Another multi-generation company, PCI Race Radios, joins us on the podcast with President Scott Steinberger. Scott is generation #2 with all three of his kids making up generation #3 as they learn the ins and outs of the company. We talk about Weatherman, Baja, and the future of PCI on Episode 126. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app to Conversations with Big Rich – subscribe to find out who drops next week.
5:48 – I have three kids that are maybe a little spoiled
9:51– PCI has been able to keep stuff in stock
12:04 – we’ve got to carry a year’s worth of product on hand so we don’t ever run out
15:10 – the stars on top of Diablo are incredible, it’s like a light show every night
18:00 – the advent of satellite communications has really filled in a lot of gaps
23:59 – Bill’s like, “think you can put radios in the cars?” – the birth of Weatherman
33:19 – racers are last minute, I’d be up half the night wiring helmets so we’d be ready
42:34 – I really think having a single seat car where when you break down you have to help yourself taught me problem solving
47:26 – he came in as a guy on the tour and now he’s living the life for sure
56:13 – it’s not the car that’s passing you that’s the problem, it’s the car that’s trying to pass him
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show
[00:00:06.370] - Big Rich Klein
Welcome to conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle, not just a job. I talk to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners, employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call offroad.
[00:00:53.790] - Scott Steinberger
Whether you're crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability. Four wheels or two? Maxxis tires are the choice of champions because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis tires deliver. Choose Maxxis Tread victoriously.
[00:01:20.290] - Big Rich Klein
Have you seen 4low magazine yet? 4low Magazine is a high quality, well written, four wheel drive focused magazine for the enthusiast market. If you still love the idea of a printed magazine, something to save and read at any time, 4Low is the magazine for you. 4Low cannot be found in stores, but you can have it delivered to your home or place of business. Visit 4lowmagazine.com to order your subscription. Today
[00:01:47.290] - Big Rich Klein
On today's episode of conversations with big Rich, we have Scott Steinberger. Scott is the president of PCI Race Radios. He is an off road racer. His dad was the original weatherman. Scott has taken that title now. And we're going to talk about Scott, Bob and PCI Race Radio. So Scott, thank you so much for coming on board and spending some time with us.
[00:02:15.010] - Scott Steinberger
Thanks for having me, Rich.
[00:02:16.870] - Big Rich Klein
So let's jump in right away. And I know that you were born and raised in Southern California, but want to get a little more specific?
[00:02:28.390] - Scott Steinberger
Cypress, California. People ask, Where Cyprus? It's close to Anaheim and right next to the Los Alamedos race track.
[00:02:35.890] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. And when you were growing up, was it still pretty rural?
[00:02:43.790] - Scott Steinberger
When I was a kid there was still a lot of strawberries around here, yes.
[00:02:47.540] - Big Rich Klein
And as a kid, did you find your way into those strawberry fields and picking strawberries?
[00:02:56.810] - Scott Steinberger
We kind of ran everywhere and there were a lot of fields and the ones that we ended up being in was the ones they let fallow a few years and they get tall weeds in them and we'd build forts in the tall weeds.
[00:03:09.770] - Big Rich Klein
Nice. And was it a youth of riding bicycles to start off with or were you able to start with, like, motorcycles?
[00:03:22.250] - Scott Steinberger
No, it was bicycles. My father had a thing against motorcycles. He dealt with the SCORE weatherman thing for so long and motorcycles were always getting people hurt, in my opinion.
[00:03:39.910] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I kind of grew up the same way. My mom lost a couple of friends right. In high school and after high school on motorcycles. And so she forbid it, but I'd hide one. You might say it a friend's, right?
[00:03:52.860] - Scott Steinberger
[00:03:53.650] - Big Rich Klein
So let's explore those early years a little deeper. The school that you went to, was it nearby?
[00:04:02.750] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, I went to Cypress High School.
[00:04:04.520] - Big Rich Klein
[00:04:06.890] - Scott Steinberger
My last child is still in it. He's a junior at Cypress High School. Just started a few days ago.
[00:04:12.800] - Big Rich Klein
Wow, legacy then the whole family.
[00:04:15.500] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah. PCI was in Signal Hill for from 81 to 2017 and then we moved to Cypress So I basically have my business in my town. In fact, one of the old strawberry fields we used to play in is where PCI is at.
[00:04:29.860] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, nice. I knew that. I'd been to the Signal hill. I haven't been over there to the new store yet. Oh yes, I have, I have it's the big warehouse. Yeah, that's right. Okay, so with going to school there and stuff, how were you as a student? Were you studious?
[00:04:53.990] - Scott Steinberger
I got by.
[00:04:54.940] - Big Rich Klein
You got by, that's right. That's the most common answer.
[00:04:59.810] - Scott Steinberger
[00:05:02.810] - Big Rich Klein
My grandson is starting 8th grade this next Monday up in Idaho and the fifth, 6th and 7th. He's not been real motivated and I keep telling him, you got five more years. The next five years is the most important for you to figure out what you want to do and where you want to take it from there. Because he's got all these grand plans of racing and rock crawling and having this, having that, and I said, if you just screw off, you're not going to get there. Those things are just not going to show up unless you put work in. Do you try to instill that in your kids?
[00:05:48.810] - Scott Steinberger
I have three kids now working at PCI and they're doing really well. I would say my kids were a little spoiled, I was spoiled and I think my kids were a little spoiled. And I wish I would have probably instilled education as a more larger factor in their lives than we did and they came straight to work like I did. I did the same thing. I came straight to work. And I think the networking of college is a neat thing and I think it helps you in life. There's something to be said about getting to work and learning your business and learning to plug holes and take care of what needs to be taken care of. The nice thing about a family business is I got three kids that I've had employees move on over the years and your kids, they might move on, but I feel like I'm investing smart.
[00:06:48.410] - Big Rich Klein
Investment in them right in their future and as they take over the business. I agree 100%. Okay. That does make sense for a business especially like yours since it has been such a family business. I know that this is probably jumping way ahead, but as far as PCI is concerned. Have you been approached by any of the, what do you want to call it? Conglomerates guys that have you know, there's all these businesses that are becoming conglomerates, family run businesses being bought up and hedge funds? Yeah, hedge funds. Have you guys been approached that way?
[00:07:31.930] - Scott Steinberger
I've had a few people talk to me. The legacy part of it, I feel like my dad started this and it gave me a great place in life, and I feel like I need to give that to my kids as well.
[00:07:47.350] - Big Rich Klein
[00:07:48.210] - Scott Steinberger
But one thing that happens, it's different, is that when my dad retired in 2000, we had five employees and it was a much smaller footprint, and now we have 50. And when the economy starts to do funny things, it does make me think more. Right. And I had a little bit of a medical issue earlier in the year and it made me think about mortality a little more. The bigger you get, the harder you fall, they say. And so far, it's been nothing but up for PCI, and I have a great crew here that does a great job, and we're in a great industry that's growing fast. And at first, Covid really worried me, but Covid just showed that everybody wanted to be more outdoorsy and off road blew up in COVID, and it's been really it was a good time for my business. Although the uncertainty of Covid has made it challenging, especially when I think kids at school.
[00:08:53.510] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely, yes. And the way that the education boards have been running the mask mandates and everything else like that. Teachers basically not wanting to go back in the classroom to teach. And I get it, kind of. But it's a shame because the kids that tried to graduate over the last in 2021, really remembrance of those last two years of high school or the last year of high school is going to be so much different than their peers, just a little older or younger than them.
[00:09:51.130] - Scott Steinberger
I think it's atrocious what's happened with Covid. Let's not go there. But the biggest thing that came out of Covid was the excuse of Covid. And I think using COVID as an excuse all the time is one of the factors that just pissed me off about it. Let's just blame it all on Covid. We don't have product because of Covid. We don't have this because of Covid. It's because everybody stopped doing their damn jobs. And that's one of the things I'm proud of. The PCI has always been able to keep stuff in stock, but it's been a challenge for some of our vendors and the world went crazy.
[00:10:32.930] - Big Rich Klein
It sure did. It's amazing that in our industry, the companies did really well in 2021, financially, for the most part. I think that, like you said, the supply chain issues with getting the parts from vendors and the vendors, those vendors having the material to make the parts. Some of the people that I've talked to, I've come to the conclusion that we got to a point with our businesses where people could order it and we could turn around and make it right away. So we didn't carry as much stock on the shelves like probably some of your vendors did. And then when Covid got really rolling and all of a sudden companies couldn't produce the products that were needed, those vendors started to suffer because they didn't have stock on hand, they weren't deep on the shelf. Do you think that's going to change people's attitudes now? Is stocking up on materials before they have an issue? Or do you think it's still going to go back to the same way where we got a week, we can produce it and then send it out?
[00:12:04.470] - Scott Steinberger
Well, we were blessed. We had the cash on hand to be able to really go deep on product. And at one time we could get away with carrying 90 days worth of product. That's not how it works anymore. So we've got to carry a year worth of product on hand so that we don't ever run out of anything because it takes that long to resupply some of it. And it's just not uncommon for stuff to get pushed back and pushed back and pushed back. I went to pick up my wife's car yesterday at a car dealership, and they only had maybe eight or ten cars on the lot to sell. And the amount they wanted over sticker for the cars was unbelievable. I don't like paying that. Nobody likes paying that. But I think that's the car industry's excuse is just, you know, the dealerships are getting away with it, they can't get the car, so they're having to sell them for more. And I kind of understand the economics of that, but I can't believe that it all comes down to we can't get a chip. There's got to be more to it.
[00:13:19.390] - Big Rich Klein
True. Supposedly there's thousands and thousands and thousands of vehicles sitting there complete, except for missing the computer chip needed for the PCM. It's crazy.
[00:13:31.900] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, it's crazy. And supposedly how did Lowrance not have GPS? They're selling GPS. They got chips in them and there are chips and all these different things. And it just doesn't make sense to me that a car doesn't have a chip it needs. Maybe they should invest in infrastructure of chip manufacturing.
[00:13:54.310] - Big Rich Klein
True. Well, there are some big manufacturer chip things going in Arizona, that's for sure.
[00:14:01.150] - Scott Steinberger
[00:14:01.740] - Big Rich Klein
A couple of big, huge buildings that got some friends that are supplying either concrete or working concrete, that kind of thing, on these foundations for these buildings that just cover it looks like a square mile. So we'll see. Hopefully we can bring all that stuff in country now. So did you have a chance to play sports as a kid?
[00:14:27.790] - Scott Steinberger
I played soccer for a little bit and I played sports, but my dad wasn't around on the weekends to go to sports because he was off at races. And when I was twelve, I started going with him. And I'd go out to the races and do contingency and meet the racers and then we'd go up on a mountain race day and we do communications.
[00:14:52.930] - Big Rich Klein
So let's talk about some of those early days of being at the races and stuff. What was the biggest draw for you besides being able to spend time with your dad? What did you look forward to on those race days?
[00:15:10.990] - Scott Steinberger
One of the things we do about being weatherman, and we do it even more nowadays, is where we go up on top of these mountains. Sometimes it's a little unforgiving, but for the most part it's serene and beautiful. And I mean, going up on top of the mountain, Diablo, and we get there three or four days ahead of time to set ourselves up, and we camp out when we relax and we eat good food and we have a good time, and it's really neat. And the one thing that I really, really enjoy about it is the stars. The stars on top of Diablo are incredible. It's like a light show every night.
[00:15:50.830] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I guess there's not a lot of pollution in the sky at that point, so it's nice and clear.
[00:15:57.060] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, very small glow from San Felipe area, but yes, it's a very dark place. That's why they say the observatory does so well there.
[00:16:04.630] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. And that was one of the questions my wife had. She goes, okay, make sure you ask Scott about getting up onto the mountain and what that's like, so you kind of touched on it. You guys bring enough supplies up there to sit back and do your work, but also enjoy good food and the camaraderie of the people that go up there. How many people make that trek, say for the thousand?
[00:16:37.490] - Scott Steinberger
Once in a while we'll take someone extra with us, like social media or something. But generally it's just weathermex, Ralph Burrell and myself, and it gets a little tight in the motorhome with three people. And he's the workhorse of the operation. He is always figuring out ways to get the antennas up higher. And he's kicks ass as far as really doing a good job for people on the weatherman relay. And we do it in Spanish now as well. And we usually go up on a Tuesday. We'll go to Mailing Tuesday night and we'll spend the night at Mailing, which is halfway up, it's like a kilometer, 54, heading up the observatory road, Santelmo Road. And then the next morning we'll get up, go up to the observatory, check in with the observatory, show them our paperwork, get up on our mountain spot, which is a little different than where my dad used to do the relay. We're a little farther down. We're pushed down a little other mountain range and when we pushed down there at first it took away some of the range of our relay because we couldn't get our antennas as high, and it took us a few years to build some towers and basically figure out ways to make the antennas as tall as they used to be.
[00:18:00.930] - Scott Steinberger
Now that we do that, we have pretty good comms from the observatory. We can reach Ensenada before the comms come up at the race, but as soon as a lot of saturation sets in and a lot of people start talking on the radio, we lose Ensenada and we have to set up a relay. We set up a relay and Ojos, in fact, we had a great relay, Jerry, that helped out for a lot of years, he passed away last year, and that's been tough on the relays, but we always have good volunteers that help and they fit into different areas where we have range issues. Weatherman South, James Coates, and we've got redx relay, helps us here and there. We've got a lot of the Mag Seven and BA pits. Guys, give us a hand, fill in range gaps. And then with that said, the advent of satellite communications has really filled in a lot of gaps. We don't need to help as many people as we used to because people have their own communications that they can get through on now, and we're kind of just helping out with the infrastructure of the race more and helping people know where their cars are at and stuff.
[00:19:21.010] - Scott Steinberger
The relays changed a little bit in the last few years with technology. Now we're using Internet and we have voice over IP phones going to score, so the same phone I'm talking on to you now I can talk to score ops on, and we have message boards so wives and girlfriends at home can see what's going on and watch the race and be part of it as well.
[00:19:46.510] - Big Rich Klein
The whole thing is morphed into along with technology. I know there's it we just went with the Starlink and it really changed what we could do. Because we live on the road, we constantly are moving to do events, so we don't have a base of operations like a home that we go back to. So it's always been a challenge whether or not we could communicate with the outside for events, and that's really changed. So that's helping you guys as well.
[00:20:25.210] - Scott Steinberger
So we have a Starlink and we haven't used it at a race yet. We did some testing with it and we will have it at the 400 in a few weeks. We had satellite internet dishes that were very limited and very slow. They basically had 15 to 20 down and one to three up, and those dishes allowed us to stream the live stream, but very, very weak. And for about the last five years, rodriguez Communications out of San Quentin, we hired them to beam the internet up to us via microwave and so we've had pretty strong internet on the observatory, the Starlink, this will be our first time using Starlink along with Rodriguez Communications just to see how it works. And I'm looking forward to it because from my testing it's way better than what we've had in the past with satellites, way easier as well. It would take hours to set up the satellite dishes and aim them and point them and get them working. And now Starlink, you just open a box, set up an antenna and you go yeah.
[00:21:42.660] - Big Rich Klein
Within ten minutes you're up and running.
[00:21:46.190] - Scott Steinberger
[00:21:47.020] - Big Rich Klein
So do you think that is going to we are like way beyond where I wanted to be but we'll get back to the other stuff. Since we're on pace with this now, do you think that the better communication, being able to live stream from various places on the race track and all that is going to make off road racing, especially score Mexico, but even here in the States going to make it more popular with maybe the mainstream. Once you get outside of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Southern California people, it's not as strong as an influence. Off road racing is not as strong in influence as it is in those areas. Do you think it'll help with that?
[00:22:41.930] - Scott Steinberger
I definitely think it will help. I thought it was pretty interesting. I watched some of Bryce Menzies live feed from the Vegas to Reno race a few days ago and it was pretty impressive with the Starlink set up and I think that's going to make it easier and better to make good content. But King of the Hammers does a great job already and they've really forwarded off road racing as far as bringing in more people from across the country because rock crawling was kind of more of a nationwide thing, actually a worldwide thing. And I think them bringing people to King of the Hammers really grew off road racing the last few years and that's one of the bigger pushes on it. But I do think it'll get more and more popular. How do you get involved in off road racing? Is a good question to bring up and that's kind of how my dad got involved in racing. So my father was offroading, he was actually going farming, hunting and he decided to build a vehicle that was more capable because he got stuck a few times and broke down in Long Beach where his business was at the time, which was called Phone Consultants International.
[00:23:59.950] - Scott Steinberger
He hooked up with a Bill Stroppe Motorsports who did a few cars for the Baja 1000 type racing. But he was basically building my dad a hunting vehicle which was a 65 Scout. And my dad grew a relationship with Bill Stroppe over the years, became really good friends and Bill asked him, hey, we need some help at the 1970, 2000, would you come down and help us we need to dump some fuel at Santa Rita at mile 800 and something on the Baja 1000 courses. I'll do that. I'll try that. So my dad went down, and my dad said he waited for two days and almost left. Car came in, was in his pit for less than a minute, took two dumps of gas, wiped off the windshield, and they were like it was the most boring thing I ever did, Scott. I was just like, we were ready to leave. We didn't know what was going on. And when he got back, he was telling Stroppe how bad it was. And he says, you guys need communications. We need to know what's going on. So bills like, you think you can put radios in the cars?
[00:25:01.450] - Scott Steinberger
And back in the 70s, we're talking tubes in the radios, the glass tubes and stuff. So it was pretty old school. And my dad says, yes, I think I can make it work. So my dad, over the next few years, started figuring out how to hold the tubes in so they wouldn't bounce out when you were offroading. And he got a few cars up and running with communications, and it started to grow, and more and more people started using his communications. And in 1974, at the Mint 400, he decided to put up a radio relay. And at the time, he hadn't done any relay, so he didn't know what he was doing. And it was his first attempt. And he ended up getting three weather balloons, tying the antenna to the weather balloons and putting the antenna up with helium over the main pit area. And he had a 500 foot spool of coax, and he put his antenna up, and someone couldn't remember his name and needed some radio help. And we hear was Joe McPherson. Who knows? But Joe McPherson couldn't think of my dad's name and called him the Weatherman. And that kind of name stuck.
[00:26:12.290] - Scott Steinberger
And my dad continued to use that moniker his whole life.
[00:26:16.480] - Big Rich Klein
Right? It's absolutely an iconic title in off road racing, that's for sure.
[00:26:24.760] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, I got to say, that's one of the my proud son thing. I got a picture of my father in my office. And nowadays with satellite communications, I feel like we still do a good job and we help a lot of people. But you got to really listen to people that were racing early on and to talk to someone that actually was stuck out in the desert and they were there and they didn't know what the hell was going on, and their crew didn't know where the hell they were at. And the only person you could talk to was my father. And I have multiple, multiple friends that said, hey, man, I was a scared kid. I was at my first race, I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere, and your dad saved my life just because I can remember one of my first races in Mexico and I was stuck out in the desert. And having someone to talk to is a big deal when you start hearing noises.
[00:27:32.870] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, true enough. When I first started going down to baja for 1000 was in 2003 and went down with BFG pits. And we all had radios in our vehicles. And as we're caravaning down and peeling off teams that there are peeling off the pit teams at their specific sites, frank D'Angelo is talking to everybody. He kind of ran the show. He was the general. And it was comforting when you're in a big group like that going down for the very first time. I had never been down to Mexico before, never into baja, and it was quite an experience. But the communications for dealing with that for BFG pits is incredible. Each one of those pit locations has a radio guy, somebody that's a pit captain, somebody that's running a fuel board that's keeping track of where the team's left and with the communications guy so that we know who the next vehicle to come in is supposed to be. Being able to hear the team 5 miles out. If possible. Was a big advantage because guys would drop out of the race. And if the person wasn't listening that was doing the fuel board. Wasn't listening to the radio guy operator.
[00:29:22.590] - Big Rich Klein
You could have the wrong fuel cans filled when the car shows up and you're thinking rod hall is coming in. So you got cans of diesel. And all of a sudden it's a late trophy truck that's coming in. And you got to dump the diesel. Reload the gasoline. And it became kind of a hassle unless somebody was really paying attention. So communications on that end was very important.
[00:29:49.770] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, they do a tremendous job, too. And people don't realize there's always been different manufacturers and manufacturers that have been down in baja, but none of them have done what BFG has done. And I don't think people realize just their maps and their detail orientation to making it easier to get to the pits. I mean, how when you go down there, it's hard to find anything down there without knowing what's going on. And having a map book that shows you what kilometer to turn onto this road, and they go out with ribbons and mark it all so you can find your way to the pits. It's unbelievable what they do. In fact, I always tell everybody I run on BFG tires because of it now. And if you're buying tires, you should be on BFG because you're going to get pit support and a team that has really probably spent more money than any other team to further motorsport safety.
[00:31:01.390] - Big Rich Klein
True. When I was working with pistol Pete, he was not on BFG, but man, it was always, how are we going to get one of those BFG pit books so that we could get our pit crews to where they needed to be during the race. And it was almost like an I Spy type of a situation, you know.
[00:31:31.050] - Scott Steinberger
Frank and it's like cheating. It really is. Having that book is like cheating.
[00:31:36.150] - Big Rich Klein
[00:31:38.550] - Scott Steinberger
[00:31:40.170] - Big Rich Klein
So let's talk about you personally. You went to high school where your kids are going now, or have gone, and you jumped into work when you were twelve.
[00:31:57.870] - Scott Steinberger
I went to Cypress College, but I went there, let's say that I did not graduate from there. I started working when I was 14. I started coming in and working at PCI, helping out, cleaning up around the shop, learning, making coins out of, solder fun stuff. Back when I first started at PCI, we were still a communications company that dealt mostly with car telephones and two way radios. So in the 80s it was still more car telephones, two way radios. It was racing four or five times a year, but it was just a small part of her business. One of the first things that I did when I started working there was I started realizing that, hey, we got all these people sending us helmets from Parker Pumper at the time, and Gordon Clark at Cactus Racing and BDR, and they were sending helmets to us that customers had bought to get wired for radios. And I'm like, you know what, maybe we should carry helmets. So I would buy lots of helmets from them and have them in stock, ready to go, wired up and ready to go. So it was one less step you have to take when you're buying a helmet.
[00:33:19.740] - Scott Steinberger
So over the years, people started coming to us for helmets, and I think to this day, we still have a large stock of wired helmets ready to go. We have thousands here, but back in the small business days, I tell this to my kids because my kids are pretty spoiled. I'm like, do you understand that? I had to work from 830 to 530 at the shop, and then at 530, when everybody went home, employees went home. I would stay at work and wire up extra helmets and take care of things so we'd be ready for the next day. And I always remember how racers are last minute, and we would always sell a lot of helmets at the last minute. The week before the race, I'd be up half the night wiring helmets for people because we just didn't have enough done and we needed more and more. Now, the amount of helmets they go through here, it's incredible. I think we have six or seven helmet technicians now, and my son raises in the department. He's doing a great job wiring up helmets, but I used to have to do everyone that came through here, and it was a job.
[00:34:38.590] - Big Rich Klein
So your kids names, your oldest is Rider.
[00:34:45.670] - Scott Steinberger
My oldest is Sierra.
[00:34:47.060] - Big Rich Klein
[00:34:47.630] - Scott Steinberger
So I have Sierra, and then Ryder is in sales and marketing here, and then Race. Is in Tech department. He's doing helmets and working on radios. And then my youngest Rangers in high school, he's worked here part time a little bit, but he's still on the.
[00:35:06.260] - Big Rich Klein
Spoiled side, so no Bob, Scott's, Bills, Brian's. I love the names. That's awesome.
[00:35:14.130] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, my wife calls them R one, R two, and R three.
[00:35:21.830] - Big Rich Klein
That's great. So when you were working there first, working at 14, wiring up helmets and stuff, when race day would come around, or those five times a year like you said, what was the process of getting ready for that race? And Contingency like so back then it.
[00:35:49.120] - Scott Steinberger
Was easier because we just throw a few things in the trailer and we had a little like, tent trailer that had a cap on it with a PCI logo. And we would jump in my dad's 65 Scout and we would head to Tech and we would open up a little trailer and we'd help people and sell radios. And then after Tech was over, we'd just drive straight up to the top of the mountain. We'd set up our radios and we'd be doing late night radio tests and we'd be up the next morning whenever the race started to get going.
[00:36:23.430] - Big Rich Klein
[00:36:25.050] - Scott Steinberger
Now I go straight to the top of the mountain. I have a crew that's at Contingency and Tech now. I have it pretty damn good, pretty spoiled. I got a lot of help. So we skipped one part when I first started PCI. So then the second part of PCI is when I was 21, I started racing a minimum, right? So when I was 21, I would work from nine to five. Then I would work on helmets until they were done, and then I would have to prep my race car. And then you go to a race and I would have to work all day at Contingency in Tech. Well, hopefully a few of my friends got our car tech because I couldn't do it because I was too busy working. And then sometimes Tech for us would run until 8910 at night, finishing the last cars and getting all the comps fixed and going. And then I would have to take care of my team and figure out what we were going to do and get a plan going. And as my dad left to go up on top of the mountain, I'd be getting ready to race.
[00:37:36.410] - Scott Steinberger
And I got spoiled myself. From when I was from 1988 until 2007, I raced full time, all races and I raced all the Score races, and I raced some of the best in the desert races. In fact, from 96 until, I think, 2005, I raced all the best in the desert races. I was at Casey's first Vegas to Reno race. And so I was doing score and best in the desert. It was actually HDRA in Score first, and then when Score bought HDRA, I moved on to do both Score and Best in the desert. One of the races. I remember I can't remember what year it was now, and I should know this, but I was helping on the radios with my father when Walt Lott passed away at the fireworks 250 race and back when it was still HDRA was putting on the state side races.
[00:38:39.890] - Big Rich Klein
Right. I got to play weatherman, you might say, with Bill Black during the Roger Norman's first HDRA race in Nevada. And my wife and I and the kid that worked for me, Josh England, went and showed up there to help Roger with whatever he needed, and he was like, oh, no, just enjoy the race. So we grabbed trash bags, and we were picking up stuff, and he's like, oh, I got guys to do that. And I'm like, well, we have nothing else to do, and your guys are busy putting all the infrastructure in for the race, picking up the trash out here behind the casino. That's a no brainer. We can do that without being told how to do it. So we did that, and then he approached me and said, hey, you want to be on the radio and help with communications? I was like, yeah. So we got up into one of the penthouse rooms up there and overlooked the race course as much as you can there, and it was so entertaining, and we had way too much fun. I think Roger got on there one time, and he didn't scold us, but he made a couple of jokes about how we probably weren't as professional as we should have been on the radio.
[00:40:04.170] - Big Rich Klein
But it was your fun.
[00:40:08.190] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, it's hard to be professional on the radio all the time, especially when it's a little bit of chaos out there. And god, everybody loved my father. When you go sideways yes. They would say, oh, my god, it's so funny when he gets worked up. And I'm all, dude, he's not worked up. My dad gets worked up. That's not worked up.
[00:40:28.660] - Big Rich Klein
He's calm the richard craniums.
[00:40:33.990] - Scott Steinberger
[00:40:36.330] - Big Rich Klein
So how big of an issue was it with being in Mexico and having so many people being able to get on the air and people actually trying to mess with communications?
[00:40:58.550] - Scott Steinberger
One of the things that's different about my father and myself is and I think people love my dad for it, was he would engage the people that messed with him on the radio a lot. And I feel like if you engage someone, they're teasing you, and you're letting it get to you, and it makes it want to tease you more. So I try not to engage them as much. I try to ignore them more. But it is frustrating. I mean, sometimes you just want to really want to you could track them. I had a race recently where we could tell the area where the people were because we could hear the cars going by when they were playing with the transmitter and we could hear other people in the background. And I'm like, hey, guys, I can tell that these guys are really close to San Quentin and I would like someone to find them and go rip the mic out of their car and stick it through their windshield. And I actually had people out there, I guess after the race, they told me they were hunting for the guy. I'm glad they didn't find him.
[00:42:02.950] - Scott Steinberger
Probably got trouble.
[00:42:06.870] - Big Rich Klein
No, that's good though, because maybe it would teach somebody a lesson. So then the racing with yourself, you start off with minimag, and I did see the video that you have on your website and on social media about your trip to get the chassis. Talk to us about that for those that haven't seen that.
[00:42:34.770] - Scott Steinberger
So I've been doing communications, and I graduated in 86, and in 88 I was heading down to Chennath to go install some radios and some new cars for customers. At least that was the roots. My dad told me when I got to Chennah, they had a car sitting on a trailer for me and he bought me a Chennah minima. And one of the things my dad really liked about the idea behind the class was that it was a spec class and everybody had the same opportunity. You couldn't just throw money at it and have a bigger motor or four wheel drive or whatever. And he thought, this is just a great place to start a driver's class. I was mechanically inclined because I was working on radios and stuff, but I wasn't a mechanic when I started racing. And I really think having the single seat car where when you break down, you're by yourself and you have to help yourself, I really think that taught me how to be a mechanic, and it also taught me problem solving. And I've taken that with me through life. And I'm really good at figuring out how to deal with a situation with what I have.
[00:43:54.510] - Scott Steinberger
I can figure it out. In fact, I was a wide open Baja Tours as a guide for years. And actually that came from our racing, Wide Open Baja and all kinds of repairs in the field that people would scratch your head and go, God, how did you do that Wide Open? I was a guide on Wide Open, and I helped with start Wide Open, and actually, my father and me were part owners of Wide Open at one time. And I actually met Roger Norman on one of his first trips to Wide Open, first time to Baja before he raced.
[00:44:35.190] - Big Rich Klein
And do you remember that trip?
[00:44:38.970] - Scott Steinberger
I don't remember exactly. I do remember the main guy who started Wide Open, Todd Clement, was on the trip as well. And we were just down there. We were down there having the time of our lives, driving cars around. And this was before we had a dedicated tour car. This was back when. So how wide open started? I'll give you a quick story.
[00:45:02.620] - Big Rich Klein
[00:45:02.940] - Scott Steinberger
So wide open. Started, I think, in 97. Todd and I were racing a pro truck together and I met Todd when we bought a seven S truck from him a few years earlier. So Todd and I were racing 1997 together in the pro truck class, which was another driver's class that my dad wanted me to be involved in. And when we were racing, we tried to get Arco to sponsor us because you had to run on regular gas. So we invited four executives from Arco to come on a Baja pre run trip with us and we rented a couple of Humvees for them. Well, the moral of the story is that the Hummers got wrecked, but the VPs from Arco said that was the best trip they'd ever had. It was amazing. They drove down Rumor Rosa and they scratched the sides of the cars on the inside of the cliff because they would not go near the edge at Rumor Rosa out of Mexico, and they just had a great time. And Todd's like, hey, this would be a great business. So at the end of the 97 race season, todd sold my dad the pro truck.
[00:46:17.890] - Scott Steinberger
Thanks, dad. And he took the money and he bought ten old race cars to start Wide Open, Baja Adventures. And from 97 to 99, they ran in old race cars. The problem with the old race cars was logistically, everything was different. The parts, the CVS, the axles, the transmissions, the motors. And when you had problems, you just ended up carrying more and more weight to try to address the problems in the field.
[00:46:44.880] - Big Rich Klein
[00:46:45.240] - Scott Steinberger
So they decided in 2000 ish that they had to have a purpose built tour car that were all the same. And that's when investors came in. And I think myself, my dad, Mark Cummings, Rodrigo and Pudia, actually, Bill Savage, there was a Score tech director at the time.
[00:47:04.670] - Big Rich Klein
[00:47:04.980] - Scott Steinberger
And a couple of members of Todd's family all went in together and put up startup money to build the cars.
[00:47:12.090] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. I always thought that was a good program, just see them out there pre running. And then, of course, the different businesses that would jump in and race the BC class.
[00:47:26.790] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, for a lot of years. That brought a lot of people into the sport. I mean, Roger Norman came in, who now, it's funny, he knows Score and he owns Wide Open and a lot of other things. A guy on a tour? Yeah, he came in as a guy on the tour and now he's living the life, for sure. He went off road extreme.
[00:47:47.220] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, he did. He's one that I hope to get on here pretty soon. He's a busy guy, so it's hard to nail him down. Let's talk about the early days with your dad and say stroke and then into Best in the Desert. The Score and best in the desert. He's running the personal communications with car radios and phones and that kind of stuff, and then jumps into the off road racing. How much time did it take him to I can't imagine having to develop and get ready for races like that back then when he's the one that's developing all the technology.
[00:48:36.850] - Scott Steinberger
Well, as far as developing technology, I wouldn't say he was developing technology. I would say he was sharing it. But, yeah, we brought radios into racing. Main thing we've been really good at is we build intercom systems, and we still do to this day. Honestly, for years it was seated, the pants people. Why do you do it? I don't know. I just do it every race. We'd go to Tech, we'd work at Tech. We'd go up on the mountain to help our customers. And it went from helping our customers to just helping everyone. And you just do something so long, and it's just a habit, right? You can't get away from it. People say to me, now everybody asks me, hey, when are you going to go back to racing? I'm like, how the hell can I go back to racing? I'm the weatherman now, and everybody expects me to be up there. I feel good about helping people. I've been involved in a lot of, you know, a lot of incidents where people were helped and been in some that were tragic as well. It brings you together. It makes you feel like part of the team.
[00:50:01.630] - Scott Steinberger
Whole group of volunteers that help out with Score and that I'm personal friends with, that I've been talking all through the night on the radio with when the shit is hitting the fan.
[00:50:16.640] - Big Rich Klein
Right. I want to ask the question, what's the craziest thing that you've had to personally deal with while on the mountain without getting into, say, a real tragedy? Because I know those can be almost life changing for those around the tragedy, of course, but what are some of the crazy things that have happened without it being tragic?
[00:50:48.490] - Scott Steinberger
One of the things that I wasn't personally involved with, but a story my father was involved with was I call it advocating. So sometimes the promoter doesn't want to advocate resources to something that's not race related. And what we can consider race related is if a race car gets in an accident, score is there to land a helicopter and help them. But when it happens to a spectator, it's not their number one concern. They have other things going on. And my father was involved with an accident at the Baja 500 of my friends, Rick Johnson and his wife were in a head on collision on the highway and she was ejected from the car, and it was really bad. And my father pushed the resources towards them and got him help. And it all worked out. But I would say that it was one of my proud moments where I know for a fact my dad saved her life.
[00:52:08.570] - Big Rich Klein
Right. It really came to hit me that, man, when you're out there in Baja and there are no ways to communicate with people and get help, it's not like it is here in the United States, especially with cell phones and everything. You didn't have good coverage down there in a lot of areas. And during the race, you guys are during that time that you guys are set up, it's really important because when you're not, those accidents become much more tragic or have the possibility of ending badly.
[00:52:52.610] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, it's like you have to people call it being Baja Savvy and you learn a respect over time that, hey, you know what? You're in a spot geographically that it's not minutes to a hospital, it's hours. And that's if you're lucky. And you have to take that into consideration when you race. And there's teams that have helicopters and what an advantage that is, I can tell you I've had one. It's incredible. But those teams have it a little different because they have a helicopter watching out for them. That's calling out if anybody's pulling out onto the track. That's calling out if there's livestock getting ready to cross the course. That's calling out anything that has to do with safety. Also, they usually have a medic in that helicopter. And if you have an accident or something happens. Johnny Campbell had overwatch most of his career and he used it to his advantage and he won a lot of races. But the guy who's going to go race against Johnny Campbell, that's Joe Dirt, that has never raced before, that shows up in Baja and doesn't respect it, it's the one that gets hurt. And unfortunately, that's usually what we deal with on Weather man, is riders getting hurt.
[00:54:29.990] - Scott Steinberger
Sometimes it's a spectator that pulled out in front of them and sometimes it's just they go down hard and they get hurt. And one of the frustrating things is that I have this happen at least once or twice a race where I get a call that is an emergency and a guy went down really hard and people are calling me on the radio to say, this guy needs help. And half the time these guys just get up, shake it off, get back on the bike and go and there's no emergency. They're just tough as hell. And I've got to really figure out the details and ask a lot of questions just to make sure it's really an emergency. And sometimes I feel like I've even had ones where I thought it was an emergency, then it wasn't an emergency. I've had guys that get knocked out cold, wake up 10 seconds later, jump on the bike and go like nothing happened to him. They're that tough.
[00:55:27.650] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Got a friend that he was riding Iron Man and went down and actually cut one of his fingers off and pulled his glove off, realized it, taped it up, put his glove back on, shook the part out, and finished the race. And I always think, what would I have done? I don't know if I'd have taped it up and continued, but I got to give that guy a lot of credit for being able to do that. And that's just a finger, but still, the motorcycle riders are a different breed, that's for sure.
[00:56:13.790] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah. The one thing I liked, I always think it's a good idea to have some perspective. And I remember Curt Le Duc would get up and talk to new drivers, and a lot of the drivers meetings at Score and tell people what to expect and what to think about. And, you know, one of the biggest things that racers need to know is it's not the car that's passing you that's the problem. It's the car that's trying to pass him. So when you pull over for a car, you've got to pull over long enough to make sure there's nobody behind them in the dust, because the dust is the factor that turns it into danger.
[00:56:58.430] - Big Rich Klein
Right. We were sitting up at Mike Sky Ranch, and BJ and Bob were up there as well. They were pre running when we were up there. We were up there with Pete, and some guys came in, Canadians, and they were talking about how this was going to be such an easy race. It was their first time, and I was listening to them and I said, you guys need to take this a lot more seriously, because you guys start behind the bikes, and then what starts behind you guys are trophy trucks, and the trophy trucks will pass a lot of the bikes, and every single one of you guys on four wheelers. And the guy was like, oh, no way. And these guys are running sportsman. So BJ took these two of them out in the Pre Runner and went back down the road toward the turn off and then came back because we were telling them, if you start seeing the city lights come up behind you, it's time to think about calling your race. If you're getting caught at that point, at this point of the race track, you need to really think if you want to continue.
[00:58:25.210] - Big Rich Klein
And after BJ took him for a race or took them for a ride in the Pre Runner, those guys had a much bigger respect for what they were getting ready to get into for that race, how fast they thought they could do it compared to a trophy truck. And then when they got into Pre Runner and realized that that's just the PreRunner.
[00:58:51.250] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, I was lucky enough to get a race trophy truck for a few years, and I can tell you, being in a trophy truck, not having a helicopter was crazy. I would have races where I was coming up with Tommy Wash first car on the road, and all of a sudden we come up on a bike and the bike doesn't hear us, and we're revving the motor, trying to get his attention. And I'm like, Jesus Christ, we got to get around this guy. And you got guys breathing down your neck, and you want to go, but you got to be safe. And I remember one time my co driver opened up the tool bag and started throwing sockets at the guy in front of us to get his attention. It finally hits him, and the guy looks back and almost falls over. And I get by him, but I mean, that's how close you are. And you're in a 67,000 pound truck and a guy's on a bike and his ears are blown out because he's been listening to for so long, and you can't hear that you're there. Sometimes they actually feel that you're there.
[00:59:54.460] - Scott Steinberger
They feel the rev of the motor in their chest.
[01:00:03.570] - Big Rich Klein
I don't know. As a race promoter, I ran Vora for four years. We didn't have to deal with motorcycles, but we dealt with lap races and slower vehicles out there. And we didn't have any trophy trucks, but we had some eights and some class ones and tens guys that were pretty damn fast. I can't imagine what it would be like to mix motorcycles and trophy trucks on the same race course during the same race. It baffles me that it continues and not anything against the promoters that are out there doing it. It's the only way to do it. But it is crazy with the differences.
[01:00:51.770] - Scott Steinberger
You couldn't do it in a lapsed race, but nowadays we're getting up at four, five in the morning to start the race for the bikes, and the cars aren't starting till ten. So there's a big gap between but, you know, the trophy trucks have gotten so fast, and there are a lot of iron men and sportsmen bikes that they just get caught.
[01:01:20.470] - Big Rich Klein
[01:01:22.030] - Scott Steinberger
A lot of them, when they get caught, they pull off and take a nap because they just wait for the fast guys to get by them and then they take their time. And one of the things that really makes it safer is nighttime. So nighttime, you can see the lights. Daytime, though, when you're getting passed in the daytime by a trophy truck, it's nothing but danger, right?
[01:01:40.500] - Big Rich Klein
And I guess now they have the warning systems, but I don't know how that works. Yeah, I don't know how that works, how well that works with the motorcycles.
[01:01:52.270] - Scott Steinberger
I think it works. Again, the motorcycle guy just needs to be savvy enough to realize that it's not the guy that's passing them, they can see him. It's the danger. It's the guy that's trying to pass him. So that's where, unfortunately, offroad racing is about taking risks. And to pass someone in the dust, you have to really take a lot of risks. When you're taking those risks, it's not a good idea to be a bike getting passed.
[01:02:20.560] - Big Rich Klein
True. So let's explore your dad's early days. We know that in 72 with the Stroke team. But what about prior to that? Where did he grow up at? Did he grow up Southern California as well?
[01:02:36.790] - Scott Steinberger
In the Valley.
[01:02:37.850] - Big Rich Klein
In the Valley. Okay.
[01:02:39.730] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, he actually grew up in the Valley and the Kappa Sigma USC. He got out of college and immediately started a car telephone two way radio business into the movie industry that was called Phone Consultants International. A lot of people ask me where the PCI came from. It came from Phone Consultants International. It's just the initials, but he dealt with a lot of people in the movie industry that needed communications when they were really expensive and tough, like the average briefcase telephone. Car telephone in the 70s cost $3,500. So it was a very affluent group of people that he was dealing with. And he did car telephones and two way radios all the way through cellular. In 1981, we moved to a bigger building. We kind of changed the name of business from Phone Consults International to PCI Omni Inc. And we ran under that moniker for a few years, and all the while we had PCI race rates. It was just kind of like a small division of us back in those days. We had a goal. My father and I are selling 300 radios and intercoms a year into the off road thing, and that's kind of what we did.
[01:04:10.090] - Scott Steinberger
And then when I got out of high school in the 86, later in the 80s, we started carrying helmets and we started carrying more safety gear, and we started going to race with support trailers. I think we bought the old Robbie Gordon trailer in 97, which we still have at PCI, and that's the main trailer we take to the races. And we just started bringing more and more products that people needed to get through tech. In the 1996, we actually split off from the cellular phone side. My Uncle Bobby, he ended up taking the cellular phone side, and my dad and myself became PCI Race Radios. Just PCI Race Radios. We changed the business name to PCI Race Radios. And that's kind of when we just went into off road racing only. And then my father retired in 2000, and I've been running the place ever since.
[01:05:10.950] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. How many more years until you want to step aside? Do you have a range yet?
[01:05:28.690] - Scott Steinberger
I'm 54 years old and I'm really not ready to retire. But I had a medical issue earlier this year, right after King of the Hammer, in fact. And I actually had an aortic hair. And I'm blessed to be here amongst the living still. And it's kind of changed my attitude towards a lot of things. And one of the things that you don't realize it and you don't, but when you sit on your ass and you work behind a desk all day, and you don't exercise enough and you don't eat right, you get fat. And this is to all my plus size friends that I love. Start thinking about taking care of yourself, because I didn't, and it almost cost me. And since February, since the deal, I've lost £80 so far. I've got another 30 or 40 to go, and I'm hoping to be amongst the living for a long time, but it has changed my focus more to my health. And luckily, I have a great team here at PCI that runs this place. Jimmy and Rhiannon and all my managers brian, Lisa, all the great employees here that are in sales and stuff, they really kicked us and allowed me to take the last six months off to take care of myself.
[01:06:58.550] - Scott Steinberger
And I'm actually just kind of back for the anniversary party this Friday, but I'm enjoying being back a little bit, so we'll see what it brings. I don't think my kids are ready to take over yet, but they're definitely being groomed too, someday.
[01:07:17.490] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. Jimmy, I think, has just always been such a pleasure to call and work with. I know he's kind of high up there on the food chain now, so whenever I do call him, he goes, okay, here, let me send you over to this person. It was always nice to talk to me.
[01:07:39.910] - Scott Steinberger
So one of the things I do, like I like to bring up is loyalty and working hard. Jimmy started as a shop hand in the service shop at PCI. Long time ago. He's been with me, I don't know, 1516, I don't even know. I probably got that one messed up. But he's been here a long time, and he went from basically being a shop hand, helping my father, to running day to day operations here at PCI. And he learned it and he's doing it now and saying thing with Rhiannon. Rhiannon basically figures out a problem and figures out how to solve it. And she's very good at what she does, and she's part of the backbone here at PCI. And those two, along with a few others, have really helped me be able to focus on my health and focus on getting better, and I really appreciate them for that.
[01:08:42.870] - Big Rich Klein
That's awesome. You do have a great staff down there, that's for sure. So you're down £80. Was it a change of diet and workout regimen, or what have you done to do that?
[01:09:04.990] - Scott Steinberger
I lost about 30 in the hospital when I first had the incident, and they had me on a feeding tube for three weeks, and I lost a lot because of that. And that kind of, I think, kick started it and helped me because it shrunk my stomach down to where I could eat a smaller portion. But I watch what I eat, I count my calories, and I change to eating healthier foods. I do not eat fast food. Anymore. I don't go to McDonald's. I don't go to any fast food. None. I don't eat any processed foods. I eat healthy foods and I eat two or three times a day and I just watched the calories. And normal dinner for me now is 6oz of chicken or fish and 10oz of broccoli.
[01:10:02.570] - Big Rich Klein
[01:10:03.400] - Scott Steinberger
Sounds boring, but it's worked for me.
[01:10:05.400] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. When you have that wake up call as you did the aortic terror, I can't even imagine. That's crazy that it is life changing and makes you reevaluate. And it's probably something I should be thinking about because for a long time now, over half my life I've been overweight. Luckily I was in really good shape before then.
[01:10:39.950] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah. So what you got to think about when you're overweight is a couple of things, and that is your blood pressure. And number one is your blood pressure. So if you're overweight, you should have your blood pressure chest at least twice a year. Go to your physicals and get your blood pressure checked. And if it's high, do something about it.
[01:10:58.260] - Big Rich Klein
[01:10:58.630] - Scott Steinberger
And you start thinking about it. It's just physics. It's like if your heart has to pump blood through twice as much mass, it has to work harder, and it's only got a certain service life. So if you're taxing your heart all the time when you're younger, it doesn't last as long. And that's basically I didn't have a heart attack. I had an air tear, which basically was a plumbing problem, but they actually had to detach my order from my heart and put a tube inside of it. And that's why it was such a big surgery, because they had unhooked the blood flow to my brain for 30 minutes while they did it. Like I said, lucky guy. I'm lucky to be here.
[01:11:46.400] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. It's crazy. Anything new on the horizons or do you have guys just business as usual at PCI? Anything special that you're besides the 50th that you're working on.
[01:12:09.370] - Scott Steinberger
Some new we're working on some different upgrades to our products right now and we should have something soon. That's one thing I don't want to talk about yet. But we're always developing and working. In fact, we just in the last few years started a new position where we have a guy that all he does is work on new products. And we're coming out with our own clothing line for racing shoes and gloves and a few other things. We're trying to modify our vendors to where we have vendors that get us stuff. And we're trying to always have a very big stock. That's one of the things during Covet, I always think of it this way. People are impatient nowadays, so if they call you up and want something and you don't have it, you might get lucky and get a call a second time. You will never get a call third time.
[01:13:11.580] - Big Rich Klein
[01:13:12.230] - Scott Steinberger
So you got to actually have it in stock ready to go when they need it. And that's been the success of PCI. We carry more inventory than anybody else. In fact, I think we carry like six and a half million dollars with inventory at this time.
[01:13:26.080] - Big Rich Klein
Wow. And is it helmets that you think is the number one? What's your number one skew?
[01:13:35.610] - Scott Steinberger
The number one skew for us is our communication kit. So we probably sell 300, 500 systems a year just like we used to, into the off road motorsports industry of people building new race cars. But this side by side phenomenon where people are going to the desert and side by sides and Polaris and Can AMS and all the other models, that has really grown our business. I think we have like 700 power sports dealers now that put communications in UTVs and where we were predominantly on the west coast and we still are stronger on the west coast to the day. We're growing nationwide. As far as the side by side.
[01:14:18.120] - Big Rich Klein
Industry, that makes total sense. Absolutely.
[01:14:22.950] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah. In fact, I would say 80% of our business nowadays is the side by side enthusiast overall racing.
[01:14:29.080] - Big Rich Klein
[01:14:32.890] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah. And one of the things that PCI I'm proud of too, is that we've always gone and supported people at the races and that has been a question mark for the last few years. Like, should we continue doing that because most of our business is not in the racing industry? Do we continue going to more races and snore races and all these smaller events? And I've kind of put my foot down and said, yeah, guys, we got to keep doing it because that's where we came from. So we appreciate all the customers that support us and we hope that they appreciate the fact that we still go to a lot of races where people are like, oh, man, you make so much money at the races. I don't make money at more races than I make money at. So more than half the events PCI goes to are losing situations, but we still do it because we appreciate how our heritage in helping racers at the races excellent.
[01:15:35.030] - Big Rich Klein
I can totally understand that. Well, if there's ever anything that we can do for you with for low or our events or anything like that to help, let me know. That's one of the things I love about our industry is almost everybody wants to see each other succeed, even if you're competitive with them. Competition breeds excellence is what I like to say. The cream of the crop always rise. The best companies and the best people rise under competitive situations.
[01:16:24.970] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah. I've known you a long time, Rich, and I know we rock and all different places you've been and you're always in the thick of things and I always admired that even though you were a businessman and running events, that I'd always see you at bigger events like King of the Hammers and such. Too. So you're definitely part of the culture.
[01:16:46.700] - Big Rich Klein
Well, thank you. Yeah, we try to be here shortly. We've taken on a partner with We Rock, who will be carrying the torch for us and keeping the sport of rock crawling alive. And one of the things that I needed to do was to get away from the amount of my body. Just wasn't allowing me to do the physical work at 64 that I did at 44 or even at 54. So I want to calm that part of it down. The guy that's taken over Jake Good is in his forty s and same age I was when I started cow rocks and he's gung ho and he's all about the physical part of it and stuff, which is phenomenal, but I want to start doing more social stuff and taking people to places that they want to go that they don't know even about yet. But we're going to open it up to tours, that kind of thing. And the reason is I don't want to leave the industry, but I need to find something that's a little less physical because it's just getting what used to take me two days to put together an event on the event site.
[01:18:05.870] - Big Rich Klein
It was taking me four and five and so it was time to change directions for me. But I never want to leave the offering industry. So then excellent. Anything else that you want to talk about that we haven't hit on?
[01:18:27.470] - Scott Steinberger
No, I think we hit on most everything. My dad was inducted in the Off Road Hall of Fame in 2013. Proud sun moment there. People say, hey, they appreciate me being the weather man, but I mean, hell, he did it for 30 plus years and I've only been doing it for a few. In comparison, I would still rather be pushing that right pedal, but I do find kind of a calling in the family thing as far as being the weather man. And my partner, Weather Max Ralph Burrell, he makes it a lot easier. He does a lot of the heavy lifting and allows us to do a really good job to help people. And I really think sticking with what started PCI and has always been good to us. So we're here for you, the racers, and we appreciate you guys supporting us.
[01:19:37.970] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. Great. Segue, I want to say thank you for coming on board and spending some time and talking about your dad, yourself and PCI and we help you many more years and I look forward to the future now being able to get away a little bit more often and maybe getting to some of those races and spending some time. Maybe I'll come join you up on top of a mountain some time. I'll bring my own sleeping bag and you're welcome too.
[01:20:13.890] - Scott Steinberger
Yeah, I need to know about a month ahead of time because I've got to get your name and your vehicle on a list, but other than that, it's pretty relaxing for the most part until race day goes chaotic and then we usually sleep for a day afterwards.
[01:20:32.350] - Big Rich Klein
[01:20:38.370] - Scott Steinberger
That's one thing that's gotten tougher for me is staying up all night factor really kicks a lot harder nowadays.
[01:20:45.580] - Big Rich Klein
I understand. I used to be able to drive when we'd go down and support teams down in Baja, we'd be up for 48 to 52 hours. I cannot do that any longer. I have to find a place to just crash and get some sleep. I can't do it any longer. I get it.
[01:21:06.420] - Scott Steinberger
I have to do the same thing.
[01:21:08.970] - Big Rich Klein
Alright, Scott, thank you so much for coming on board and I'll definitely see you soon. Thank you.
[01:21:15.910] - Scott Steinberger
All right, Rich, good talking to you. Bye for now.
[01:21:18.520] - Big Rich Klein
Bye. Well, that's another episode of Conversations with Big Rich. I'd like to thank you all for listening. If you could do us a favor and leave us a review on any podcast service that you happen to be listening on. Or send us an email or text message or Facebook message and let me know any ideas that you have or if there's anybody that you have that you think would be a great guest. Please forward the contact information to me so that we can try to get them on. And always remember, live life to the fullest. Enjoying life is a must. Follow your dreams and live life with all the gusto you can. Thank you.