RACING’S GREATEST UPSETS: 1966 TRANS-AM ENDURO!

Stephen Cox blogs about Shelby American’s legendary Group 2 Mustang racers, Part 1 of 3. 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 sports cars for years...
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STEALING THE 500: SHELBY’S 1968 TURBINE-POWERED INDY CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about Carroll Shelby’s assault on Indy - Part 2 of 2. Ken Wallis was running out of time. Both of Carroll 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 rules to design a new annulus (the engine opening ...
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STEALING THE 500: SHELBY’S 1968 TURBINE-POWERED INDY CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about Carroll Shelby’s assault on Indy - Part 1 of 2. He wasn't the first to try, nor was he the last. Armed with a huge budget, a massive turbine engine and two of the finest drivers on the planet, in the spring of 1968 Carroll Shelby was ready to steal the Indianapolis 500. The plan was straightforward. Ken Wallis, a 38-year-old British aircraft engineer, had designed the famed Granatelli-Lotus Turbine with which Parnelli Jones had nearly won the race in 1967. Wallis had ...
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TIME TO WIN: A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF A SHORT TRACK RACER!

Last season was a dream year. Seven starts produced three poles, a track record, five podiums and three wins, blogs Stephen Cox.  This year, not so much. My car caught fire in a well-publicized road race at Circuit of the Americas, burning the team's Porsche to the ground and sending me to intensive care. Driving for NASCAR's Rohrbaugh Racing at Midvale Speedway in June, we set a new track record and won the pole but went home a disappointing second place after a controversial finish...
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STEPHEN COX: BACK ON TRACK!

After the fire that ended my race on February 13 at Circuit of the Americas and sent me to the intensive care unit of the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, I’m thrilled to say that I’ll be back on track next  month, blogs Stephen Cox. Fans are are invited to Stephen Cox's return to auto racing on May 14 at Midvale Speedway, 45 minutes south of Canton, OH. WHAT: The Super Cup 100 stock car race  WHERE: Midvale Speedway, 3825 W State St, Midvale OH WHEN: Saturday, May 14,...
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STEPHEN COX: TRAPPED IN A BURNING RACE CAR, PART II!

The fire that ended my race at COTA last month and sent me to the intensive care unit of the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, also destroyed our on-board cameras. We were convinced that no video of the event existed, but last week's article drew over 50,000 readers and three videos surfaced. All three videos are very short and are presented uncut. The first video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nmXIueTx1g&feature=youtu.be comes from the on-board camera of a fellow comp...
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STEPHEN COX: TRAPPED IN A BURNING RACE CAR, PART I!

It was the same sound you hear when you pour too much lighter fluid on the charcoal as you're preparing a Fourth of July barbecue. A giant “whoosh” followed by a flash of flame. Except it was a thousand times louder. And it wasn't charcoal that was on fire. It was me, blogs Stephen Cox.  On February 13, 2016, I was driving an eight-hour sports car endurance race at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin, TX. I started inside row eight and quickly realized that our car was very fast. Wit...
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CLOSING THE GAP: AMERICA’S ONLY MID-LEVEL ENDURANCE RACING CHAMPIONSHIP!

There are plenty of endurance races available to anyone who wants to race $500 junkyard relics. There are also some endurance races available to drivers who want to race million-dollar prototypes. But the options are pretty limited for those who want to race something in between, blogs Stephen Cox.  A cavernous gap separates the numerous entry-level $500 series and the high-end Weathertech Sportscar Championship, which offers only four events of six hours or longer. For some time, Nort...
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LOST TREASURE: SHASTA SPEEDWAY’S 1951 SEASON TROPHIES!

You just never know what you'll find in the bottom of your grandmother's closet, blogs Stephen Cox.  Northern California's Shasta Speedway held its first full season of competition in 1951. The 3/8-mile former horse racing track had been opened to motor racing the previous summer and immediately attracted the attention of a mechanically-inclined teenager from Indiana. Bud Pedigo had dated my grandmother, Ruth, when they attended high school together in Indianapolis in the mid-1930s. ...
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SAFETY: THE REAL RISKS OF AUTO RACING!

If we actually did eliminate all danger from auto racing, would we really like what was left, blogs Stephen Cox?                                                   Ed Carpenter, 2015, IMS I began driving racecars in 1985. In the thirty years since, I've had a total of one serious neck injury while racing. It was...
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