Sopwith’s Silver Anniversary video is now available, celebrating 25 years of auto racing by Sopwith Motorsports. The video is a brief look at the progression of Sopwith Motorsports since it’s inception in 1986, when the team began operating under the name “Garden Center Racing” at local Indiana dirt tracks.
The team scored its first victory in August 1986 at Bloomington Speedway, driving a 1968 Chevelle outfitted with a 455 Oldsmobile engine. Six years later the teams name was changed to Sopwith after the legendary British aircraft firm.
Sopwith moved up to modified cars in the mid-90s, notching its first open wheel victory at Benton County Speedway. The next step came in 1999 when the team began competing in late model stock cars. For the first time in the teams history, Sopwith Motorsports had a brand new racecar and the difference was amazing. Over the next two years Sopwith scored 16 top-five finishes, one pole and two wins.
In late 2001 I got an offer to drive a road racing car, Sopwith driver Stephen Cox remembered. Id only run one road race in my life, at Road Atlanta the year before, and it was a disaster. So I wasnt really sure if I should take the ride or not. But I decided to give it one more chance and believe it or not we won the race. So we bought a GT car and thats when Sopwith really hit its stride. Ten wins, two championship titles and 18 podium finishes followed over the next five seasons.
Sopwith became the official test team for Mitsubishis Lancer Evolution in 2005, followed by stints in World Sports Racers, GT-3, Hooters ProCup and more. Shortly afterward, Cox began hosting desert racing broadcasts on NBC and Outdoor Channel and new opportunities soon followed.
I was fortunate to meet some really good people in the off-road racing industry, Cox continued. Scott Kincaid very generously offered a ride in a Trophy Truck and of course I jumped at it. Trophy Trucks are the Indycars of off-road racing. That was a big deal to us because Sopwith had never been at the top level of any genre of racing.
But Sopwith is coming full circle in 2011, returning to the oval tracks where it began racing a quarter century ago. Details are to be announced in July.