scale. It has grown a lot in the last 10 years, especially in the US.
AW: Rather than entering the race as one of the heavy favorites, you sort of snuck in under the radar in 2010 - like Atsushi Hara did in 2008, Guillaume Vray in 2004, Greg Degani in 2002, etc. What is it about the 1/8-Scale Worlds that puts contending racers on an even playing field? Is it the format? The long week of racing? The track conditions?
CK: I think all of the above. Also, the pressure that some racers put on themselves is a big factor, so maybe the guys out there just driving have an advantage.
PK: Many people probably didn't notice, but Cody was on a TQ run in round 1 in Pattaya, and ran into Yuichi (lol). He probably would have been more on the radar had he TQ'd that round instead of getting 2 points for the round.
AW: You’ve done really well at nearly every race since your big win four years ago, but haven’t quite made it back to the top step of the podium. Have you ever heard any criticism of that being your only major win? How would you respond?
CK: Of course you will get that from some people, but I know I can win. It was disappointing finishing 2nd at the NEO race this year, I really felt like I should have won that one. I won the Lonestar Challenge Nats warm-up this year and Psycho Nitro Blast, so it's not like I haven't won at all.
AW: What do you think is the biggest reason we’ve only ever had one repeat winner at this event?
CK: 1/8 Off-Road is the toughest class to win for sure. It takes everything being perfect to win it, including car, tires, engine, driver, and mechanic.
AW: What’s the most difficult part of traveling to international races?
CK: Packing and the preparation.
PK: Sweating the customs stuff and getting all our stuff to the track.
AW: What’s your game plan for this week?
CK: Get my body adjusted to Italy time. :) Basically just get on pace and have a chance at the end. If you get yourself near the front at the end of the main, you've done well.
PK: Make sure the cars are as perfect as possible and stay out of Cody's way... Thanks for the interview.