Salty Dog’s Grand Prix and the Future of American Racing

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance I started late. I didn’t drive in my first professional auto race until age 21. Before that, I was addicted to go kart racing. No, not the World Karting Association or the National Karting Alliance. I’d never heard of them. My karting career began by paying five dollars for ten minutes of track time in a 5 horsepower, 25 mile per hour fun kart at tiny, tourist-driven venues during our family vacations. We stopped at go kart tracks from Virginia to Utah. Any track, any time. It wasn’t real racing, but it Read More

10 Great Race Tracks That You’ve Never Seen, Part IV: Montpelier Motor Speedway

July 5, 2017 Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Indianapolis. Le Mans. Milwaukee. Those are the places that come to mind when discussing the oldest and most legendary race tracks on the planet. Montpelier is rarely mentioned, though it should be. Last weekend I discovered a small, dirt bullring in eastern Indiana that has been one of auto racing’s best kept secrets for over a century. Built as a half mile horse racing track in 1903, Montpelier Motor Speedway held its first automobile race on Tuesday afternoon, May 4, 1915. To put that date in perspective, it was Read More

1971 Honda CB 350 – One Year Review

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance It’s difficult to imagine a more user-friendly classic motorbike than Honda’s legendary CB 350. Once the best selling motorcycle in the world, the CB 350 is still coveted as an entry-level collector’s bike today. My CB 350 had fewer than 7,000 miles on the odometer when I purchased it. One year and 3,000 miles later, I sold it and moved on to another bike. I rode it several times per week, mostly on country roads and rural highways. I really wanted to experience a 1960s-70s era bike and the Honda offered it Read More

INDYCAR: Lyn St. James on Indy, Driving Again & Advice for Today’s Drivers

May 23, 2017 Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Indycar fans fell in love with Lyn St. James in 1992 when she won the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award and kicked off a decade-long open wheel career that would eventually include nine starts at the Brickyard. She worked her way up through the road racing ranks, starting with a 1970’s Ford Pinto as her first race car. It took four years of sponsor hunting before she was able to land an Indy ride with Dick Simon Racing, which specialized in bringing new drivers to Indianapolis. Although Read More

HOOSIER HUNDRED: Dirt Racing’s Biggest Prize is Up for Grabs This Week

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance The 63rd Hoosier Hundred is slated for Thursday, May 25, on the legendary Track of Champions at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Once considered the most prestigious dirt race in America, the resurgent Hoosier Hundred is quickly regaining its status and draws the top Silver Crown drivers in the nation. The rich history of the event compares favorably with any race on earth. No fewer than seven Indy 500 champions have won the Hoosier Hundred, including A. J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser Sr. and Parnelli Jones. Auto racing at the Track of Read More

SHORT TRACK: Finally! A True Replacement for the Hooters Pro Cup Series

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance The Hooters ProCup Series was on top of the world in 2001. Brian Vickers was graduating to NASCAR after a three-year Pro Cup career. Joey Logano would join Hooters a few seasons later. Every short track superstar in the eastern half of the country knew that Hooters was the place to be. Johnny Rumley, Bobby Gill, Jay Fogleman, Jeff Agnew, Michael Ritch… they all knew that the money, the prestige and the path to the top went through Hooters Pro Cup. Hooters had big cars with big horsepower. This was the place where Read More

INDY 500: Bump Day Happened This Week And No One Noticed

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance As most racing fans know, two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso is slated to run the Indianapolis 500 in a Honda-powered entry from Andretti Autosport. Less well known is the fact that my Electric GT Championship competitor, Stefan Wilson, was bumped out of his confirmed seat with Andretti so that Alonso could inherit the ride. In return for quietly stepping away from a confirmed Indy 500 seat, Wilson was promised a grab bag of favors including preferential treatment for a future ride. This deal makes sense for everyone on a lot of Read More

Richard Petty, Third Place and the Night the Track Fell Apart

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance My only race at West Virginia’s Ona Speedway was with the Super Cup Stock Car Series on June 2, 2012. Driving the Boschett Timepieces #21 for J. J. Pack, we had a strong race car and finished a very respectable third in only my second series start. I was really happy with third until I learned that the two cars ahead of me were accused of illegally soaking their tires. This would have made me the first legal car across the finish line. Head slap. Now, of course, third place seems terrible. Read More

COLLECTOR CARS: 1974 International Pickup vs 1975 Ford F150

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance It’s no secret that vintage pickup trucks are the latest rage in collectible vehicles. They are inexpensive to restore, utterly reliable, born with a lengthy shelf life and they are enormously popular right now. If a collectible truck is on your wish list, here’s what you should know about two of the mainstay trucks from the 1970s. 1974 International Pickup When I began racing dirt tracks in the late 1980s, my father’s ¾ ton, red-and-white International 200 pickup with a Comanche 345 V8 served as our hauler. Frankly, it was better at Read More

TRAPPED IN A BURNING RACE CAR, PART V: One Year Later

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance It’s been a full year since a mechanical malfunction caused my race car to burst into flames at Circuit of the Americas, sending me to intensive care with life threatening injuries. The whole story is here. Rather than revisiting the past, this blog will provide an update on the miraculous healing that’s taken place over the last 12 months and a big “thank-you” to all who have lent such wonderful support. The mishap occurred on February 13, 2016, leaving me with 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns over seven percent of my Read More