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Nathan Dean's RC Racing Career (so far!)

Nathan Dean's RC Racing Career (so far!)

Mark Fulton |

I quizzed Nathan to get the details of his RC career and here is the result of that conversation!
"Where to start?
I started racing remote control cars in 1988 at the tender age of 6, after my dad and grandparents retired from real sprint cars in the Texas and Oklahoma area. RC cars were very simple back then as all you had to adjust were springs and tires; no rear toe adjustments, poor shocks which leaked constantly, no ESC settings, and no brushless motors!
I had some very good help in the beginning which I appreciated very much. Horizon and Sonny Brown helped me get started in the right direction. Doug Canham with Canham Graphics was great to work with, too. I was racing every weekend in the Dallas area, mostly local and some regional, gaining a lot of experience and confidence as I developed my race skills. Made many trips to Competition RC in Oklahoma City where I met and raced with James Brown, Bob Light, and many other racers. I also had help from other manufacturers, companies, and racers which made racing very enjoyable.
In 2000 I had the opportunity to make a trip to Arizona for a big race and did really well there. Soon after, two forever friends invited me to drive their car in Monee, Illinois. This is where I first met my idols that worked and raced at Custom Works.
Shortly after the Arizona race, I got the call from Arnie Fie and Custom Works, asking me to fulfill my lifelong dream to travel and race for Tony Stewart. It was an exciting time when I made 'the show'!
One of the funny things happened at my first national championship after starting with Custom Works, which I attended with Ronnie Chapman at Coopers RC in Virginia. It was the first time I had a race with 'The Boss' (Tony Stewart) and wanted to show him my race craft! We had a borrowed car and once we got there, we had to borrow a brushed motor and battery pack. The car dumped with about 30 seconds to go, but the lead was enough to win the A Main! Tony Stewart had a tough A Main, finishing second to me and Tony threw his radio down hard when exiting the stand (heh, Tony is still Tony no matter what he races!). I thought I had just been part of the shortest team driver sponsorship ever known! But I was still on the Custom Works team, fortunately, and had a great RC career with them. There are plenty of other stories, but you will have to ask me directly about them!
I lived this dream for 13 years until Arnie Fie and I got the opportunity to build our very own race program around 2013-14. Arnie developed a special car which really suited my driving, and I had a great racing relationship when I could see my feedback make a car better and better. Arnie continues to be among my best RC friends and is always a good trip when we have time to race at the same event.
Between my family, Arnie and Team Power Products any success I have had is owed to them. Through this journey I have been lucky enough to win many big oval races along the way. A few listed below are the ones which really stand out in my mind:
  • 11-time Chili Bowl champion
  • 6-time US Open Wheel champion
  • 3-time King of Wings champion
  • 2-time Motorama champion
  • 1-time Amain oval champion

I am still racing competitively at select big races. My expanding business and growing family keep me very busy, but racing is still one of my big passions. Or maybe I should say WINNING is one of my big passions! Say hello to me should we be at a race in the future, I would be happy to trade setup tips and racing stories."

Editor's Note: In my 30+ years of being around RC racing, I have seen, talked with, and had a great time at events of all sizes with a variety of the 'fast guys of RC racing'. Until the last five years or so, I had one racer I considered the best overall competitor, person, and hero in the RC racing world - Bob 'Bullet' Light in Oklahoma City (see Bob's BIO HERE). Nathan is on the same level as Bob: personable, honest, fast, multiple championships. Nathan, the 'G.O.A.T.' of RC racing!  ---Mark A. Fulton

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