TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Mason Eppley
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 03:13pm
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!
Seventeen-year-old NorCal native Mason Eppley quickly progressed from RTR bashing to becoming one of the fastest racers in his region in just three years. Benefitting from the help of local racing veterans, as well as an opportunity to join the quickly-growing Tekno RC team early in his career, Eppley earned national spotlight attention with an Expert-class podium finish at Silver State this year and will be one of the U.S. team members at this year’s IFMAR Worlds in Las Vegas. Get to know more about Mason in this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday interview.
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, and where are you from?
Mason Eppley: I am 17 years old and from Redding, CA.
AW: How did you get into RC, and how long have you been racing?
ME: I got my first RC car, a Traxxas Rally, back in mid-2013. I soon heard about a local track that races every other weekend in my area called Rattlesnake Raceway. From there, I started progressing and eventually got a 1/8-scale buggy. In total, I have been racing 3 years as of last month.
AW: When did you decide to start taking racing more seriously, traveling to larger races and acquiring sponsors?
ME: I started taking it more seriously when I got my first 1/8-scale buggy. By then I had been racing for around three months, and I kind of did my own thing without sponsors for another year. Once I felt that I was pretty fast, I built up enough confidence to send my resume to Tekno RC. To my surprise they offered me a sponsorship and I have been with them ever since then. Soon after that I started traveling to some of the larger races.
AW: You’re still a student, right? Is it difficult finding time to commit to practicing and racing?
ME: Currently I'm a junior in High School. It did become difficult to manage racing and school at the same time, so my grandfather and I decided it would be for the best if I went into independent study. It would grant me the flexible school hours and allow me to be out of town racing more while bringing my school work with me.
AW: What’s your favorite track? Favorite big event? Favorite racing class?
ME: My favorite track is Silver Dollar Raceway in Chico, CA, which is about an hour from my house. I love the annual Silver State race, with the competition and unique track conditions it definitely makes for a fun event! For my favorite class, it has to be 1/8-scale nitro buggy. Nothing comes to the excitement level that 1/8-scale nitro buggy has in my book!
AW: What’s the racing scene like in NorCal?
ME: With all of the great people, young talent, and the amazing tracks that we are lucky enough to have, I am glad this is where I am racing!
AW: What are your most proud racing moments?
ME: Qualifying for the 2016 1/8-Scale Off-Road Worlds is by far my favorite moment!
AW: Do you have any goals for your RC career?
ME: I would love to go pro some day, as well as make the main event at a ROAR National.
AW: When you’re not at the racetrack, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
ME: I love to play football and basketball or any kind of sport!
AW: What’s the best part of RC racing? What about RC racing annoys or bothers you?
ME: The best part of RC racing is how competitive and adrenaline pumping it is! The thing that bothers me the most is that when people take it too seriously and forget that we are doing this hobby to have fun.
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
ME: My Grandfather, Terry Cook, Matt Wolter, and Daniel Lewis have helped me a ton to get me where I am today!
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
ME: First off, I would like to thank you Aaron for the interview! Also a huge thanks to my sponsors for the support as I wouldn't be where I am today without you guys: Tekno RC, Pro-Line, Triton RC, Tekin, Byron Fuels, Schelle, LFR, DE Racing, 92zero Designs, RAD RC Painting, and All Around RC.