USAR: New River Valley: Stephen Cox Northern Divison preview

Indianapolis - Veteran driver and Speed Channel announcer Stephen Cox will return to the cockpit of a Hooters ProCup car on July 20th at New River Valley Speedway in Radford, Virginia. In only his second ProCup start, Cox will pilot the No. 16...

Indianapolis - Veteran driver and Speed Channel announcer Stephen Cox will return to the cockpit of a Hooters ProCup car on July 20th at New River Valley Speedway in Radford, Virginia. In only his second ProCup start, Cox will pilot the No. 16 Ford Taurus fielded by Don Sprouse Motorsports.

Cox's only other appearance in the series came last September at Chemung Speedrome in New York where he finished a surprising 14th of 31 cars in his first-ever Hooters ProCup race.

This time around, Cox says his goals are a bit higher. "We'd really like a top ten. I may be pushing too hard and expecting too much since I've never even sat in this car, but after the Chemung race last year I think it's possible." Stephen has not yet been fitted into the seat and has no laps in the car, but said "I have a lot of confidence in Don Sprouse Motorsports. That's why I took the ride. The top five or eight spots are probably taken by the established, well-funded drivers, but I think a good driver and a good car with an experienced crew still has a chance to pull off an upset and squeak into the top ten... at least I'm gonna test the theory."

The last time Cox drove in competition was May 26th, when he finished fourth in the Stephen's Brothers Toyota World Sports Racer at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit's 1.8-mile road course.

In his last 23 starts (dating back to 1999) Stephen has produced 3 wins and 14 top five finishes, with only 3 DNF's.

The weekend after his ProCup race at New River Valley Speedway, Stephen will jump back into the cockpit of a Toyota World Sports Racer for Stephen's Brothers Racing. The series competes on Tulsa's road course on July 29th.

Stephen Cox on:

If he'll run any more races in ProCup this year: "Short answer? I don't know. If we can actually pull off a decent finish at New River Valley... maybe. I really want to wait and see how we do in Radford."

On his lack of experience in ProCup racing: "The downside is obvious... I'm the least experienced guy on the racetrack. The upside is that if no one expects anything, you have a lot less to live up to."

On his fellow Speed Channel announcers who will call the race on TV: "Rick Benjamin can get at least twenty minutes of joke material out of this, which should cut down on his show prep considerably. And Scott (Sutherland) would probably finish five spots better than me with the same car, but if you quote me on that I'll deny it."

The race will air on Fox Speed Channel on Thursday, July 25th, at 9pm eastern time.

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