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

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

RACING’S GREATEST UPSETS: Trans Am’s 1966 Pan-American Endurance Race (Part 1 of 3)

October 5, 2016
Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance
 
 
On a hot summer afternoon in late August 1966, the telephone on John McComb’s desk rang.
 
On the other end was automotive design engineer Chuck Cantwell of Carroll Shelby’s legendary racing shop, calling with the surprising news that Shelby had a Mustang Group 2 racecar for sale.
 
McComb was delighted since his prior inquiries at Shelby had been met only by rejection. He had raced MGB sportscars for years but his first taste of Ford V-8 power came while driving Peter Talbert’s notchback Group 2 Mustang earlier that summer in the Trans-Am event at St. Louis. McComb and Talbert were leading the race until an exhaust pipe came loose, forcing them to settle for third place.
 
But McComb was already hooked. The car was more powerful than anything he’d ever driven. He wanted one of those Mustangs.

STEALING THE 500: The Story of Carroll Shelby’s 1968 Turbine-Powered Indycars, Part 2 of 2

September 7, 2016
Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance
 
 
(Read Part 1 by clicking here) Ken Wallis was running out of time. Both of Carrol Shelby's turbine-powered cars were now at Indianapolis but they were nowhere near race-ready condition. His drivers, McLaren and Hulme, had only a six-day window before they returned to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix.
 
In a desperate bid to make the cars competitive, Wallis used a liberal interpretation of USAC's rules to design a new annulus (the engine opening that fed air to the turbine). When measured by technical inspectors, the annulus was under the legal 16-inch limit. But at full throttle on the race track, a variable valve system opened to permit greater air flow into the turbine. At best, this was a careful translation of the rules. If they were caught there was no guarantee that USAC wouldn't immediately disqualify the Shelby/Wallis Turbines. Such a move would be an unmitigated disaster not only for the team principals, but also for Goodyear, their drivers and their sponsors.

Cox Vacates Points Lead; Returns to Mecum on NBCSN

June 6, 2016   It's a tough pill to swallow, but Codie Rohrbaugh Racing driver Stephen Cox will miss the June 18 event at Columbus Speedway and give up the lead in the Super Cup Stock Car Series championship points race. Instead, he will rejoin Scott Hoke, John Kraman and Bill Stephens to co-host NBCSN's coverage of Mecum Auctions from Portland.   “We knew this could happen, and there was never any question what my choice would be,” Cox said. “Mecum is my top priority and I'm happy about that. I've had to walk away from several possible championship titles Read More

Cox Sets New Track Record ~ Finishes 2nd at Midvale for Codie Rohrbaugh Racing

Midvale, Ohio (June 5, 2016, source - Super Cup Stock Car Series) – During Saturday’s Hilltop General Store 75 presented by Frontier Tool and Equipment Rental, the field of competitors were not only evading impending storms in the sky but also within the abundance of action on the track.  Petersburg, West Virginia’s Brent Nelson dodged and survived numerous close calls to come away with his third career Super Cup Stock Car Series victory.  It was his first at Eastern Ohio’s Midvale Speedway.

 

“We thought we had it won three different times and still had to fight for it,” Nelson said, adding that he could not recall being part of a more eventful conclusion to a race.

 

Some dramatic altercations set up by a yellow flag with only two laps to go resulted in four green-white-checkered attempts on the 3/10-mile, but the turning point to the race came even earlier.  A long green flag run during the middle stages of the 75-lap event began to get interesting as 2015 Midvale winner Larry Berg was tracking down the leader and teammate Stephen Cox, who set a track record earlier in the evening with a lap time of 14.758 seconds.

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VIDEO: Sopwith Motorsports 2015 Season-in-Review

Thanks to our great teams and sponsors, the 2015 racing season was a spectacular success for Sopwith Motorsports. Jump back into the cockpit one more time and relive all the record-setting excitement! Thanks to our teams and partners for a great 2015 racing season! Stephen Dale, director, Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions Read More

Cox to Drive a Mustang in 2015 Season Finale

October 9, 2015
 
 
I'm racing a Ford Mustang with a 302 Windsor. For me, that's as good as it gets,” said driver Stephen Cox of Sopwith Motorsports after reaching an agreement to drive for Shaky Dog Racing in next weekend's October Rush endurance race at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Tulsa.