TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Jesse Hernandez
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 03:40pm
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.
Jesse Hernandez approached me via Facebook on putting together a feature on his family’s RC racing team, but the story had already written itself. Though the concept of parents competing against and alongside their children is nothing new to RC, Jesse’s three children are the fastest pre-teen racing team in the industry - they’re drag racers, and one of them just netted his first season championship. Within just two years of picking up a transmitter for the first time, the Hernandez Racing Team drivers 13-year-old Victor, 11-year-old Christopher, and 10-year-old Jazmine have carved their names in the record books of the RC Drag Racing League, a national organization founded in their hometown Dallas-Fort Worth area. Jesse told me how they got started, why they find it so enjoyable, and how much fun he has racing with his kids.
Aaron Waldron: How did you get involved with RC cars?
Jesse Hernandez: I wanted a hobby where my kids and I could do together and have fun. I got them Traxxas Slashes in 2013, and they still bash them in the offseason.
AW: How long did it take you to get hooked on drag racing?
JH: We got hooked the moment we saw a Traxxas Funny Car at our local hobby store.
AW: Were you and your children interested in full-size drag racing before getting involved in RC?
JH: Yes. We went to watch local races on the weekends. I was interested in getting a junior dragster for my kids, but I don’t know how to work on real engines.
AW: Of what RC achievements your family has made are you the most proud?
JH: Christopher won the Young Gunners championship last season, and Victor and Jazmine both finished in the Top 10.
AW: Do your kids have other hobbies outside of RC?
JH: Victor plays on a select baseball team.
AW: How do the kids balance their schoolwork and racing?
JH: School and their grades come first. I tell them this is just a hobby. Luckily, I have some smart kids that bring home A's and B’s.
AW: Why do you find RC drag racing to be so much fun?
JH: The Radio Control Drag Racing League is just one big family, and there’s always lots of competition.
AW: What’s perhaps the biggest factor stopping RC drag racing from gaining popularity?
JH: The lack of big events and the lack of advertising. That's why I have gotten so involved in putting our team out there, to get the hobby recognized more.
AW: What is your favorite track? Do each of you have a different favorite class to race?
JH: Our home track is RCDRL HobbyTown Raceway in Hurst, Texas. Jazmine and Christopher race together in Young Gunners, and all three compete against each other in Top Sportsman (Door Slammer) and Traxxas Sportsman Funny Car. Victor also races Traxxas Pro Funny Car.
AW: What’s your favorite part of RC racing?
JH: For me, being the Crew Chief for our team, it’s the opportunity to watch my kids have fun and do well.
AW: What about RC racing annoys or others you?
JH: I don’t like some of the politics that come along with the big groups that put on the bigger races. It's way over-priced to go enjoy some top-level competition.
AW: Do you and your children have any big RC career goals?
JH: No, they know that it’s just a hobby. Especially in our class of racing, you can't go far unless you become one of the people making innovative products to change the game.
AW: Thank you for the interview! Is there anything else you would like to add?
JH: In just one season, my three kids have done really well. Because of that, we have been able to pick up sponsorships from some great companies out there. We like to be different from everyone else thats seems you have to use one product to be the best.
Learn more about the RC Drag Racing League at www.rcdrl.com