Interview with Scotty Ernst
Scotty Ernst is the most known race announcer of all the R/C industry. He is a real R/C addict. I may describe him as being a “RCaohlic”. He is the LiveRC.com‘s voice for all live broadcasts and DVD’s (sorry Charlie!). He travels the world to announce and promote R/C races and events. When Scotty is there, you can be sure it will be a success. Unfortunately, I never met him in person, only through my computer screen. Watching a race commented by Scotty is like having him sitting next to me. His manner to describe all the action is unique and we can feel all the excitement of the race. Everybody in the R/C industry knows and respects Scotty. Why is Scotty so popular and respected? I asked him…
First of all, Scotty, welcome to MyRCBox.com. We “electronically” know each other but we never met before. This is a real pleasure to have you for this interview.
Thank you very much Sylvain, am honored to be asked for an interview. It is a wonderful time we are in now where you can meet so many people, make friends and share in this awesome hobby all from behind a computer screen, Like we have meet during my Liverc.com duties
MyRCBox.com: What was your first contact with R/C?
Scotty Ernst: I had some simple RC cars when I was a kid, some were on a cord not really RC and the others I remember only turned left, if you wanted to go the other way you had to go backwards then left.
MyRCBox.com: You are an excellent carpet racer. Why did you have traded the remote control for a microphone?
Scotty Ernst: I guess back in the day, I could hold my own and had success racing and I still love the racing, but as we get older, life changes and responsibilities come into play and announcing and race directing became a way for me to support my family.
MyRCBox.com: You own several race tracks and a hobby shop, you travel all around the world to promote and announce R/C races. Can I describe you as being a “RCaohlic”?
Scotty Ernst: That would be a fair word to describe me I guess. I know there is nobody in the world who enjoys this hobby more than I, be it the racing side of it or the promotion and announcing part of the hobby.
MyRCBox.com: How many hours in a week do you devote to R/C?
Scotty Ernst: I don’t think I could even put it in hours, every day of my life is really involved in RC of some way. If I am at home, I am at Trackside my Hobby shop and race track. If I am not home, I am on a plane traveling to announce a race or I am at the event announcing. But really every day I am involved in RC someway.
MyRCBox.com: Why do you think you are so popular and respected?
Scotty Ernst: Wow that is a tough question to answer. I just think I do things a bit different. To me, our hobby is just as exciting as any other form of motor sport racing. It has all the same elements as full scale racing. From a RC racers point of view, you go through the same emotions, joy, frustration, disappointment, nervousness and some days, Victory! From a spectator view, it is just as exciting but in many ways more exciting than full scale racing. Our races are normally short in duration with the exception of long Nitro mains, So a spectator gets to see many races in a short time span. So there is so much action for them to watch, I just try and bring as much excitement as I feel there is in our races to the spectators. To me it does not matter if it is a race for the World Championship or a battle between 6 and 7th place in the H main, if it is a close race, it is exciting. And to the guys in that race, if I can add some excitement to it and the crowd might cheer for them, They will remember that moment.
MyRCBox.com: Do you have an idea of how many races you have announced in your life?
Scotty Ernst: Wow, I don’t think I could even figure that out. For me, Trackside started in 1993. I would announce all the races there, then in the late 90’s when I would travel around and go to the races as a competitor, those tracks would ask me to announce some of the mains. Then in 2001 when the announcing side of my career started it has become my job.
MyRCBox.com: How many countries did you visit during your announcer career?
Scotty Ernst: I have been very blessed to be able to travel around the world enjoying this hobby. I have been to every continent accept South America which I am hoping to travel to in the coming years and of course Antarctica and the Arctic, I don’t think there is much racing on the North and South poles. One thing I try and always do when I go to a new place, is try and get out to see some of the country. I enjoy the history of the world and many places I have been too have been a part of history and I try and go see the sights. The Great Wall of China, Berlin and the Berlin Wall, Bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. Some very historic and amazing places.
MyRCBox.com: What is your best moment or souvenir as a race announcer or promoter?
Scotty Ernst: Best moment as an announcer would be a tie. I was racing the 1997 US Carpet Nats in Dalton GA running Mod Touring, They asked me to announce the Third A final in 1/12th Mod. Joel Johnson and Josh Cyrul, time finished, both guys batteries are dying and they race down the final straightaway banging doors and finish within hundredths of a second. Next would be the 2008 Touring Car worlds in Bangkok Thailand between Marc Rheinard and Atsushi Hara Both are great friends of mine and it was and amazing race. Both moments will always stay with me.
As a promoter, no question the International Indoor Championship “IIC” in Las Vegas. My brother Jeff “Boomer” and Jamie Tennies and the team all worked so hard to bring this idea we had to reality and it was magical. They all work so hard each year to make that our shining event. That is what I am most proud of.
MyRCBox.com: What would you say to someone who will like to begin R/C racing?
Scotty Ernst: Do it for the true enjoyment of it. Don’t take it to serious, that will take a lot of the fun out of it. It is a great hobby, enjoy it.
MyRCBox.com: You and all the LiveRC.com’s crew have created a real “buzz” in the R/C industry by broadcasting and commenting live R/C races. Do you feel that R/C racing is finally getting the exposure it deserves?
Scotty Ernst: Yes and No, What Brandon and the crew has done with Liverc.com is something amazing. We are able to bring a true TV quality broadcast of our hobby around the world live. This is a huge step in exposing our hobby to more people, but there is so much more that is possible. We need to find the way to get it on TV. this has been debated many times, how to do this, but if they can have the National Spelling Bee and the Hot Dog Eating World Championships on TV, there has to be a place for RC on TV.
MyRCBox.com: From your point of view, what do you think is the future of R/C racing?
Scotty Ernst: The Future of RC has never been better. Short Course Trucks have changed the course that RC was on. With all the involvement that the major RC companies have done getting this hobby out in front of the masses at the full scale race events is fantastic. It has exposed hundreds of thousands of potential new customers to our hobby and I see this on the front lines. In our shop, we see new customers come in each day who have never been in a hobby shop before, but they have heard and seen these trucks and they are hooked!
MyRCBox.com: Do you have any wishes for the R/C racing scene?
Scotty Ernst: Just for everyone to work together for the greater good. To expose our hobby to more people. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, but if we all work to make the pie bigger, then we can all have more.
MyRCBox.com: Your daughter Sarah is also involved into R/C as a racer, she was at the last ROAR Nationals. She did well in buggy and truggy. How things are going for?
Scotty Ernst: Everyone that knows me, has heard me say at some time, that the greatest thing about our hobby is that we can do it with our kids. What I mean is, if our kid is a basketball player or football player, we can stand on the sidelines and watch them, but we really cannot participate in the sport with them, but in RC. we can. it does not matter what our ages are, we can race side by side with them. or in my case. it would be behind Sarah since she has gotten much faster than her dad. But we can do it together and to me both as a parent and as a track owner, this is the best part of the hobby.
MyRCBox.com: Do you share your R/C experiences with her? Or her race career is something completely separated?
Scotty Ernst: Yes, Sarah and I have traveled around for many years going to races both were I am a racer or more recent when I was the promoter or announcer and she has come along to help with that part of the event and also race. I have passed on everything I know about RC to her but she also has grown up at Trackside both racing and working the shop, so she has built up a very good knowledge of RC all around.
MyRCBox.com: During the Nats, you took the time to leave the microphone and go close to the track and watch your daughter’s race. You wanted to enjoy this unique moment. Your family is really important for you. How do you deal with family and your R/C occupations?
Scotty Ernst: People that know me, know that my kids are the most important thing in my life, and even that I do travel a lot, I take every spare moment I have to be with them. It is great when Sarah and I can go racing together and watching her through the years progress, grow and become such a good racer obviously makes me very proud. My other daughter Nerissa is not really interested in RC. She is quite an artist and that has become her passion and I am amazed at what she can draw but I keep trying and someday I will get her driving.
MyRCBox.com: What’s next for you in the upcoming months?
Scotty Ernst: I have a busy year ahead of me. Trackside is doing great, Kenny our manager and the team do a great job when I am away working and we are looking forward to a great Fall season with our Saturday Fever series. As for announcing, I will be doing the ETS finals in Germany, the Worlds in Finland, the European Touring Car championships in Vienna, the final 2 events in our Short Course Showdown Nation Wide Tour and then in October, it is time for the IIC. Vegas Baby!
MyRCBox.com: Scotty, good luck with all your projects, this has been a real pleasure to have you for this interview. Hope to meet you soon!
Scotty Ernst: Thank you very much it has been my pleasure and I wish you continued success with MyRCBox.com