By Aaron Waldron
For 21-year-old Palmdale, CA resident Jordynn Brunette, RC racing isn’t just a family hobby - it’s a way of life.
Shortly after stumbling across the RCX show in Southern California and purchasing a few Traxxas Slash RTR’s, their backyard motorcycle track turned into an RC track. After two months, they upgraded to Kyosho Ultima SC kits and her stepfather, Eddie Armijo, started club racing at local tracks before jumping into the traveling JBRL series.
The family opened Controlled Chaos Raceway in their hometown, and Brunette had a place to practice as often as she wanted. “When I noticed I was one of the only girls, I wanted to start showing up the guys,” said Brunette, whose race results and growing reputation within the SoCal racing scene has earned her sponsorship opportunities from Pro-Line, SchurrSpeed, Sky Hunter Hobbies, and Walden Designs. “I don’t take advantage of it, though,” said Brunette, “I only accept sponsors that I feel like I deserve and I’m ready for.”
Since the family runs a local racetrack, it’s easier for Jordyn to explain to her friends what she does for a hobby - but she doesn’t sugar coat it either. “I tell them that I play with toy cars, and it’s pretty nerdy,” she said, “I thought they were nerdy at first, and then I realized that I actually liked it.”
She didn’t have any problems explaining the hobby to her boyfriend of a year and a half, Cody Turner, as they met when he was racing at CCR and she was working at the snack bar. Cody laughed while admitting that he offered to wash Brunette’s tires or turn marshal for her to get her attention, but she insisted that he didn’t use any cheesy pickup lines. “Can I have your Snapchat?” is what Cody said he thinks got the couple talking.
“I never get intimidated racing against guys,” said Brunette, “I think they get more intimidated.” She said that while she never tries to wreck anyone, she’s not afraid to stand her ground, either. “Everyone thinks that my favorite color is pink, but it’s blue. I got pink stuff because I want people to know that it’s a girl that’s kicking their butt,” said Brunette. She thinks that being one of the faster racers in her area actually makes her more of a target than it does granting her favor among racers. “Guys never like racing against me,” said Brunette. She added, “They take offense to getting beat by a girl. They’ll take me out and then blame me.”
Rather than be intimidated, Jordynn feels motivated by the pressure to stand out amongst her male peers for more than just her gender. Her biggest piece of advice for girls looking to break into RC racing? “Don’t let the guys scare you,” she said.