The Talent Tank

SP 12 KOH2020 Cody Waggoner

March 19, 2020 Cody Waggoner Episode 29
The Talent Tank
SP 12 KOH2020 Cody Waggoner
Chapters
The Talent Tank
SP 12 KOH2020 Cody Waggoner
Mar 19, 2020 Episode 29
Cody Waggoner

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

On this Twelfth and Final installment of the ULTRA4 Racings King of the Hammers 2020 The Talent Tank sessions, Executive Produced by Caleb Norman @caleb__norman.

The Howard Hughes of rock sports!  Cody Waggoner @cody_waggoner_lasernut
First and foremost, without Cody & his wife Lindsey, the past twelve shows, the KOH2020 Sessions would not have been possible.   Without their hospitality, and opening up their desert home for us to record with carte blanche access they would have been highly sub-optimal.  On the Monday morning of Hammersweek, we sat down for some very early morning coffee and talked cutting metal with lasers, being a world champion rock crawler, family adventures, and the advanced mindset to see and embrace your own blindspots and turning weaknesses into strengths.  

After the Checkered Flag:
What a heartbreaker, Cameron Steele & Wayne Israelsen lead the 4400 race for a good bit, first on corrected time, and first on the road, but succumbed to the perils of KOH and earning a DNF.  

Location provided by: Cody Waggoner at Lasernut

Please like & subscribe.
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Show Notes Transcript

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

On this Twelfth and Final installment of the ULTRA4 Racings King of the Hammers 2020 The Talent Tank sessions, Executive Produced by Caleb Norman @caleb__norman.

The Howard Hughes of rock sports!  Cody Waggoner @cody_waggoner_lasernut
First and foremost, without Cody & his wife Lindsey, the past twelve shows, the KOH2020 Sessions would not have been possible.   Without their hospitality, and opening up their desert home for us to record with carte blanche access they would have been highly sub-optimal.  On the Monday morning of Hammersweek, we sat down for some very early morning coffee and talked cutting metal with lasers, being a world champion rock crawler, family adventures, and the advanced mindset to see and embrace your own blindspots and turning weaknesses into strengths.  

After the Checkered Flag:
What a heartbreaker, Cameron Steele & Wayne Israelsen lead the 4400 race for a good bit, first on corrected time, and first on the road, but succumbed to the perils of KOH and earning a DNF.  

Location provided by: Cody Waggoner at Lasernut

Please like & subscribe.
https://www.thetalenttank.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thetalenttank/
https://www.facebook.com/thetalenttank
Insiders Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheTalentTankInsiders/ 

Intro/Outro :

Let's drop the green flag on this episode of the talent tank podcast with your host Wyatt Pemberton bringing you the best, fastest, most knowledgeable personalities and ultra before and off road racing.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So here we are the talent tank. Live from laser town with the man. Cody Wagner. How are you Cody? Doing good. Doing good. So king of hammers. 2020 2020 Yeah, we're on the lake bed and we just survived the Super Bowl plus a ridiculous wind storm last night.

Cody Wagoneer :

It was blown pretty good.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Bowling, something else? Well, you've been so gracious to extend the talent tank. carte blanche access to laser town. I'm here south of hammer town for filming this week and in recording.

Cody Wagoneer :

Thank you. You're welcome. This place is amazing. Thanks for Thinking of

Wyatt Pemberton :

laser town. And everyone that we've had in here for interviews has just been floored by how cool this places.

Cody Wagoneer :

It's It's where dreams come true.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So what's the story here?

Cody Wagoneer :

The story of laser town? Well, it all started when a buddy an acquaintance off rotor said, Hey, do you want to buy some private property out in at the hammers? said, Where's their private property? There's no private property out there. It's BLM land. Well come to find out. There's 10 2040 acre parcels. I think there's about 20 of them that no one really has developed. And Yep, it was a 10 acre parcel. The guy didn't pay his property taxes. It was at auction, and it was 30 $200. If no one bids, so there's four partners who was at an $800 buy into the 10 acres. I'm like, Okay, cool. So I gave me 100 bucks and we had this 10 acres of dirt out of the hammers and from there We went out there and surveyed the four corners 660 by 660 10 acres. And we're like, Okay, what are we gonna do now? Well, let's put a fence around it. No one wanted to spend any money on a fence and plus it would kind of block the beauty. Let's do a berm. You know, sometimes you see those berms on the middle anywhere. So on the middle of the desert. So we got some heavy equipment, moved all the brush sagebrush out of the way and made this berm and then it turned in to a sand pit. I mean, literally, it was you couldn't drive it was a sand pit. There's so much sand out here. It's it's, it's like Glamis. Just pure sand. So he brought a water truck in and we made a wagon wheel and had king of the hammers. And we always had this prevailing wind that would blow to the east. I'm so bad with direction but anyways, I got one container because I was tired of my RV getting just thrashed when the wind would come up sandblasted. So I bought this one container, and we parked it and that's where we kept all our crap that I hate and taken back and forth. For the desert, the wood and you know all the stuff that you look out and you log back in, it's just so annoying over the last 25 years. So we put it out in the container, and it just snowballed from there. So one container and then after. Then after that, we set up our big tents for King of the hammers carpet sandbags the whole thing Two hours later sitting at the fire, that effing when comes up like it did last night, just completely gone. And I'm like, okay, we're not gonna have tents this year for King of the hammers. I'm not, we're not, I'd have six guys that have these intense and the tents are just destroyed. So I'm like, Well, if I get two more containers and make a U shape, I have a laser cutting facility, we can cut out all the parts and you know, build some trusses. So we've built the 40 by 40 container, which is there out there, out there. We'll shop out there. And that was our tents. And then from there, we it's like, oh, well, we need some water. You know, I'm tired of trucking in water because I want to trees. There's no trees out here. No.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So we do have a few you've claimed

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, yeah, we put we put a couple. Yeah, a couple of pine trees. And I forgot a couple trees. I'm not real good with tree names. But we did get the tree. So we put the well in. And two partners wanted out, because my ambition or money spending or whatever you want to call it, they'll pay a senior. They were not. And they're in a different part, you know, things change. So I had to buy two of them out. So I had one partner. And one Thanksgiving, we had an issue and whatnot. So I bought him out too. So I learned a lot about partnerships a lot, don't have partnerships. If you cannot have a partnership. It's not people change. They do their wives get involved. The life gets in the way kids happen. It's not you know, it could be all roses and then three years later, it's not the same you know, people go different directions. So partnerships, I strongly don't recruitment. It was really a rough situation. So, anyways, on the property and like, Okay, well, we come out here almost two months, a year. I mean, 60 days for Christmas for Thanksgiving. Let's let's put a house out there. Well, we can't put an any normal house like a manufactured home, which would have been a lot easier. Yeah, right. We need something that robust. someone's not going, Yeah, secure. That's the key word because right over the hill and landers. Well, anywhere out here, there's there's people that

Wyatt Pemberton :

various individuals looking for free handouts.

Cody Wagoneer :

Well, yeah, I mean, they're on a substance. Yeah, they when the money runs out.

Wyatt Pemberton :

It's an it's an encounter. Yeah, it's terrible. And these small communities are just laced with it. Yeah. I see least you've been fleeced by it.

Cody Wagoneer :

So we got a couple containers on my workout two acres behind my work. And we put these big beams up on the container house now, but these big beams up, got the containers, put them on the beams, leveled them up the best we can and I wanted to do too. Stories well two storeys logistically is a pain because you need stairs and ceilings so he said you know what, let's just do 10 1010 lots 3200 square feet. So we put 10 containers started cutting the walls out and it it a lot of people think oh just buy a container and make a container house it's not that easy. It's a it's

Wyatt Pemberton :

it's actually more expensive. Building the double home.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah finger double of a traditional home and money, time and effort. It's a lot of work.

Wyatt Pemberton :

But at the end of the day, you have a

Cody Wagoneer :

end of the day this thing is robust, sick. I didn't even hear the wind blowing last night. I mean it's so it is so quiet. It's so well insulated. We did underestimate insulating the floors. We didn't insulate the floors when we first put it in and it was 32 degrees outside. Well the floor is 32 degrees. So what we had to we did a foam insulation and now now we're good. But yeah, it was it's was 32 degrees a little mid 30s last night and it was 70 degrees in here

Wyatt Pemberton :

in this place. I mean just looking around, it's nicer than most homes. It's gorgeous. It's sitting here you wouldn't even realize that you're in a container.

Cody Wagoneer :

And that's that's the Phil I will I love having my family. I'm not I'm not I'm not, it's not a bachelor pad. I love having my four year old my 14 year old mother in law friends it, it's all about being comfortable. And when that wind comes up, or it snowed four inches above to go out here for Christmas, or it rains or whatever the case may be, it's nice to be able to come in, have some space, not be on top of each other and enjoy it. If you aren't comfortable. At least for me and my family. You're not going to want to go I mean my family looks forward to going out to the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere

Wyatt Pemberton :

and have fun just getting away just getting away. What I found really cool talking to Jason She recently was you open up your home regularly and so Jason's talk about coming up Hearing testing and tuning before kale Ah, and you were like, hey, you're gonna grab a shower in case like yeah, like well it's you know, hot water and he's like, Wait our shower. Yeah, I can be alerted to that. But so getting out here and seeing you are like the nicest friendliest guy in the world, you've you've got a ton of friends out here that that come out for these things and so they've got their RV setups, they've got their race setups, or there's a handful of racers that race out of your compound and are set up here and it's really cool that you, you know that you open your your house up to this, this community to friends and the friends that have developed and it's like, again, you open it up to us and

Cody Wagoneer :

that's what it's all about. It's all about sharing the experience and, and and, and you know, if you just keep it to yourself what there's no fun in that there's no where's the memories there? Yeah, right.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, how we got here is pretty amazing. Talk about the family, community, that family you have continued to it. spend this because of how much your family enjoys coming out here

Cody Wagoneer :

yeah we've made it I so I used to camp over on the other side of Boone road and the worst thing about it is you don't know if you're gonna have a spot especially a king of the hammers week you don't know who you're going to camp next to and I've never we never I'm we're pretty protective parents you know I don't want my kid to get ran over because when typically when someone comes out to the desert, it's like free for all you know, I am away from the house. I'm gonna drink I'm gonna I'm gonna have a good time and hopefully I remember it the next day. That's just a lot a lot of people's view things and we've been doing this for 30 years and I've never been that just hasn't been me. I mean I enjoy coming out and having a good time in the family being safe. I've seen a lot of things over the years people getting killed ran over. I just, it was just a safe place I my kid can go out the out the house and driver quad and and have a good time. There's no nails, I groom it every day, which that's why it's kind of nice. yard line that that's like my downtime is driving my truck around and in getting rid of all the tracks it's weird but that's just me know

Wyatt Pemberton :

like the little guys like the Mr. Miyagi in his bonsai tree. And so I'd heard I'd heard about this I'd heard like Cody's place it's always immaculate and he keeps it immaculate in you. It's, I equate it to, when you vacuum a room and you vacuum your way out of the room so that there's no footprints. You say that and then you realize you left your keys on the other side of the bed, you got to walk over there and you hear that you leave these steps like I got to get the vacuum out to get that well that's

Cody Wagoneer :

that might be a child with a dish. You just brought something up I just thinking about there was one room when I was a kid. That was a vacuum with lines that you could not go in. And if I ran in it was it was the family room living room, the living living room. It was that room, so maybe that's why I have this whole line issue. That's funny. I don't

Wyatt Pemberton :

know. I'm a little bit OCD on stuff like in a I see what you're doing I I fully behind it so much, so much. This is Oh, Cody keeps it all of the the sand, very groomed. It looks like a freshly vacuumed, right there's no tracks, that's fine. And so once I realized that Cody groomed it, it made sense. He's got his very amazing Raptor with a drag behind it and you just poke around and drag and drag out. So as soon as I saw that you do that. I stopped making new tracks I started kind of drive in on either someone else's tracks or drive out on my own, Scotty so yes, I know like, I'm like, wow, I get it. Like I totally see where you're at on that. And then it started making sense to me the several times that we've talked on the phone is you're not a big texter. You're good. You're amazing on social media, your social media presence is awesome. In the stuff that you show on social media is right up my alley. But yeah, we've had conversations on the phone and I've always thought felt like you were just sitting in your truck idling in traffic, and then to see I'm like, I think He was out here, put it on the Bluetooth and

Cody Wagoneer :

yeah, with the cells curvature coverages and real good around the property, but I drive out 45 minutes to work and 15 minutes home every day. So that's kind of my downtime. So that's probably when I was talking to catch up. Yeah,

Wyatt Pemberton :

so you guys live. I mean, it's not insane far drive from here, but you guys live down in San Clemente? Yep. And you've lived their whole life

Cody Wagoneer :

now. Um, we actually lived in Lynn and Yorba Linda when I was three years old until I was born in Whittier, California, and lived in Yorba Linda from three to 15. And then my dad really loved the ocean and loved going to Catalina Island and the ocean so we moved down to San Clemente when I was 15. went to San Clemente High School, graduated in 94. And pretty much was a surf bum. I had long hair to the middle of my back. I was never going to get a job. I think I'm gonna need to see pictures of this. Oh, my God. And I would serve every day I'd serve I'd be in the water. 68 hours a day, Lindsay she's my high school sweetheart who I'm married to. And she would sit on the beach and take pictures all the time and I was going to be a surf bum why why why? Work? This is great. And then I got a job at price club or Costco now. Okay. And, yeah, I had to cut my hair, you know, because you know, you had to look presentable. Right. And I'm there by night and I have always worked for my father too. So anyways, yeah, San Clemente is my hometown and we still live there small little community called Capistrano beach. And we love it. The older I get, the more I feel. It'd be nice to get away from all the people because when I was a kid, they didn't really notice that I guess, but now I it just old there's more. No, I just I think I enjoy the being away from a song that's out. Yeah. Or at least ability to escape it. Yeah, man. It's nice because when you come out here, there's not on King in Hammersmith. It is quiet is like your requite like you hear it, you can hear the pine tree, you know, the wind blowing and the stars are amazing. And it's just, it's really cool.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I want to take a little tangent on that quietness. This has been a handful of years ago, I was coming down schooners with a bunch of guys pre running. We'll see maybe it's 13 somewhere in that era. I lost a fuel pump. We didn't have spare fuel pumps. So the guy who's riding with me Got him with somebody else and they ran all the way back to him or town from spinners. You know, that's quite a drive labor bombing. But I it was very warm out the rocks of sun have heated up the rocks. I'm laying down on a rock and once they motored out of your shot, it became definitely quiet. Like you're It's crazy how much white noise is in your life at all times. And outside of that you put yourself in a vacuum with no noise and there was no wind. No noise in my ears actually, like almost started to hurt like Look around. I fall asleep on this rock, only to be woken up maybe 30 minutes later by some of the marine base find a couple helicopters down the valley floor. I woke up I watched them for a little bit and I fell back asleep. That's great laying on a rock out by schooners and then those guys made it back with a fuel pump we change a few upon left but the thing that floored me was I I can't think of the other time Previous to that or post that that I've ever been in such a quiet place so quiet that it was definitely Let's call in for people say read say definitely quiet never experienced it until yeah I don't know amazing would pack the same Clemente and in you know you mentioned you were you weren't went to work having to cut your hair But your father had a pretty big business you guys were into industrial equipment I believe making powder coating systems

Cody Wagoneer :

yeah my dad my father started industrial process equipment IP, which is the parent company of laser net laser not we made a decision. of that company. And we build powdercoat systems and put them all over the world. And powdercoat systems for office office furniture like Steelcase wheel lines like prime wheel and Boyd wheels, you name it, we've we did have done a lot of work and what it was great for about 20 years. Then when 2010 we we were able to buy a building because we rented a building for 20 years because we could never afford one. So we bought this building 32,000 the one we're in today, and we my dad would always say we need to diversify and equipment kind of went dead man. There was way too much surplus powder coating equipment manufacturing was going overseas, going to Mexico, so there just was no equipment to to build. So we're on our way to rock crawling competition because my dad used to spot for me That was 2006 and he got to the rock crawling competitions all sudden, I think we're gonna buy a laser. Like, what? What is the laser? Oh, it's something you cut metal out with. Okay, cool. Well, when are we gonna get it? So we got this laser used because we couldn't afford it. We couldn't find a, we couldn't afford a new one. So we bought this used mezack 1500 watt laser. We spent a year learning how to run it. We spent a year learning how to run it. And in 2007 we all got back into the board meeting leadership meeting the five of us and we're like, okay, who's gonna go get the work? I don't know. Like, okay, well, I mean, I'm not doing the equipment stuff. So I I'll start Raise your hand. Yeah, raise my hand. I said I'll go get it. So I started going door to door literally, door to door and that was when the recession was the it was a pretty good

Wyatt Pemberton :

session. Oh 708 in leading into the first quarter of oh nine was Yeah, bad for the most of the country. It was pretty bad. So closure rates off the charts.

Cody Wagoneer :

So luckily My dad, you know, he always say for any day Yeah, that's really always say always make sure you save for a rainy day son, you know, make sure you have some money in the bank. So you can when that rainy day comes, you can get through it. And he's always done that. So we got through it and started going door to door and make a made a stupid little postcard up and sent them out, got the CIS codes of certain companies that made products and sent them all out to them. Got customers that way. And then I started out my sponsors for rock rye, and a lot of my sponsors needed laser cutting. So one of the big thing was exhaust flanges. And the one of the things I did is I still find it hilarious is I went to a competitor's website, and the competitor lists all his references of all the companies he does work for my school. I'll start that's a call list. Colin, Megan, the call list is there soon as I started getting the work, it was hilarious. I started getting the work. From the call list, I went back to that website like six months ago, and that list wasn't there anymore.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I can see that.

Cody Wagoneer :

And you know, it's always so the 1500 watt laser couldn't had a hell of a time cutting out three eighths flanges, because it's only 1500 watts. So it's like, Hey, Dad, I think we need to get a bigger powerful laser. So in 2009, we got a 4000 watt brand new laser, cut out flanges like butter, and then it kind of turned into like, well, that laser goes down out of business. So we probably had to get another one. So then 2010 we got our third one. And then 13 we got our fourth one and then 15 we got our, our fifth one. So we still had the five lasers. One of the things I need to focus on the next couple of years is going to new technology, which is a fiber laser. We have co2 lasers, and they're more efficient, they cut faster, and we're definitely going to need to go to a new laser. It this cut quality just isn't there. Just yet so I've been waiting for it to get a little better but that's that's we'll be able to replace two of our co2 with this was one of those and more efficient more efficient less power less consumables it's just a better mousetrap

Wyatt Pemberton :

in at the end of the day the finish on it is better and it's like they will pull right out and use them be welded right

Cody Wagoneer :

now there they still have a little Burr on her that's what we haven't done it's not occur it's a burr on the bottom of the part. So they're like oh, well you can do a secondary process and like I don't want to do right now are our parts come off and you count them and they all go off to the customer. So the technology is going to get always gets better get there. So I'm just waiting for that.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's awesome. So what happened in you guys sitting in a meeting and boardroom with you raising your hand and you and this use laser that your dad had picked up in this 32,000 square foot facility 2006 2007 starting this business going in the recession? How many employees do you have today?

Cody Wagoneer :

Have 65 employees that's

Wyatt Pemberton :

just absolutely amazing job creation right there at its finest yeah we have I think when when we had like

Cody Wagoneer :

10 and then we run two shifts we run 24 hours a day if need be. We're not afraid of overtime a lot of companies laser companies their backlogs for days most of them are four to six weeks out. We pride ourself on if you want something laser cut, you get it in three to five days, which is which is a quick turnaround time and you want something laser and Ben it's five to seven days. And our quality is we pride ourselves on quality. We have no salespeople. I guess I'm a salesperson. I still wanna do do it here and there, but it's not like we have a Salesforce or or marketing. The marketing is more of living the lifestyle and being part of the community. That's that's kind of where I've taken that and what what is the main focus or industry that you guys service to, mainly the aftermarket, car or automobile industry off road parts, bumped skid plates, flanges, suspension arms. A lot of the guys run in the king of the hammers this weekend there, they, they have a lot of my parts that I came off of that we touch, you know?

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, it's cool. I've seen that like, from the all the suspension manufacturers for the bolt on stuff to even the high end stuff. A guy can go you know, design his part, email it into laser net, you guys burn it and ship it back to him. Yeah. And five to seven days for a big part. It's amazing. Yeah, we've

Cody Wagoneer :

got a few jobs out here that people gonna come pick it up from laser laser town.

Wyatt Pemberton :

What amazing service that is. I think that's really really cool that so many that you have your hand in your fingerprint on or let's say laser DNA is on so many vehicles out here this week.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, and the one thing that I'm really proud of is I really wanted to make it a goal to make cool trophies and we make all we make all the trophies for ultra for which is beautiful piece of art. Aluminum that's hilar that's TIG welded and laser cut and bent and laser edge. It's really bitchin that we aren't making in the first place monster I believe took care of that this year. Okay, the hammers, but the seconds and the thirds and Oh, we've seen either pictures from any of the photons afterwards. Yeah, the ones those big they're holding them up and

Wyatt Pemberton :

I interviewed Cody Addington not long ago and Cody has a shelf directly behind his desk in his house of all of his trophies. And he even has a story that people say, aren't you gonna put those somewhere and he goes, when I'm done looking at them, as they are, they're the they're beautiful works. So you talked about rock crawling and going out to your sponsors for for expanding your business. How did you get into wheeling? How did you get into rock crawling, you're heavily accomplished World Champion on multiple years in the crawling scene. How did that happen?

Cody Wagoneer :

Well, it's Pretty funny. So I had this reliable 1988 Toyota pickup truck driver in high school and my buddy, Mike Edwards. He had this CJ seven Jeep and he'd always say you need you really need a cheap Cody you need to come out to the desert. I'm like no, no good. So anyways, he somehow convinced me to sell my reliable Toyota pickup truck. sold it got 4500 bucks for it and bought this piece of shit 1971 cJ five Jeep for 4500 bucks. And you still have it today? Oh, yeah, yeah, I would have sold it what my wife said you're not selling it. So

Wyatt Pemberton :

I still have that. She's She's amazing, by the way, so Cody's wife has been amazing. She made my coffee this morning. So sweet. To find out that you guys are highschool sweethearts. She's the better,

Cody Wagoneer :

the better half of me you know she's gotta have a good partner in crime. Do you know live life and support you make you the man you are. She's always supported me and has she's a great wife. Right right partner in crime. And then as we

Wyatt Pemberton :

saw a little bit ago, Cody's Cody's daughter came and joined us for a little bit. She's something else too. Yeah, she is

Cody Wagoneer :

I won't hopefully she's going to be my driver. My 14 year old she's in the ballroom dancing and has no interest at all, which is fine in rock crawling or anything but Lacey she she I'm hoping she loves to ride her quad and racer and I'm also she'll be my driver.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Don't count the 14 year old out. I mean, like when we're talking about the partnerships, people change. Yeah,

Cody Wagoneer :

she wants to play pool. She wants to learn how to play pool so maybe she's gonna be a Barfly when she grows up.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So you got into rock crawling through the CGA five

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, so CG five by the CG five went out to this huge event called Terra de sol. It still still goes on GDS, and they have these notches and hills and like man, this is really cool. You go out here you throw a 10 up we as when we actually tended in the back in the 90s yeah or Mid 90s and I saw this guy and he was all twisted up with his yellow flat fender, Bichon Jeep. And I'm like, man, who's that? Oh, that guy is crazy. He rolls over every year and he goes up the hills and flips and like, who is Jason bunch? I called Jason punch. He owns Tri County gear. And he's an old timer now, but he I went there to Tri County gear. Got an SM 420 transmission so I can go real slow and a Detroit locker in the rear. And I spent enough money which I kind of gear. I he invited me out to a customer appreciation at the hammers. Oh, okay. So I went out there in 1994. And we went over to sledge hammer and he walked me through the entire trail sledgehammer I had no power steering 35 inch tires, and a posse in the front. And I learned how to whale from Jason Munch walking me through the trail and then we think of a claw hammer also, I fell in love. I'm like This is this is bitchin, it's I mean, I've never been that guy that they'll go out to the desert to go anywhere, go to a bar and just drink beer and hang out. It just I've never I don't understand it really. I've always have to be doing something and that was like you go to a trail and you got to get 10 vehicles or 20 vehicles through the trail. It's an all day event people breaking tires poppin it was just bitchin. So I slowly built my jeep up in the mid 90s. And then I saw these rock crawling competitions popping up and Jason was really good at the rock crawling him and Kevin Hawkins and the curries and twisted custom Jason Paulie and I went to one of those events. I'm like, Man, this is really cool. And they didn't have a modified stock class, and I couldn't afford a buggy. So, in 2001, they came up with the modified stock class, and I went down to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and we got second place I beat Frank curry of Korea enterprises. I'm like, wow. That was cool. I mean, he had this read, you know, it was always really cool equip equipment and they're like, they know how to rock crop they do. Like, man, we might be pretty good at this. So my dad was spotting he would spot me and we'd have a father son. frickin yelman buddy Hell yeah, cuz he's a red and I'm a red and we just just pound like you. You took me into that column one time he knocked the cone over, he actually walked into it. Oh, yeah, so we don't pound heads as much. He's kind of mellowed out over the years. And I mellow it out too. But so we we got third or second place. And I'm like, man, maybe I'm we're pretty good at this. So we started doing all the competitions in that little yellow Jeep. 83 inch wheelbase sprung under narrow leaf springs. It was just just cute little yellow Jeep that somehow got up these things that it should not have no business on. So we modified it. We were losing competitions because we couldn't do a front burner. So Oh yeah, the putting out listen. So we were, I remember the late nights in the garage, put in that listen and getting the belly up higher and, you know doing little tricks here and there and it's kind of snowballed into getting sponsors. At one point. Lindsay was doing the marketing. We got Detroit locker, they came like they liked our whole team and everything and Detroit locker was we're the Detroit locker guys. And we were actually making money because you never would break any parts. I was real conservative. I wasn't that guy that just go for it. Hopefully you make it. We, we we would. We were pretty. You could stack rocks. Let's just put it that way. I stack a shitload rocks. I stack the five minutes of rocks because you know the guys with the hundreds will base they could get up on the ledge and my little 83 inch wheelbase. It doesn't get up on the ledge. I had to stack I had to make a road. But it's part of the rule. So you'll be more strategy than Yeah. Oh, of course. Yeah, way more strategy even today. It's like, yeah, they're gonna hit that cone and Possibly roll I'll probably go this route and let them screw up I'm it's just more of a strategy

Wyatt Pemberton :

that's what I loved about it so you've morphed into now you amazing Rock Crawler amazing moon buggy she graduated a move buggies and then your current one is a Jessie Hanes fab car correct? pretty penny. Yeah. So when you roll that car out with the penny copper wheels is pretty flooring.

Cody Wagoneer :

It's pretty cool. It's it's, there's no way to trick out or make moon buggies sexy. So I saw these copper wheels on a motorcycle, you know this motorcycle guys. Like man, no one's ever done a copper wheel and rock crawling. I'll go down to the chrome shop, because that's where you get your stuff chrome twos where they do the copper plating and see what it takes. So I went down there and it's quite a process. They have to polish the wheel. They have to copperplate the wheel. They have to then polish it again. And then they liquid clear coat it I mean it's a major process. So They turn out bitchin.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Oh, they're kind of

Cody Wagoneer :

just leaving that's a good name for became known for that. So back to the early 2000s and 2006. I'm like, man, I really want to step up to the unlimited class and rock crawling was kind of dying off, you know, there's only some big names. So I stepped up and I hit up Mitch Guthrie, senior. And he had a Shannon Campbell moonbug, the first one that Shannon Campbell ever built. And I bought that in 2006 and competed in that moon buggy from 2016 to 2009 when a bunch of events and then in 2009. Now mind you laser net started in 2007. rock crawling was kind of dying. And I haven't done any recreational willings since 2000. So I'm like, well, let's focus on the business and let's go recreation willing, so I sold the moon buggy, and I've always wanted a twist to custom rock buggy, so I bought this four seater twisted custom rig and started come out the hammers and a lot of the trails I've never wheeled because I was always competing. So we started wheeling all the trails and we started making our own. I love making trails. I love going up a canyon that no one's ever been up.

Wyatt Pemberton :

That's just that just figuring it out

Cody Wagoneer :

and figuring it out that that is so much fun. And then I started focus on the company from 2009 to 13. built the company up. And that's when I I never went to King of the hammers. Never. Oh, wow, never. I've watched it online. I'd see who won. Because I knew if I went I'd want to build a car, book. It either drive a car, I got to have it. So I don't drive a car. You know, Cameron Steele, he wants me to go drive his trophy truck and I don't want to drive a trophy truck because I don't need a trophy truck.

Wyatt Pemberton :

So, anyway, I like him. I like him so much right now.

Cody Wagoneer :

So I'm so into that. Let's see, back to dates. So yeah, I'm focused on rock crawling family and work. 13 What delinking in the hammers. Randy's last one that year. Well, we do Hey Randy, can you build me two bombers? One for you one for you one for me one for my dad. So he built two bombers went to King of the hammers in 2014 got a top 20 and then the next year I got a top 10 my dad finished also and that's when I said Man, I will never I will never be Randy slawson a bomber. I mean he built the car he knows the car and he's fast. And I always joke around it's I mean driving 80 miles an hour driving a forklift is is just not me. The car just goes all I got to have something that I can take my hand off the wheel at and it just do its thing. So I hit up Armada engineering who is doing laser cutting for and we came up with this crazy out of the box car technology forward technology forward. They're really innovative and will listen to everything you wanted to do. And I wanted it no axles, independent front and rear. And so far we have the day. We've had a lot of hurdles we'll call it over the last three years with the car prototypical. Yeah and productive. That's one thing I've all I never I don't like to improve anything new because there's such a you have to prove that out Yeah. And that's why we wanted the bomber I mean it's I still have the bomber my dad's and it just works. So when you go somewhere new You got it. We've done a lot of work to get it to where it is today but today, very confident. Anyways, I got that car DNF the first ration and had been at King of the hammers it actually showed up on the lake bed like the day before. I mean, it was not proven. We got to the third lap ride harness. The next year. We got to top 10 I think was eighth the year after that lost the timing chain. Last year we got the second lap and broke. We broke. I don't want to go into that but we broke so this year we've we've we've made everything better got more horsepower. Cameron's been learning how to rock crawl. So yeah

Wyatt Pemberton :

We jumped in that Yeah, so you've you actually aren't going to be in the car this year. You brought in a driver? camp Cameron steel trophy truck guy. Yeah, we've met out here he was. We came in the gate with him this morning. And then is Wayne is are some co driving for him? Yes, sir. And Wayne I mean, if you listen to the sound tank Wayne was Episode 11 and Wayne since the late 2000s mazing individual in even our camera guy when we were talking about Wayne he goes altec Wayne, I know alltech Lane. So Wayne is Wayne's the guy

Cody Wagoneer :

yeah, we got quite a team and you can have the any better of a co driver Wayne, he's been part of winning baja and 1000s to rock crawling and no one the hammers like the back of his hand and just an all around good guy. He's an he's an he's just a good guy. And Cameron same thing. You know, I I did it for six years, and I and I said this year. I just want to sit back I you know, they called me a team owner. So it's actually been great. Ay Ay, ay ay just no stress a little, little bit, but it I get to hang out my family and enjoy joy experience. And I've been doing this for 25 years, you know, I mean for a long time, and

Wyatt Pemberton :

I think what you're doing is really cool. I mean, it's to sound almost redundant, I'm talking about on the other shows about like, NASCAR stuff, where the guys go from being drivers or where to be in team owners in being successful as a team. I look at you and that's what you're doing. You're setting up yourself with the car, the technology and the people to put the entire team on the box now.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, that's the goal. I mean, there's we got to have some luck for sure. We had an instance earlier in the week where we, the car caught fire and we just got back today and it just seems like there you got to have a little bit of good luck and everyone has to be on on point that day and, you know,

Wyatt Pemberton :

go from there. I know when people have said it. You guys came Cam Steele is going to be driving the car lobby like oh, you put this trophy truck driver in there, he's not gonna know what to do. him steel is no slouch. And rookie or neophyte to the hammers. He was here in 2008. For the 2008, king of hammers, he was he was a co driver in that race. At least I believe he was a co driver. And he was at the 2008, which is, oh seven was the PG 13. This is truly the first organized year of 2008. Cam Steele was there. And he's been here almost every year since just not necessarily in the driver's seat. And then this week, I mean, races did the race this week.

Cody Wagoneer :

Well, he's done one. He did the cam that didn't go too well. And then he's racing with Bailey coal in the AMC and the AMC, and then he's racing his truck, the trophy truck on Thursday,

Wyatt Pemberton :

and then he'll be in the 4400 race on

Cody Wagoneer :

Friday. And then Saturday, King, notice, you'll notice

Wyatt Pemberton :

I mean, this guy's a glutton for punishment he's

Cody Wagoneer :

when he commits he fully commits I mean, I'm actually I was really worried that you know, he said, Oh, yeah, we're gonna go to the mall learn and it was starting to get later in the the year before and I'm like, man, we're not gonna do it. I'm like, dude. We need to go out and do it or you're not driving the car. Right? So he got in the car and he's really he takes the whole thing in he no he does it on the motorcycle. He does it in the passenger seat. He can realize he can realize I mean he's gonna have to tone it back from driving a trophy truck or you will break this car it's it's it's a it only has so much not

Wyatt Pemberton :

necessarily a desert sledgehammer. Yes, but I finesse vehicle.

Cody Wagoneer :

If they have a good day and they use their head. They're gonna get through it. They just got to finish it they finished they'll get a top 10

Wyatt Pemberton :

for sure. And with Wayne in the passenger seat he's gonna talk him down off of a million I hope so breeding cliffs. I think I think they're they're no I'm really excited for where they're where they're going. And before people start hitting me up and say you need to carry cam steel you need to interview cam steel cam and I Cody set cam and I up before the Baja 1000 this fall to make it happen. We almost had it happen. There's there's just situations and family instances where it was weren't able to flange up. And then we were gonna do cam this week and then schedules didn't match up again and then coming in the gate this morning with cam cam rolls up to my truck. So it's him and his Raptor prerunner and me and my Chevy prerunner. And he's like, we roll down the windows and we're looking each other and he's like, he's like, Cody told me I got a pre run. No interview.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, it's been it's Hitchin truck, and we're gonna do it. Yeah, I will pre writings a little more important. It's getting down to the nitty gritty. So this is one of the last days to pre run and he has he needs to get out there and pre run. So that's that's the goal to know where they're going and what their plan is.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yeah, it's your week rolled in it. The plan was to be with you at 630 in the morning for sunrise and we are it's 20 to 20 degrees outside and sunrise. And as Caleb and I were leaving out of hammer town getting in the truck to come from hammer town just a couple miles south. The big cars fired up and already on course pre running just as the sun was starting to come up because exactly today's Monday and this is where this is your last shot. Yeah. Yeah, so we've talked about cam a bunch. A lot of people do know him as a trivia driver, desert assassins and everything that that is that How on earth did you guys meet Blanche and get going? And I know some of the stories. Oh

Cody Wagoneer :

yeah, it's pretty funny. I one thing about myself is if I see something and want something not that I want Cameron but if I see something

Wyatt Pemberton :

sexy do these ways he's 50 he looks good for 50

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, he does.

Wyatt Pemberton :

He's five races and one of them's a motorcycle right?

Cody Wagoneer :

Now but if I said like, okay, we're doing this that I am set we're doing that I mean, I'm anything on any level. So anyways, sit on the couch one weekend and install X Games, trail missions. I've seen it a couple years and like, never been the bog. Looks like a lot of fun. I mean, there's kids and they're they're going to the beach and they're there. cruising in the dirt and they're having a good time. So I go to my Facebook and I type in Cameron Steele and I knew who cameras still was as the commentating and desert racing.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Yes. He's commented for Kingham for a bunch of years.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah. And but I've seen the magazine I remember this one magazine him his wife Heidi and their dog, and they're like, in front of their house, which they live in San Clemente also, I know they were in San Clemente. And it was just a cool picture. Anyways, it was in dirt sports. Or maybe another magazine But anyways, I hit him up I said, Hey, your trail emissions thing looks really cool. I probably need to buy Raptor, and I'd love to go on it. He says back well get with desert assassins. Oh, desert assassins. I didn't really like that sounds crazy, right? I mean, kind of intimidating, right? At least to me. So I'm like, well, aren't you desert assassins and he's like, Yeah, but you need to send it in like okay, so I send it there and Somehow we talk start talking and and he had the vet me on, you know, call few people and you had to get in and make sure I was not just some guy who didn't know anything. And I bought a raptor and come to find out he drives by my house to go to work every 10 years, 20 years, and I never knew it. And he he he knew who he knew laser nut he knew the rock crawler sitting on the side of the house, but the worlds are so small, but it's so crazy how you just don't ever meet up. So it was anyways it was funny. We just went on trail missions with my three year old. My 13 year old my wife Lindsay, first time in Baja ever. I mean we'd go to kind of Tijuana or Mexicali looking at jobs but not Baja. And like man, this is really, really cool. So we did that. And then the second day on that trip, my truck broke. I'm like fuck, I guess I'm done. Okay, let's go back. He shipped my truck back and had one of his guys get another truck. And then he gave me his his monster long travel truck. Well that that was another bad decision because my truck didn't have long travel and the next rail missions which we got invited on, which is cool. We have the one with Chase and shear. I had to put a long travel kit on my truck which is which is great but anyways, that we just we kind of brothers you know, I I have never been a Oh, he's a celebrity I I just I you know, people are people people put on their pants the same way every day. And you know, we have we're kind of brothers we kind of like have fun.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, I I heard the story. Chris Cabrera told me the story about you when you got your Raptor and Chris like, oh, when you get to get some fiberglass fenders for a long route and you're like, Oh no, no, I'm gonna keep it. I'm gonna keep it stock. And then he goes, does it look stock today? I don't know. Nothing is awesome.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, so what's cool one cool thing about being part of the industry is you're able to hit up People need to work for and how to do work to your truck so that trucks completely built it originally was done by baja HQ which they did a great job on the on the all the modifications unit they made but I built a relationship with Korea RPG off road and we do their laser cutting so it we went over to their kit and what bypasses and stuff and it's great The only thing if you guys if anyone ever listen to this and wants a raptor if you go to the longer travel kit on the highway it's not as easy to drive it's it's a little more squirrely but on in the desert it's amazing so amazing. That's the long travel on my truck is I feel it's amazing on and off road. But on road. The steering I gave up a lot of steering to be able to get the travel Yep, so it turns like a school bus that doesn't fit in parking garages. It doesn't do u turns at

Wyatt Pemberton :

all there's some downsides there's some compromise. Your truck looks bitchin, I know my truck looks which I'm pretty happy about that. Absolutely. Do they look?

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, you know, for me it just it's it's the story I learned it's more It's the story of life and sharing your experiences. You know, I really try to make it a point. I have a moon buggy the rock the rock crawler, I'll let anyone drive it I have a 10 year old 50 year old 40 year old ones were at trail hero later this last year. I like 12 people drive it they had to do something to win you know made their life and and i mean it's cool that when they get out and they go man, that's the best that's that's like the coolest thing I've done in my life. Like that's so green cool. And that same with with the rock crawling there's a lot of people with the desert assassins that have never rock crawl before. So it's cool to get them in the passenger seat and Bama chocolate thunder, you know and they just like man, that's insane. That is that is that is like drove.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Kidding walk that night and I drove it.

Cody Wagoneer :

It's a I'm really stoked. I had to pinch myself down. I'm able to do what I love and it's business to and it all ties together. So in

Wyatt Pemberton :

rebooting corporate your family and yeah and the families in the Baja trips like I see what cam has done with with that the trailer missions deal and it is it's on ESPN it's this fall I was watching this in college football and I was flipping the channels before the game started and there's your head 50 on a 50 inch TV I'm like whoa, whoa and before I could play a pause to see what I'm looking at Jason shear pops on like, well what is this? I am watching that that trailer missions show with cam talking about everything and then Casey curry and you and Jason I recognize those guys and there's some guys I didn't recognize on there but was curtly Duke was on there goes as well, right? Yes. And it Kurt's great. Oh, he's, he's so awesome. Especially when he he gets stuck. It's hilarious. It's stuck.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, he got stuck a few times his last trailer missions. He and then I got to pull them out in one case so it's kind of cool to be able to pull and pull her out because he normally have a G And this time he brought he built a Ford F 150 I think it was and it Kurt Kurt's Kurtz good good people good

Wyatt Pemberton :

I that's one of the things I feel blessed about you know living all the way in Texas but coming out to the west and nothing knowing enough people and being in the communities so long that I've been introduced to be like that. So Kurt, I got a he would open up his pit and stuff for best desert stuff. I will get a pit with him because of his relationship with Brian Smith and easy recommending him and the curries and and so meeting him through that. It's like, this guy's just awesome. Yeah, there's no wonder he's in the awkward Hall of Fame. There's no wonder he's who he is because of how cool he is. But I really find that you're like the the trill admissions you know, share that with your family. You said you took your three year old on it, and you go down there and Jason shear said the exact same thing. You go down to Baja, you've got all these trucks, all those they're loaded with families. If you roll up to a beach, you get out you surf, you flow. It just races eat some tacos.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, and there's always People in the truck. I mean, there was Casey curry and his whole family's cool. And then Ricky Barrett who just won the car. he's a he's a hoot. I mean, just people that you wouldn't Jamie bestwick he's a motorcycle or a BMX guy, and it just good times. Just good times good people, everyone. Just everyone sharing the same passion.

Wyatt Pemberton :

The like minded. Yes, yes. Yeah. And I've said it before, it is somewhat cliched, but it's like birds of a feather flock together. You know, we come from all different walks of life, all different regions, all different industries. But somehow we're all there's a group of us that are still kind of wired the same. And well, there's about 80,000 of them similarly wired the same that are out here on the lake bed. Absolutely. And, Cody, thank you so much for sitting down this morning. Thank you, Lindsey for the coffee. Thank you guys for putting up with Caleb and myself and this crazy idea to film on location down here at laser town. Awesome.

Cody Wagoneer :

Yeah, thank you. Can I say one more thing? Absolutely. A couple other things. So if it anyone's wondering if I'm not going to I'm going to go back to go fast at this moment. We're going to try this new adventure with Cameron and see where it goes maybe San Felipe Bay, we do have a 6100 truck being built which will be done in the summertime. I looking for a driver. It I'm having a struggle because I get motion sickness. I get motion sickness driving my truck to work and back. I've had it my whole life. It's not an inner ear issue. It's just an issue I have and and I have a hard time driving and dust I just go fast. It's just not my thing. I've learned that and that's gonna it's hard. It's really hard to accept, but it just isn't my thing. So if I feel if I can team myself with top drivers, guys in other classes, haven't had the opportunity to do ultra for 6100

Wyatt Pemberton :

I think it'd be cool. So the goal is to keep getting like you're spot on there. There's guys that can be amazing drivers that cannot sit in the in the passenger seat and co driver are amazing co drivers that can't drive. It's, as you've seen in your business, you take where your strategic advantages are, and you leverage them to the nth degree to be successful. And if you in the key to doing that is knowing what your weaknesses are in leveraging them the other way. And I think that's, I think that's very cool that you are cognizant enough and the right word, I think the right word is selfless, that you understand where your strengths are, your weaknesses are, and you have the capability and ability to put all these strings together in the same basket and hopefully that they have success together.

Cody Wagoneer :

And that's a good point. It's a good point. You know, running a race team is our hobby, whatever you want to call it. It's just like running a business and you guys surround yourself with with people that are better than you camera still, he's way better the driver than I'll ever be. or whoever else is gonna be in the driver's seat or it's just you. I learned you surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and you keep growing if you surround yourself with people that just that aren't smarter, you're the smartest one in the group. So, it I love to grow. I love to do new things. And I mean when we went to Japan a couple months ago and I've never been to Japan, I went rock crawling in Japan. I mean, that was a bucket list. We got a cool thing coming out in April which I can't share but it's gonna be cool for for all generations. which ties to rock crawling. I just love I mean, I guess I I just love. I love I love new things and new experiences.

Wyatt Pemberton :

I love the way that you are putting your brand of DNA on the industry on the sport on the community. I think that's pretty cool. And as you said about the surrender, still smart people. I'm one of those people if I'm the smartest guy in the room, I'm in the wrong room. Exactly. That's

Cody Wagoneer :

so and have a good time it life is only as long as it is all right. It's shorter than it's short. It goes by quick and older. You Get as soon as it goes by faster and you just gotta gotta enjoy it.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, Cody, thank you. Yeah, thank you for the short stint. Lindsey for the coffee, you guys for just the hospitality this week. It's been off the charts. This is such a cool and eclectic little compound you guys have here.

Cody Wagoneer :

All right, welcome. Thank you.

Wyatt Pemberton :

Well, good luck with your team. Yeah. When it comes to Friday, younger people for the Armada car I have to give people as

Cody Wagoneer :

somebody, you know, we gotta we gotta let that hopefully we have a good day. A lot of things have to go

Wyatt Pemberton :

correctly. You guys will have a good day. I hope so. Positive thoughts bring positive? Yes. Well, we are out.

Intro/Outro :

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