GHOST TRACKS: Revisiting Indiana’s Armscamp Speedway

“No Trespassing” signs were everywhere. I had taken a wonderful 90-minute ride on my Triumph Bonneville to see the old race track and I didn’t want to go home empty-handed. It took half an hour to find someone who assured me that I could take a few quick photos of the former Armscamp Speedway in Alexandria, Indiana. There’s not much left. The south concrete wall still stands, marking the asphalt track’s fast main straightaway. The smaller infield track, which circles inside the quarter mile main facility, is easier to make out. Half-century old trees have grown up and through everything, Read More

Are Grid Girls the Next Casualties in the War for Political Correctness?

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance Auto racing’s long-standing tradition of grid girls seems to be in trouble. It was early 2015 when the World Endurance Championships (WEC) got rid of them, and Formula 1 may be next. Director Ross Brawn of Liberty Media, the new controlling group of Formula 1, recently said that the tradition of grid girls is being reconsidered. For the uninitiated, “grid girls” are the pretty women who stand beside the race cars prior to many events to hold grid markers and sponsor signs, and, well… look pretty. Traditionally, grid girls have dressed to Read More

What November 18th Means for Sports Car Racing

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance As racers and motorsports enthusiasts, most of us like to keep our ear to the ground about what’s happening in our sport. Who could have predicted the explosion of $500 “crapcan” endurance racing, the declining attendance in NASCAR or the amazing rise of Formula E? What’s next in our sport, and why? I must admit that the success of Formula E took me by surprise, especially considering the intense controversy surrounding electric vehicle racing. Personally, I don’t take a side in the debate. I drive stock cars, sports cars and anything else Read More

THIS Will Bring Fans Back to the Races!

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance The past few years have brought every gimmick imaginable to auto racing. NASCAR holds races that three people can win. The ever-changing playoff system (a gimmick in itself) functions like an automotive version of musical chairs. Indycar’s gimmicks are even worse. They tried mandating overpriced “body kits” to make their field of 33 identical Dallara chassis look like something other than a field of 33 identical Dallara chassis. Their “Fast Nine” and “Fast Six” qualifying gimmick hasn’t revived interest in pole day although it’s proven very effective at totally confusing fans. Instead Read More

This Is The Best Buy in Muscle Cars Right Now

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance A sharp 1970 Chevelle LS6 can set you back $75,000 or more. Same for a Boss 302 Mustang. A 1969 Plymouth GTX 4-speed can run over $40,000, which is still not affordable for many car enthusiasts. You don’t even want to know what freshly restored Dodge Daytona would cost. The plain fact is that most fast sports cars from the peak of the muscle car era remain beyond the reach of the average working man. But there is one exception. What if you could buy a name brand muscle car from the Read More

How To Save The NASCAR Truck Division

Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance It’s really not that difficult to organize a race series. But turning down money? Now that’s tough. The easy way to run a series is to have an official provider for everything from tires to body kits to engines. Mandatory components (“spec” parts) are frequently offered as a fix-all solution though in reality, costs are rarely contained. Remember, everyone at every step along the way has to make money. The series, the parts manufacturers, the distributors and on and on. Everyone gets a piece of the action and team owners are stuck Read More

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