Series spotlight - Del Cox Jr

California kid comes into his own Everyone has heard the comparisons made between rookie Del Cox Jr. and former world champion Spencer Massey. Sure they both came up through the junior dragster ranks, sure Cox is having an eerily similar...

California kid comes into his own
Everyone has heard the comparisons made between rookie Del Cox Jr. and former world champion Spencer Massey.

Sure they both came up through the junior dragster ranks, sure Cox is having an eerily similar rookie season and sure Cox is having a breakout year coming up through the Mitch King farm system, but at some point Cox has to make his own mark in the drag racing world.

And it appears he did just that in Martin.

In fact, something quite spectacular happened to the 27-year-old out of Downey, California at last weekend's IHRA Northern Nationals -- he came into his own.

With Massey on hand to cheer on his good friend, Cox mowed through the Top Fuel field at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park to claim his second consecutive Ironman and his third total this season and, more importantly, moved back into championship contention with three races remaining on the schedule.

"This is what we have been hoping for. It couldn't have gone any better for us and now we just have to shift our focus to Epping and hopefully keep this going," Cox said.

With point leader Bruce Litton falling out in the first round, Cox was able to make up a remarkable 53 points on the former world champion and now finds himself just 15 markers back of Litton with three races to go.

"This is just awesome, it is like a dream come true," Cox said. "Getting a win was a big deal for us and now, to have three wins and to be in championship contention, we couldn't ask for anything more."

And at this point, it looks like it is just a two horse race.

Nearly 200 points back in third is the man Cox beat in Martin, Bobby Lagana Jr. Behind Lagana is Mitch King and in fifth is Tim Boychuk.

While all five drivers have been to a final round this season, no one has been able to match the consistency shown by the top two in points.

Cox, who has now won six consecutive rounds, has a remarkable 12-4 win-loss record with three wins in three finals appearances. On the flip side Litton has been to five final rounds, winning two. But two first round losses, including at the most recent race in Michigan, has allowed Cox to sneak back into the picture.

And while Cox greatly respects the man whose footsteps he is following, he admits that it is nice to be able to blaze his own trail.

But by seasons end, Cox hopes there is another comparison that can be made between the two young drivers, one that he doesn't mind sharing with his good friend -- a championship ring.

"Spencer has helped me a lot and he has given me a lot of driving tips over the last few years," Cox said. "He is a good driver and a good kid and hopefully we can get that championship, make it two in a row for Paul, Mitch and everyone on the team.

"This is the same block that was in the car last year and the same team, so to be able to win another one for these guys would be a dream come true."

-credit: ihra

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