All-Around Ambition, Professionalism Leads Team Waggoner Racing into Rock Crawling Success

Profile of Team Waggoner Racing

Feb. 01, 2006 By Katrina Ramser

Do I want to be conservative? Or do I go for it? You're in the mind of driver Cody Waggoner, who since his 2004 switch from Stock Modified to Super Modified class has secured with spotter Mike Berard the titles 2005 First Place Series Champions in the UROC Extreme West Series and the Pro ROCK Series. Conservative could be one word to describe Cody Waggoner, and this conservative approach has allowed him to climb the rock crawl wall of competition success.

Conservative in the sense Cody desires to preserve a respect for fellow competitors, event promoters, sponsors, media and family by what he says, does and drive. He's got a lot to look out for these days, including a second-season partnership with his new buggy and Berard, a platinum sponsor (Eaton Performance Products / Detroit Locker), and not to mention an even newer addition to Team Waggoner Racing -- baby girl Charley Michelle Waggoner.

Cody began his competition career by entering the Modified Stock Class in 2001, but desired to switch classes as a test to his driving skills. The transition from Stock Mod to Super Modified has been, in Cody's words, "more exciting." He first mentions the extreme style of courses as the biggest challenge. "You cannot believe you are actually going to do it, and you hope that the machine is going to do it," he says. Cody feels the change also lies in the drivers and spotters, referring to the fact there is a lot more competition. "The main reason I wanted to compete in Super Modified was to see how good I was. I really wanted to see if I was as good as Tracy or Shannon. And I was able to prove to myself I was a good driver."

Cody proves to have an all-around ability to win and desire to compete, but his history tells no tales of competitive play. "I never really have been a competitor," he admits. "I’ve never done any sports -- in high school I was a surfer. I didn’t even do Cub Scouts." But when he reflects a little harder on the roots of where this obvious striving nature he possesses comes from, he points the ambition to his parents. "I recall my dad saying to me, 'If you are going to compete, you are going there to win'.”

This was when Waggoner Senior was his spotter. As a team, Cody and Jim competed in over 22 events, receiving three 1st Place Championship Series titles, and two 2nd Place Championship Series titles. Although Cody first tried to do rock crawl competitions for just a good time, he has since changed his perspective. "I think it is an excuse when people say competition is just for fun," he mentions. Although just as free-spirited as any other off-road fanatic, Cody tells it straight when a trophy is on the line. "I’ve learned I’m here to compete. I’m here to win. Why waste my time if I’m not here to win? Competition is about competing."

Cody agrees as the years go on, it will be harder to grasp that trophy. "More competition," he states simply when asked what will come in his way of winning success. He speaks about a competition being shaped by more factors than just driving and spotting skills. "The competition will thin out because of the costs, which are high," he notes. And because Cody works for his father, he was able to get 39 days off last year to compete. "If I had a regular job, there is no way I would be able to do this." Sponsors will note the markings of a good team as well, he observes, because sponsors want professional teams. "The sponsors are the parents of the rig. You cannot go with stickers falling off your rig, and most of the time you need new body panels at every event." And it's true Team Waggoner got Detroit Locker as a sponsor by running the biggest sticker they could find on the buggy.

Team Waggoner Racing Sponsors

Eaton Performance Products / Detroit Locker
Staun Beadlocks
Premier Racing Products
Torco
BF Goodrich
J.E Reel
Ironclad
K & N
CTM Racing Products
Ready for Vegas

So what is Waggoner's definition of professionalism? After a few moments of thought, Cody speaks. "To me, professionalism is being able to keep your cool through the tough times," he says, "especially with a bad call." An all-around presence of professionalism will be his strategy for next season, but what else? Cody speaks steadily: "I've had 7 wins out of 13 events. I trust my spotter 99%. I have a reliable rig. I know more than I did a few years ago. I have a great support system; I have good sponsors, including a platinum sponsor, and my family. If I use my head and do what I think we're capable of doing -- and be conservative -- we can be in the top ten for 2006."

You cannot mention Team Waggoner without talking about wife and "Go-to Girl" Lindsay Waggoner. "My roll is support, encourager, and pretty much all-around cheerleader. I’ve always been to every single event. I know as much about the vehicle as they do, and that helps." She is also planning on driving in the women's event come next November, to compete against the likes of Red Bull's Becca Webster. It was Lindsay who got the rock rolling for their Web site, www.teamwaggonerracing.com. A novice at site construction, Lindsay initially networked help from Mitch Guthrie's technological-savvy brother and now runs the site herself using Front Page software. As one of the few teams with a site, Lindsay recommends this type of advertising for competitors wanting to get their information out there.

List "Mommy" as one of her new roles as well. Will the new addition change things for the team? "I don’t think things are going to change, she’s going to be our good luck charm," Lindsay states. "Not an inconvenience, but another addition. And she’ll drive one day." Lindsay especially notes the baby has given Cody a different outlook in life. "He smiles a lot more. He hasn’t smiled like that since we got the buggy."

Contracts dictate Team Waggoner will compete in both W.E. ROCK and UROC next year (visit their site for more details). Lindsay states what Cody is too modest to say about the upcoming competition year. "Cody and Mike are an awesome team. They can both communicate. It's a friendship and bond that lasts outside the event. These guys practiced one or two times before they went out and competed. Cody can sit behind anything and drive it. He's a great driver because he's intense. He loves to learn and see how things work."

"I wouldn’t be where I am at if I wasn’t consistent," closes Cody.

And maybe conservative.

Rig Information for "Roxanne"

Chassis: Custom Campbell Ent. Chrom-Moly Chassis
Engine: Turnkey, Turbocharged ECO-TEC - 290 hp, 240 ft lbs Torque
Transmission: Custom Built Two Speed Power Glide
Transfer Case: Atlas II Transfer Case
Links: Custom Campbell Ent. Links
Suspension: Fox Air Shocks
Axles: Ford 9" Axles 300M w/ Wilwood Brakes and Detroit Lockers
Steering: Howe Steering
Recovery Tools: Warn 9.0R Competitor Winch
Tires: BF Goodrich 39” Krawlers
Drive Lines: Custom J. E. REEL Drive Lines
U-Joints: CTM Racing U-Joints
Accessories: PRP Custom Seat, Harnesses & Limiting Straps
Rims: Mickey Thompson Rims: Classic II, Staun Internal Bead Locks

 


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