Who’s Who in NASA: Phil & Jesse Robles

Full Name: Philip Rosend Robles…Phil
Where is your Hometown? Tempe, Arizona
How long have you lived in AZ? 19 years
Favorite Food(s): Helen’s Mexican food..of course!
Favorite Music: Whatever I select in Pandora…Top Secret
Occupation: Defense Contract Management Agency / Quality Assurance Specialist on the Boeing Longbow Apache AH-64 program.
Run Group: Time Trial and Time Attack

Full Name: Jesse Cade Robles
Where is your Hometown? Tempe, Arizona
How long have you lived in AZ? 19 years
Favorite Food(s): My mom’s Mexican food!
Favorite Music: too eclectic to list
Occupation: I tend bar at Rula Bula Irish Pub
                                                                                                         Run Group: HPDE 4 and Time Attack TA-B


          Phil was born in Swindon, England and grew up in a military family stationed all over Europe.  Phil then joined the Air Force as an F-15 aircraft mechanic.  His career in the Air Force took him and his family to Iceland and Okinawa, Japan, among other assignments.  Japan was definitely the family’s favorite assignment. After a 6-year tour in Japan the Robles family was transferred to Luke AFB, AZ where Phil retired from the military. Phil now works for the Government as a QA Specialist on the Boeing Longbow Apache AH-64 program.

          In 2007 Phil made the transition from being a motorsports enthusiast to actually driving on track at a NASA AZ Phoenix International Raceway event. Phil progressed though the HPDE ranks and up to Time Trial and the UMS Tuning Time Attack series.  In 2009 Phil won overall in TT-B and the UMS Tuning Time Attack series, and repeated his TA overall win in 2011.

          Phil enjoys driving with NASA because of the well-structured organization that, “allows you to go as far as you want to fulfill your motorsports addiction.” Phil doesn’t plan on slowing down one bit.  In fact, he plans on fulfilling his motorsports addiction by continuing to improve his car and driving skills.

          Phil enjoys the racing scene so much that he makes it a family affair.  Phil’s son, Jesse has always enjoyed cars but never really got into racing until he made the trip with his Dad to a NASA AZ Inde Motorsports Ranch event in 2011. Phil let Jesse drive his car out on track and ever since then Jesse was hooked on driving, starting the Father/Son duo.

          Jesse was born in Tucson, AZ, but as an Air Force dependant Jesse got to move around and live in different places. While the Robles family was stationed in Japan, Jesse learned to drive in his Dad’s Mini Cooper.  Jesse later would hit the streets of Japan to participate or watch the local drift shows. Jesse and his friend Ross Petty (who is now a pro drifter) used to drift Ross’ mom’s van around for fun. After moving back to the States, Jesse started racing bicycles and now holds a USAC Category 2 license. Jesse has won several of Arizona’s major cycling races, including the 84 mile El Tour de Tucson (twice!), and the Valley of the Sun stage race.  Cycling is also a sport Phil and Jesse share–Phil was on a military cycling team in Okinawa and also ran for the Air Force in marathons in Iceland and Japan.  

           After getting bitten by the racing bug Jesse started his quick rise though the HPDE ranks.  Jesse first drove his current car (which he borrowed from Nolan to compete in Time Attack) at the Firebird West event.  He won 1st place at the event in TA-B, and it was the first time he had driven the car!  Jesse later purchased the car from Nolan to become his dedicated track car. Jesse’s future plans are to continue racing with his family, build a drift car, and compete in Master Events in cycling.


 So the next time you are at a NASA AZ event be sure to say hi to the Father/Son duo Phil and Jesse Robles.

Written by: Travis Barnes