The 2016-17 R/C “Silly Season” has been perhaps one of the most shocking season of changes yet. Many of the major changes were “leaked” throughout the industry as rumors that quickly exploded around the globe. One driver who somehow managed to fly below the media radar, yet has made arguably one of the bigger and more shocking moves in his career is Dustin Evans. The long-time Team Losi Racing driver was left out of this year’s rumor mill, as many expected him to carry on his TLR partnership such as he has done so many years before. In a mind-boggling announcement, Team Associated/Reedy welcomed to Dustin Evans to the team for 2016. We’ve sat down with the Reedy Race winner and ROAR National Champ to discuss his bold moves for 2017.
(Photo by LiveRC.com)
InsideLineRC: Dustin, where do we begin? WOW! We did NOT see a move like this coming. First and foremost, in an industry full of media spies, how did you manage to go undetected?
Dustin: Yea it has been a crazy off-season for a lot of people and I was no exception. LiveRC did actually post about it on the rumor mill, but was not till very late. We did a very good job of keeping it under wraps, but the deal also came about very late so there was not much time for rumors to get started.
InsideLineRC: Talk to us about your relationship with TLR. When did it all begin?
Dustin: I began with TLR back in 2007 as 50% driver and started doing well at big races pretty quickly. About a year or two after that some people left and I was doing well at races which got me moved to the travel team. From there the results really started coming in and started winning major races, which then turned racing into a job for me. I have had a great relationship with TLR and I have them to thank for turning my hobby of racing R/C into a career. I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for me.
InsideLineRC: As a team you saw great success with the TLR brand. What are some of your most memorable moments as part of the TLR team?
Dustin: My most memorable moments would for sure be winning the invitational class at the Reedy Race, and then capturing a 2wd modified national title with them as well.
InsideLineRC: With such a strong relationship and so much success, why did it come to an end?
Dustin: As they say, all good things must come to an end. Reedy/AE approached me and I know Team Associated has one of the best race programs out there, so I wanted to give it a go! I have never had a change in my racing career and this move has definitely sparked an extra fire within me.
InsideLineRC: Technically, the press release title for your new ride was, “Dustin Evans now representing Reedy driving Team Associated vehicles.” The way the title is worded clearly you are running both Reedy and Team Associated, but are you considered a factory Reedy driver, a factory Team Associated driver, or both?
Dustin: I am a factory driver for both, but technically Reedy is my primary sponsor and I will be really pushing the Reedy brand.
InsideLineRC: How much time have you had with the new cars?
Dustin: Not a lot yet. I have been at the track every day this week running the new equipment and I am very happy so far!
InsideLineRC: Do you believe, despite what little time you’ve had with the new cars and equipment, that you can reclaim your Reedy Race crown this year?
Dustin: I believe I have a good chance and I know the equipment is awesome. Reedy is always a very good race for me.
InsideLineRC: How would you compare the Team Associated B6 to the TLR 22 3.0 in terms of overall handling, durability, and performance?
Dustin: So far the B6 has been awesome at my track. The car is very consistent, easy to drive, and still has a lot of speed. I have got up to speed very quickly with everything because everyone at Reedy/Associated has done their homework and gave me incredible equipment.
InsideLineRC: Have you had the opportunity to drive the new B64? What are your thoughts about it?
Dustin: I have not yet, but we will be racing it at Reedy.
InsideLineRC: Will you be strictly racing for Reedy/AE, or will you also play a role in future development and products?
Dustin: I will be doing both.
InsideLineRC: A few years back we saw you make a brief appearance in the 1/8 scale offroad scene. Is there plans to run the AE 1/8 scale lineup, or will you strictly be focusing on 1/10 scale?
Dustin: We have not talked about that much, but for the time being my focus is on 1/10th, especially since this is a world’s year for 10th electric off-road.
InsideLineRC: Is R/C racing still your full-time job, or have you pursued other full-time careers with R/C on the side?
Dustin: R/C racing is my full-time job, and look to see me at more races this year.
InsideLineRC: Any other breaking news hiding up your sleeve, or can we scoot back from the edge of our seat for now?
Dustin: I also switched tire companies and will be racing for Pro-Line in 2017. The official announcement has not been released yet, but look for it soon!
InsideLineRC: Dustin it’s been a pleasure, and we appreciate you taking time to chat today. We certainly wish you the best in 2017 and beyond, and are very anxious to see the new cars in action. Is there anything you would like to add before we go?
Dustin: I would like to thank you at InsideLineRC for the interview and also all of my sponsors: Reedy, Team Associated, Pro-Line, Sanwa, Upgrade-RC, MHOR R/C Raceway, Bradley Fine Line Designs, Mip, OCRC Raceway, Makita, Kicker, and LiveRC.com.