by Stephen Cox I have figured out what is wrong with America’s youth. They don’t race slot cars anymore. In addition to being overly tattooed, body pierced and not pulling their pants up, most of them couldn’t define “HO scale” if you held a gun to their iPad. Racing HO scale Aurora AFX slot cars with the greatest man I’ve ever known – my dad – in our garage in the summer of 1969 taught me pretty much everything I needed to get through life. After slot car racing, formal education was anticlimactic.
Racing's greatest upsets: Oh, wait... there aren't any
by Stephen Cox Think for a moment about the most famous upsets in sports history. The New York Giants beat undefeated New England in Super Bowl XLII. Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in Tokyo, February 1990. The US Olympic hockey team manhandled the supposedly unbeatable Russians in 1980. Every year the major sports magazines print lists of the greatest upsets in sports history, and every year they all have one thing in common... they are “stick-and-ball” sports.
by Stephen Cox Having never been to Wisconsin's La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway before, it was no surprise when I qualified near the back of the field last weekend after only six laps of practice (throttle stuck... don't ask). But my pit guys are amazing. They still gave me a fantastic car for the race. Wisconsin is an awesome place. Rabid fans. Lots of tracks. Good cheese and great football. But several of the area's short tracks have this weird thing that they do...
by Stephen Cox For 48 years, race fans have sojourned to Rockford Speedway in northern Illinois to watch the finest short track stock car drivers in the world compete for the national title. Rockford is the ultimate bullring. Built in 1948, the speedway remains the oldest continuously operated sports venue in the region. Rockford's quarter-mile, high-banked oval has graduated as many racing greats as any bullring on the continent. Everyone who is anyone has raced there, including Alan Kulwicki, Ted Musgrave, Greg Biffle, Scott Wimmer, Matt Kenseth and many more.
MotoGP Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has crowned a perfect weekend in the Red Bull Indianapolis GP with a sensational victory. Marc led every session over the weekend, broke the pole position record yesterday and also recorded a new fastest race lap of 1'39.044. Marc's teammate Dani Pedrosa, took an impressive second place after battling with title rival Jorge Lorenzo in the final laps.
Marquez becomes first rookie to win at Laguna Seca
MotoGP The last seven MotoGP races in the USA have now been won by Honda riders, with Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez rewriting history again today, taking first place in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. Teammate Dani Pedrosa completed an important race, whist still injured, and scored valuable Championship points. After a slightly hesitant start, Marquez slipped down to 3rd but soon found his rhythm and made a dramatic pass on Valentino Rossi in the circuit's famous 'corkscrew' turn on lap 3.
by Stephen Cox Have you ever wondered what it was like to drive a production-based sportscar in the golden era of American road racing? Me too. And now I know. "I don't want to retire and sit around a golf course," Rick Baldick said to me, leaning over the balcony and looking down at his team's car screaming toward Turn 1 at 110 mph. "I'd rather be here. This is what I love."
Monterey Classic Car Week For one week each August, California’s Monterey peninsula becomes the hub for vintage automobile enthusiasts. Within the glittering collection of unique rendezvous that make up Monterey Classic Car Week, there are a number of stand out events: the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance presented by Rolex (15 August), The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering (16 August), the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (18 August) and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (16 -18 August). As a whole, the occasion is a reference point for those who appreciate the virtues of the classic car, and Rolex has been deeply involved since 1997.
by Stephen Cox So I’m sitting in a Bob Evans restaurant in northern Virginia hoping for a decent breakfast before going to the track for the Super Cup race I was competing in that night. I’d just ordered three eggs over medium, sausage and rye toast very well done with extra butter when my daughter suddenly points at the ceiling and says, “Look, Dad!” I glance upward and am astonished by its splendor. Colored red, white and blue, it is battered and worn yet still proud after nearly 40 years of service. I am in awe. There it is…
by Stephen Cox I have wonderful news. Being twenty-one years old doesn't really make you good at anything. It just makes you twenty-one. Sprint car driver Steve Kinser is living proof. He remains a consistent front-runner in his late fifties, despite the fact that sprint cars are a young man's game. Steve Christmann is a winner in ARCA Trucks at age 62. Mario Andretti won his last IndyCar race at the age of 53. And it's not just racing drivers.
by Stephen Cox If I had to choose between sitting through a driver's meeting or having my tonsils removed with a shovel, I'd have to think about it. Yet here I was at the driver's meeting the night before the Silver State 300 off-road race in Alamo, Nevada. It was a little after 7 o'clock on Friday night, April 23, 2010 and the meeting had been droning on for nearly an hour. Several hundred team members were packed into the hotel's banquet room listening to series president Casey Folks threaten anyone who ran over various protected species of toads and tortoises, as if any of us could see a freaking frog while driving a hundred miles an hour across the open desert.
by Gary Parravani Mike Rockenfeller took his first DTM win for two years - and the championship lead - with a dominant display at Brands Hatch. The Phoenix Audi driver beat Bruno Spengler and Robert Wickens. Our Gary Parravani was on hand to snap these photos.
5-Minutes with Hoosier Hundred Promoter Bob Sargent
by Stephen Cox The 60th running of the most prestigious dirt track race in the world is slated for Thursday, May 23rd at the Indiana State Fairgrounds where the USAC Silver Crown cars will compete in the 2013 Hoosier Hundred. Yup, I am openly promoting this race and nope, they don't pay me. I grew up attending the Hoosier Hundred with the greatest man I ever knew – my Dad – in the 70's and 80's, back when it was a September event. It was among our favorite events each summer.
by Stephen Cox I had just ordered a Bison Burger with bacon and cheese and frankly, I was concerned. We were at Ted’s Montana Grill just outside of Colorado Springs. It was said to be the best burger joint within shouting distance of Pike’s Peak International Speedway. This was important to me because I take food seriously. It was late 1999. Our broadcast crew was in Colorado to televise the USAC midget race that would serve as the opening event for the brand new Pike’s Peak facility.
Organizations aligned toward common goal of American version of DTM Exploring an opportunity that could additionally change the face, and the future, of road racing, GRAND-AM Road Racing and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) tonight announced a license and cooperation agreement with the Internationale Tourenwagen-Rennen (ITR e.V.), which administers DTM racing. The collective goal is a North American version of DTM, the popular German touring car series.
by Stephen Cox Have you ever had one of those enlightening moments when a truth really dawned on you? Call it an epiphany. Or maybe a revelation. Whatever it was, I just had one the other day. I was going through technical inspection at a racetrack and my safety gear was laying on the hood of the car for review. My helmet was still inside its soft cloth cover when the tech inspector picked it up. He glanced inside the helmet and approved it. He never removed the cover.
by Stephen Cox By 1976, the golden age of American road racing was behind us. Barely. Economic recession had burdened the sport from without while an unhealthy obsession with rules-making had doomed it from within. What would soon take its place was an unrecognizable mixture of economy cars draped in Euro cladding and handcuffed by rabid rules-makers who, over the next decade, would turn auto racing into the most over-regulated sport in the world.
Today's safe race tracks have lost their character
by Stephen Cox I liked the old Road Atlanta. You know. The “dangerous” one. Someone told me they installed another chicane along the once-glorious, 200-mph backstretch since I last raced there. I don't like it. I didn't like the first one, either. The constant effort to insulate drivers from danger has resulted in a bunch of lukewarm, sanitized race tracks that have lost their ability to reward risk that no longer exists. Their personality is gone. In many cases, their history is, too, because a race fan from the 1960's wouldn't even recognize the same facility today.
by Gary Parravani Local hero Khalid Al Qubaisi kept his eyes on the prize - and fully wide awake - as he roared to victory in the 24 Hours of Dubai endurance race. Emirati Al Qubaisi crossed the line first yesterday afternoon to successfully defend his title after the ‘Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon’ driver powered through a grueling 24 hours in his Mercedes SLS AMG GT3. Our Gary Parravani was there to capture all the action in these 100+ captioned photos.
Wins 2nd straight Last year, the Team Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon claimed the maiden victory for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the Dunlop 24H DUBAI. This year, the team doubled up with their second consecutive win in the first international endurance race of the year for GTs, touring cars and 24H Specials. After 24 hours, Abu Dhabi based driver Khalid Al Qubaisi drove the team’s gullwing sportscar with starting number 1 across the finish line as the winner.
Dakar Action started from Pisco and shifted towards Nazca in Peru. The race stage started 4kms of transport section, from the Parc Ferme. 243kms of mostly sandy competitive section and another 96kms of road section to conclude the day's action. It was the top finishers who led the trailing group, again bikes and quads started first. Cars & trucks followed them later.
Shelby's Last Stand: Forgotten Mustang Group 2 Racer
by Stephen Cox 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.
Dakar Rally ready to begin After the three days of technical and administrative scrutineering, the 449 drivers and their teams on the 2013 Dakar (183 bikes, 153 cars, 38 quads and 75 trucks) are ready to get to grips with the 8,500 kilometers of roads, tracks and dunes that they must tackle between Lima and Santiago. The rivals of Cyril Despres and Stephane Peterhansel are in the starting-blocks…
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