Race Preparation With a 40+ Class Veteran (Santos Rodriguez)

Santos Rodriguez is a team drivers and was even one of our earliest supporters when he was stationed overseas as part of the United States Military. While Santos was deployed, he used to send emails to the Tekno RC offices with suggestions and ideas for some of our earliest conversions as he and his buddies would race them on the military bases in their off time. After retiring from a full 20+ years of service Santos joined our race team to continue the fun and passion. You will be hard pressed to find a more dedicated and meticulous racer in the pits and we have learned an immense amount from his work ethic and support over the years. As explained blow Mr. Rodriguez isn’t a huge talker but he took some time to explain how he prepares for an event like The Southern Nationals and explain what RC means to him as a father and a veteran!

“I wanted to reflect a little on and why I race RC cars along with Southern Nationals prep for a ’40+er.’ I would consider myself C team driver. I explain for my non RC race family and friends, A-Team are paid Pro guys, B-Team are the young guns that are awesomely being groomed into pros along with older guys who still have talent, C-Team that’s me, 40+er with the talent of staying on all 4 wheels, LOL.

Little of my background, I have raced RC for a while now and been going on 13 years. When I was a teen I had those Bolink pan cars, it was oval on road, and to me growing up that was one of the coolest things. I had some older racers where I grew up and I learned a lot from them. My mom did what she could and I got to race for about 2 years. I was 13 years old.

I joined the military at 19 and owned bashers like the T-Maxx, Revo, Nitro Rustler and all that good stuff. In 2007 maybe 2008, I was racing at local track N-Control in Austin, Texas. I had Traxxas Nitro Revo monster truck with a Tekno RC electric conversion (One of the original Tekno Conversions). I was running with Nitro 1/8 scale Truggies and competed well. I ran Losi XXXT-NT AD2 as well. I even got to race while deployed. My wife shipped my cars and all I needed. We even had companies sending us parts as well to APO addresses. Yeah, shipping wasn’t cheap either.”

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“Southern Nationals prep for a ’40+er’.  A lot of deliberate breathing in and keeping calm and collected.  I can have all best equipment, but if I’m not focused mentally, nerves and anxiety get the best of me, and I’m at a loss.

This weekend, the weekend before the event, I ran my nitro truggy to finish breaking in a new Blok motor along with trying out a couple different things to add or take away steering with setup in prep for the upcoming event. In qualifying for second round I added a lot of steering with some changes and my truck was on point for the conditions.  I was able to get a 99.1% consistency and the truck felt easy to drive.  I will refresh all fluids, new bearings as I do for every big event.  I also plan to go through the motor, clean the head button and check everything through.

I’m going to Southern Nationals ready, my equipment is feeling great going in to event. I feel comfortable and excited for the fun with friends and fellow racers. I am not a big talker but those of you that know me know I am soft spoken and usually keep to myself because of my background.  21 years of Active Army service as an Infantryman has made me protective of my space so no offense to anyone, but I will hang out with my guys and say hi of course.  Let’s ensure we respect each other out there, have fun and enjoy the event.

RC is awesome and I enjoy every minute of it. Things that I share in RC hobby relate back to my military days! It’s a bigger community than we think but it’s good to be racing with folks from all over with different cultures and backgrounds. We all share the competition in racing, but the connecting with race friends and sharing life experiences we learn from one another is invaluable. We all may have cool things you can see and some not but the most valuable things are what you don’t see! This is one of my outlets and therapy, family is #1!

In closing, I want to thank my #1 supporters, my family and my sponsors, without them I wouldn’t be able to do this fun hobby.

Tekno RC
Proline Racing
PT Racing oils
MH Designs
VRP Vision Racing Products”

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