SHORT TRACK: An Homage to a Forgotten Series

. The Stephen Cox Blog is presented by Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions Hard to believe it’s been nearly 20 years since the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) ran exciting, wheel to wheel stock car races on short tracks around Indiana. This series was distinct from and should not be confused with today’s southeastern CARS series that descended from the old Hooters ProCup series. The original CARS series was Indiana-based, founded by former ARCA driver Morris Coffman. The concept was built around a spec stock car chassis powered by 305 cubic inch Chevrolet small block engines with two-barrel carburetors that produced Read More

OPEN ROADS, Part 1: Colorado to California on US Route 50 West

. OPEN ROADS, Part 1: Colorado to California on US Route 50 West Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions The Loneliest Road isn’t quite as lonely as it once was, but it should still be on the bucket list of every automobile enthusiast. I drove more than 1,200 miles this summer on America’s “Loneliest Road,” US Route 50 West, as part of Rally North America 2018. The event itself was remarkable, featuring incredible scenery, a family-like atmosphere with friendly people and a week of immersion in the automotive lifestyle. The rally started in Pueblo, Colorado and Read More

So Now the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Wants Short Track Fans to Return?

. Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced a new event designed to draw short track fans back to the mecca of motorsports. A quarter mile dirt track will be constructed inside Turn 3 for a USAC midget race, which will be held in the first week of September in an effort to pump up sagging attendance at the Brickyard 400 stock car race. Speedway president J. Douglas Boles told the Indianapolis Star, “The short track community in a lot of ways is the heart and soul of racing, so… we thought, ‘Is Read More

COLLECTOR CARS: Rebuilding My Totally-Not-Collectible Mustang, Part III

. Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Ford Motor Company built 128,893 Mustang coupes during the 1980 model year, making my Medium Blue Glow four cylinder example anything but rare. I bought the car when I was seventeen and it was my primary transportation for a decade. It now has nearly a quarter of a million miles on the odometer. Since the car has little value, I figure there’s no point in selling it. I might as well rebuild the car into what Ford would and should have created had it not been for the interference of Read More

Stephen Cox Wins Hard Charger, Places 2nd at Kingsport

. C7R Motorsports driver Stephen Cox didn’t have the car he wanted in qualifying for Friday night’s twin 50-lap Super Cup Stock Car Series events at Kingsport Speedway, but he was fast when it counted. Starting in ninth position at eastern Tennessee’s “Concrete Jungle,” Cox’s STA-BIL Brand Fuel Stabilizer #21 won Super Cup’s Hard Charger Award by improving eight positions for a runner-up finish to Ben Ebeling, who won by two car lengths. “The last caution came out with four laps to go,” Cox recalled. “I tried everything. I tried to push him down to the bottom of the track Read More

Stephen Cox Opens Super Cup South Title Chase This Weekend

. Indianapolis racing driver Stephen Cox will return for another run at a Super Cup divisional championship this year behind the wheel of the STA-BIL Brand Fuel Stabilizer #21 at this weekend’s Operation: Johnson Kitty Friday Night Thunder at Tennessee’s Kingsport Speedway. The Super Cup series will headline the night’s activities with dual 50-lap main events, each featuring at least three drivers with multiple starts in the Daytona 500 (Bob Schacht, Brad Teague, Mike Potter). “These guys are so hard to beat. Everybody’s fast now,” Cox said. “The series has grown so much over the past two years that in Read More

1922 INDY 500: Two Boys, a Train and the Making of a Race Fan

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Here’s a short story to help you enjoy this year’s 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. In the spring of 1922, Alton Hartley was a college student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He and a friend decided they wanted to attend the 10th International 500 Mile Sweepstakes, as the race was then known, on Tuesday, May 30th. Having no car, Hartley and his friend needed a cheap method of transportation for the 65-mile southbound trip to Indianapolis and the local freight train beckoned. Hopping trains was illegal and considered trespassing in Read More

The Birth of the Fox Mustang

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance They won’t get any cheaper than they are right now. Ford’s famous Fox Mustangs, built from 1979 through 1993, are now at the bottom of their value curve. The Fox Mustangs derived their nickname from the 1978 Ford Fairmont, which had been internally designated as the “Fox Project” within Ford’s management and design teams. Since the Mustang borrowed the Fairmont’s platform, the “Fox” name was naturally adopted for the 79-93 Mustangs within Ford and eventually by the public as well. Ford president Lee Iacocca had overseen the design of the original Mustang Read More

DRIVER EGO: The Key to Building a Successful Racing Series

. The Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance The easiest way to increase car count in short track racing and amateur road racing is to keep your drivers happy. Really happy. Fortunately, there is a very effective and affordable way to do that. It was four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, August 29, 2004. It was blazing hot at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit just outside of Tulsa. Although we missed the setup and were posting slower-than-usual lap times, we won the GT-2 qualifying race after the leader retired with a broken supercharger belt. I climbed out Read More

INDYCAR: What’s Missing at St Pete’s Season Opener

The Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Qualifying for an Indycar race is no longer considered a unique accomplishment in the auto racing world. Of course, qualifying well is still valued. But qualifying itself is not, because every team that shows up automatically makes the race. This is one of the unspoken differences between Indycar racing today and Indycar racing of the past. Once upon a time, simply putting the car in the field was a noteworthy accomplishment in motorsports because there were more teams, cars and drivers than available entry positions in America’s highest open wheel Read More