March 4, 2013
The first of what appeared to be two certain wins disappeared in a cloud of dust on Sunday afternoon when Thomas Hawley's #9 Mazda made contact with Stephen Cox's Production A sportscar, sending Cox's car spinning into the grass.
After qualifying near the top of the grid for the opening round of the Championship Motorsports Association's season at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, Cox was able to get past Nate Stacy's Miata for second place early in the weekend's first event. Two laps later Cox's vintage Datsun was sent spinning off course after taking the lead from Hawley. Cox was unable to continue and spent the remainder of the event in the pits.
The car was repaired in time for the second of the weekend's two events, but due to his earlier DNF, Cox was forced to start at the tail of the field.
Still, the Boschett Timepieces/Sopwith Motorsports Datsun 280z came up through the field to take third position. Cox set fast time for Production A class and had closed within one second of the leaders when the checkered flag fell. Engine builder Tom Kischner, fellow competitors Ward Brasses and Malcom Joyce, car builder Chris Mahurin, and crew members Sierra Marie, Stephen Dale, Aaron Pritchett and Ethan Charles were all instrumental in prepping and repairing car damage throughout the day.
“It's frustrating because we had the fastest car in the field,” Cox said. “But this was only a warm-up for the rest of the season so you've gotta keep it in perspective. We've got a big year planned, and we just wanted to get a jump start and make some positive things happen early in the season.”
Sopwith is expected to return to the Super Cup Stock Car Series in April and the ARCA Truck Series in May, in addition to open wheel racing in mid-summer.