Hallett Motor Racing Circuit
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Cox to defend rookie lead in whirlwind weekend
by Race Author, Sopwith Motorsports
TULSA, Okla. -- Saturday evening at 7 p.m., veteran SPEED Channel announcer Stephen Cox will be holding a microphone on pit row for the USAR Hooters ProCup Series. Fifteen hours later he is slated to be in the cockpit of his Nissan GT-2 road racer in Tulsa, Okla., to defend his 50-point lead in the Championship Motorsports Association's Rookie of the Year battle.
"Its going to be tight, that's for sure" Cox said, referring to the 11:25 a.m. qualifying session at the 1.8-mile, 10-turn Hallett Motor Racing Circuit.
Cox's flight is scheduled to land in Tulsa, 35 miles from the track, at 10:09 a.m. If he misses qualifying, his Sopwith Motorsports/Small Team Sponsorship Guide Nissan will be forced to start dead last.
Photo courtesy: Sopwith Motorsports
"We really need this qualifying session," Cox understated. "There's going to be over 30 cars in the field and we should easily be in the first four rows. So if we don't make qualifying, its going to be a mess trying to work our way to the front."
Sunday's event is Round 3 of the Championship Motorsports Association's eight-race GT Challenge series, where Cox leads all divisions in the rookie title chase and holds second position in GT-2 points.
Rain is in the forecast for Tulsa on Sunday, bringing the possibility of a wet race. He was asked what would happen if it it also rained in Jennerstown, Pa., on Saturday, forcing the Hooters race to run on Sunday afternoon.
"I'd never let the Hooters people down, but we're not even thinking about that. That's too big a disaster to even comprehend. Right now we're freshening the motor, putting on new brakes and getting the car ready to race on Sunday. The schedule alone is a big enough problem ... I'm not trying to think up new ones."
After the race, Cox will fly back from Tulsa to Pittsburgh, Pa., on Monday, then drive from Pittsburgh back to Indianapolis, Ind., on Tuesday and prepare to host the Outdoor Channel's coverage of Top Truck Challenge in Hollister, Calif., two days later.