Scott Hughes Interview – March 2008
MyRCBox.com: How did you start in RC racing?
Scott Hughes: I started racing in 1989. A friend of mine brought a Radio Control Car Action magazine to school one day. I was flipping through and amazed at the look and capability of the cars. I was hooked and on my 13th birthday I received my first rc car.
MyRCBox.com: What was your first RC car?
Scott Hughes: It was a standard Team Associated RC10.
MyRCBox.com: What is your preferred race class and why?
Scott Hughes: I prefer 1:8 buggy because I like the raw power, the durability, the crazy track designs (thanks Joey), and the people involved in 1:8 racing. It has really become a sort of lifestyle and made racing a lot of fun in the past years for me.
MyRCBox.com: How many hours do you practice/race per week?
Scott Hughes: None. I focus on big races.
MyRCBox.com: What will be the future of RC in the next 5 years?
Scott Hughes: I see electric racing coming back. It’s already made a resurgence and with lipos and brushless motors coming down in price I think it’s the next big boom. I think it will transfer into 1:8 racing as well.
MyRCBox.com: At your race level, do you still see RC as a hobby or more like an industry?
Scott Hughes: Because I work at Pro-Line as the marketing guy, I see it as a little of both. You have to understand the hobbyist and what makes them tick in order to sell products. On the other hand, you have to think of rc as an industry from a racing perspective and how performance at the track/events translates the branding of your product and ultimately the success of your brand.
MyRCBox.com: In the future, do you believe companies outside the RC industry will sponsor pro drivers?
Scott Hughes: It’s already happening on small scales. Many guys have sunglass sponsors such as Oakley and other outside companies are helping out guys such as Mechanix Wear and others.
MyRCBox.com: What has RC racing taught you over the years?
Scott Hughes: I think it’s taught me how to be patient and persistent. You have to have a ton of patience when running those long A-mains or conducting test sessions. Although I said I don’t practice much these days, there was a time when I worked on my rc cars or raced 7 days a week. Persistency has paid off and it took a good 10 years to get to a point where I could throw my car down and be competitive without much practice at all.
MyRCBox.com: Who has most influenced you in your career and why?
Scott Hughes: In my career the person who has most influenced me is Todd Mattson, the owner of Pro-Line. I don’t say that because he signs my paychecks either :). I say that because when I came to Pro-Line 10 years ago, he was the leader of the company and he worked hard for where he was at and where he wanted to go. I knew that someday I would want to have a family and be able to support them solely, just as he has and how most men want to provide for their family. In order to do that, I needed the right schooling and self-discipline and he’s been there to encourage me every step of the way. Thanks Todd!
MyRCBox.com: Any words for those who want to start racing?
Scott Hughes: For those that want to start racing go for it. It’s really easy to get involved at your local track. Anyone there will be able to assist you with anything you need, especially those first few times. And remember, just because it’s a “toy car” doesn’t mean that it will be easy to go fast. Thousands of hours will go into your hobby and chances of becoming a pro are slight. In a recent online pole, it’s less than .05% of all youth sports players that actually end up on any professional sports team. That’s an extremely low percentage. But, with hardwork and drive to be the best that you can be, the hobby/sport of RC will become a passion and the experience/knowledge is something you will be able to take with you anywhere.
MyRCBox.com: In your race career, what is the achievement you are the most proud of?
Scott Hughes: I’m most proud of my second place finish at the 1:8 IFMAR Off-Road World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2006. A really good moment for me and Pro-Line as all 10 competitors in the a-main chose Pro-Line tires.
MyRCBox.com: You must contact pro RC racers for a dream team, who do you call first?
Scott Hughes: My Top 6 is from my electric days and my current nitro days: Brian Kinwald, Masami Hirosaka, Mark Pavidis, Ryan Cavalieri, Ryan Maifield and Jared Tebo.
MyRCBox.com: Is there something you would like to change in RC?
Scott Hughes: Exposure. I would like for RC to get more exposed to the masses. Many people know about the Nikko type rc’s and stuff but they aren’t aware of type of cars we run.
MyRCBox.com: Before a race, how do you prepare yourself? Do you have any special superstition?
Scott Hughes: No superstition. I just think about the race and keep calm. The best results I have ever had is when I am completely calm. Hard to do but it happens from time-to-time.
MyRCBox.com: After your race career, where do you see yourself, any specific projects?
Scott Hughes: I’m one of those guys that is at that point. I currently race for Pro-Line, Mugen, OS, and Futaba but I am also the Marketing Manager for Pro-Line. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management as does my wife, I’m married to my wife Lorinda for 5 years, and we have a brand new baby boy named Samuel Scott. We own a house, have a dog, so I guess you could say we are living the American dream.
MyRCBox.com: How do you deal with the fact that many RC enthusiasts recognize you at race tracks?
Scott Hughes: Bono has nothing on RC pros. Just kidding. This really isn’t a big deal as I don’t think any of us have poparazzi issues. But, it is nice to be recognized in our small, yet growing, sport.
MyRCBox.com: It is now time to “plug” your sponsors, who are they?
Scott Hughes: Pro-Line, Mugen, OS, Futaba, SRAM, Mechanix Wear, Oakley, Ballistic Batteries, Upgrade.
MyRCBox.com: Is getting sponsored have been difficult for you?
Scott Hughes: No, not really.
MyRCBox.com: Beside RC, what are your others interests?
Scott Hughes: My other interests are riding dirt bikes, mountain biking, hiking and camping.
MyRCBox.com: What is next for you in the next years?
Scott Hughes: Hard to say. Stay tuned to MyRCBox and you will see!
MyRCBox.com: Thanks for your for precious time, I know you are a busy person
Scott Hughes: I appreciate the time as well. All the best, Scott Hughes