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Welcome Race Fans to another edition of TRACK DAYS! We had the amazing opportunity to catch up with Jason Ruona, the man behind the legacy of JCONCEPTS! First off before we get ahead of ourselves we just wanted to say THANK YOU to Jason for taking time out of his very busy schedule to chat with us. We bumped into him over at his WINS 7 event held at SMAC TRAC in MO. The event was a great time for all and the competition was mighty with locals and travelers coming from all over the US.  Some of the drivers on hand for the event included Ryan Maifield, Carson Wernimont,  Brent Thielke, Frank Root and the list goes on and on….  



What was your first RC car?

” I’ve had so many vehicles but the trucks that got me officially hooked on R/C Cars were the Tamiya Midnight Pumpkin and Tamiya Clod Buster.”


When was your first official race?

 “Around October of 1990 was my first race in the novice class as a track called GOAR. Greater Orlando Auto Racers.  I was using a Team Losi JRX-T that I built and painted myself.”


What was your most challenging race?

 “As a racer I think the ROAR Off-Road Nationals and IFMAR Worlds were always the most challenging. I would expect this to be the same for almost all drivers.  In my “Pro” racing days those events were difficult because there was so little information or track time for us leading into those events. We had to adjust on the fly with very little tire / setup knowledge because warm-up events or team information wasn’t as easy to gather ahead of time.”  


What was the deciding factor to make RC parts?

” I wanted to stay in the industry after my racing career was finished and I began tinkering with my own products. After the 2003 Worlds, drivers were interested in the Illuzion body we created for the B4 at that event and also the BJ4 prototype 4wd buggy. At first, I really didn’t intend on selling anything, but after the event, there was some pressure from consumers and friends to make the items available.  At that point, we kind of took a leap.”


Since the BJ4 turned into such a success for you and Team Associated have you ever felt the tug to repeat that?

” Yes and no. It’s a different time and a different vehicle and budget would be required to be competitive. My true passion is tires and bodies so I feel more confident or more at ease in that market. The BJ4 had a great run in 2 configurations but it would take a huge effort and major budget to be competitive in this new era. I’m comfortable with our alliances in the business now and we operate well working alongside the kit manufacturers so that is where you’ll see us now and in the foreseeable future.”


You’re a fan of RC Monster Trucks, do you see them making a return to racing?

” I believe R/C Monster Trucks will always have a place in R/C because of the size of the tires and ability to be great bashing / fun vehicles. As a racing class, it’s a very niche market that hasn’t really become mainstream in a sense. To be a truly mainstream the vehicles will need to be more complete out of the box and there will need to be racing classes that accept those vehicles. What we have now, out of the box, are low budget versions of what the R/C Monster Truck guys actually like.  If there was a “racy” version in an acceptable budget range, the racing might take off a little more and grow to a higher level.”


How popular do you think AstroTurf/carpet off road tracks will become in the US?

” We’ve seen a small explosion of Carpet and Astro tracks hitting the U.S.A. this year but I don’t believe they will ever completely take over. There are some advantages to racing on these surfaces but there are also some disadvantages. If you have the ability to get really good dirt inside a building, I don’t think there is a need for Carpet or Astro. If you do not have good dirt, it becomes a better option or more appealing for sure. My personal favorite is outdoor racing on dirt but everything has to be right including the weather.”


If you had never found RC what do you think you would be doing right now?

” R/C has been good to me and given me a place to be confident, good at something and meet friends and people that share a similar passion. If I wouldn’t have found R/C, I believe I would be in the commercial and residential construction business with my family.”


Scale seems to be the fastest growing segment of RC… can you comment on what you may have planned for our scale fans?

 “We introduced several bodies during 2016 and also two tires the year before. I would say our latest item, the aluminum bead-lock Torch wheels are probably our best item to date for the Scale trucks. This market will continue to grow on a grass roots level but it’s not really competition based so it’s hard to prove or develop product based on any type of results. Realism, scale and licensing agreements are more important here which adds to the cost and complexity of all items. In the future, if we are going to grow in this area we will have to be even more dedicated to brand names and hard-core scale appearance.”


What’s one NON-RC related hobby or sport that you enjoy?

 “My hobby has always been R/C so I really have no other hobbies I’m involved in, so to speak. I really like Professional Basketball as my favorite sport.  However, I’m more of a fan where I follow on TV and attend games with Allison.  I’m interested in photography, video and different avenues of media and social media. I’m a fan of the real 1:1 Monster Trucks, however, my era is more from the 1980’s and 1990’s and where we get a lot of our inspiration for our R/C replicas. “




































































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