2019 - New Year - New Sponsor!
As we embark on another 365 day year in the R/C world, the silly season comes to a conclusion and the dust settles. This year I happened to be involved in the silly season in a big way when I needed to find a new chassis sponsor. Along the way a couple of other changes also have been made and like the cliche goes "when one door closes, another one opens". I would like to take this opportunity in my blog to share with you a little behind the scenes thoughts of what goes through my mind and what all goes into making these deals happen for me.
It started in mid November when the news came I needed to look for a new chassis sponsor. As my family does, we put it to God and prayed what was the next path for our family to be. We remained open to any possibility whether it be in R/C or out. My wife often can sense when these big changes are coming and this one was no different. A couple of months before she said she felt a big change in my job was coming again. (Same as 4 years ago when my time with Durango came to a conclusion). Well being R/C is what I know right now I made a list of all the companies and weighed the options of each. There were many factors that were of upmost importance for me and they included:
If I was to stay doing this full time I had to still be able to make a living and support my family of 7.
One thing that has often lacked in my program is what I allude to when I mention the 'support' that guys like Tessman and Ongaro have with their families. So if possible having a dedicated pit guy would be a huge motivation for the team I would choose.
A team culture that I could either help grow or that I felt fit who I am as a person and how I feel others should be treated regardless of if they are on the team or not.
A flexible schedule and a company that would be understanding that I have 4 kids and a family and that they come first.
Being able to book my own travel (I've been doing this for 9 years and I appreciate this opportunity to earn a few credit card perks to do small vacations with the family at times.)
A car that I felt based on my observations and communications with others could be a top performer.
So there I was one day putting my life situation to prayer when the name Agama came to my mind. I hadn't thought of them yet to add to my list so I added them on and then jumped on facebook to look them up and learn a bit more. Well the first post on facebook on my newsfeed was Kevin Lee leaving Tekno. Now I had just been in South Korea with Kevin and I thought he was going to stay so this really surprised me. I messaged him and asked where he was going and he said Agama! I thought to myself this is not just a coincidence. I had been asking God to make the path for me completely obvious that even my slow mind could see that it was his plan. So I had Kevin reach out to Agama factory quietly for me to see if it was a possibility. They came back with an amount and honestly it wasn't going to be enough for me to do this full time for them. So I messaged them and said thank you for the offer, but I just can't do it for that much. So in a way it was back to the drawing board but knowing that I felt that was the door God had opened and perhaps I was rushing things or going about it wrong.
After a few days of prayer and as we began to enter the end of November my wife said she felt the resolution was going to come in mid December. At this time it was time for my last race of the year, the Fall Brawl. I was wanting to do my absolute best and give Tekno thanks for all the support they have given to me over the past 4 years. Well unfortunately we got rained out after 2 rounds of qualifying. During the trip however I was prompted to message Nemo Racing USA whom are the US distributors for Agama. I sent Billy Tylaska a message on facebook seeing if he was open to talking. He was and so we began to correspond by e-mail as I made my way home from the race and began on my end of the year trophy auction.
From the start Billy was pretty excited at the prospect and literally every e-mail he would send back to me was checking off each of my checkboxes noted above! It felt almost too good to be true. Everything was falling into place just like our family has experienced before with our faith in God. The only wrinkle was that it was going to be a reduction in pay but the opportunities to make it up were there too. In a way I would be helping them grow from the ground up in the USA which I have experience with. Now I had put out feelers at a couple of other companies as well but basically multiple checkboxes weren't able to be marked off and by far and away Agama, Bullitt, and Nemo Racing just hit all the right notes. I truly felt like I found a diamond in the rough. A company with very good vehicles that it seems all the people who drive them really really like! In talking with Kevin Lee over the weeks since his switch and hearing how the vehicle drove I just felt like it was everything I was looking for! Not twitchy on steering initially, but lots of natural steering and a locked in rear end as well!
I am completely grateful for all the work Billy and Jon at Nemo Racing have put into making this a possibility! I can already tell Billy and I are going to be able to create some amazing content here on the USA front and really push the Agama and Bullitt brands to the forefront of the R/C racing scene! Be sure to follow my facebook pages and this blog as well as the Nemo Racing USA facebook page to keep up with this awesome content!
Another change that I have made is I have departed from Byron Fuels. I had been with them for the past 8 years and I was so grateful for their support and they make a great product that has always been consistent for me and I will miss being a part of them.
But with my new change, a new fuel opportunity arose and that is with a new fuel that hasn't quite hit the shelves yet. You may have seen the RC Pro logo on my new race shirt and that will be a new fuel coming soon! I also being with Billy who is based in Fort Worth, will probably be seen in the Texas area a lot more this year so this is just a natural fit with my new support package!
I will be continuing my relationship with AKA tires for another two years to continue my involvement with them since day one over 11 years ago!
I am continuing with Futaba to extend a 7 year relationship and will be running the new 7PX LE radio and HPS CB 700 servos in all my cars! These things are amazing and I will be doing some videos soon on these products!
A continuation of my 9 year relationship with Tekin electronics will be happening as well which I am excited to still be a part of!
I will be continuing my 7 year relationship with ProTek RC Batteries and chargers and A-main hobbies, bringing nearly anything R/C to your fingertips.
I still plan to look good with my DOD stickers and shirts going on year 4 now! :-)