TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Rob Gillespie Jr.
Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016 05:58pm
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!
Rob Gillespie Jr. isn’t just one of the nicest guys you’ll find on the drivers’ stand during a top A-Main - but he’s also one of the fastest. In fact, Gillespie came within just one point of sweeping his second straight April Fools Classic this past weekend. He finished second behind former U.S. national champ and Reedy Race Invitational winner Dustin Evans in 4WD after dominating qualifying and capturing the 2WD and Stadium Truck titles at his home track. It wasn’t the first time his name made global RC headlines for finishing atop one of RC’s most well-known races, and it certainly won’t be the last. This week, Gillespie talked about his career and goals for the future.
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, and where are you from?
Rob Gillespie: I am 23 years old and I am from Salt Lake City, UT
AW: How did you get started in radio control, and how long have you been racing?
RG: My Dad got me into RC. I raced a little bit when I was really young, but I didn't really start racing until I was 14.
AW: When did you decide to start taking racing more seriously, traveling to larger races and acquiring sponsors?
RG: In 2007, my dad and I traveled to the Hot Rod Shootout. I got to see all the big teams in person for the first time, and from that moment on I was hooked.
AW: What do you currently do for work? Is it difficult finding time to commit to practicing and racing?
RG: When I am not traveling, usually I help with the announcing during club racing.
AW: What’s your favorite track? Favorite big event? Favorite racing class?
RG: My favorite track is Murph’s Intermountain RC, of course. My favorite event to attend is Reedy Race, and my favorite class is 2wd Mod Buggy.
AW: Having traveled around the country to different events, how does the racing scene in Utah vary from other places you’ve visited?
RG: In my opinion, the racing scene is similar to most tracks I go to. We have big turnouts, great traction and a good group of fast racers!
AW: What are your most proud racing moments? Do you have any goals for your RC career?
RG: Making all three mains at the 2015 Nationals and winning the Open 4WD class at the 2013 Reedy race are my most proud racing moments. As far as goals, just seeing how far I can go in this hobby is a good goal for me.
AW: When you’re not at the racetrack, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
RG: I love racing, so watching any form of racing is always a good time.
Photo: Jason Venezia, via Facebook
AW: What’s the best part of RC racing? What about RC racing annoys or bothers you?
RG: Meeting new people and seeing friends that I have made over the years. The only thing that bothers me about RC racing, is waiting in line for a long time to practice.
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
RG: Brent Thielke, Kurt Wenger, Kody Numedahl, Matt Chambers, and Billy Fischer are just a few who have helped me a ton over the years. Without my Mom and Dad, though, none of this would have ever been possible.
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
RG: Thank you, Aaron, for giving me the opportunity! I would also like to thank all my sponsors: Team Associated, Reedy, Pro-Line, Chaos paints and Murph’s Intermountain RC raceway