The 19-year-old from Casey, Ill., has her sights on a stronger performance Saturday (May 21) when the POWRi 600cc Micros race at Wayne County Speedway.
“I would have liked to have done better (at Belle-Clair), but there’s always next week,” Cox said. “When I’ve raced at Wayne County, it was always slick. It’s going to be a good race. There’s usually two grooves and it makes for good racing.”
Cox won her heat race at Belle-Clair in Belleville, Ill., to advance to the feature, an achievement in itself. There were 42 entries battling for 22 starting spots in the feature.
“I’ve won heats before,” Cox said. “I’m hoping for a feature this year.”
Cox, who attends Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, races regularly with POWRi.
“The competition is why we race in POWRi,” Cox said. “I want to race with the best and that’s why I race with POWRi.”
Cox has been racing for 11 years, spending time in quarter midgets, junior sprints and micros. Her career started by accident at age eight.
“I started out in quarter midgets,” Cox said. “One of my younger sisters (Caitlyn) told my dad (Ron Cox) she wanted to do it, but when we got to the track, she didn’t want to do it. They put me in the car and I didn’t want to do it. I was crying and wasn’t able to see. But after the first practice, I didn’t want to stop.”
Ron Cox, a former driver, remains her crew chief on the family owned team.
The event at Wayne County will be the grand reopening in celebration of the reconfigured track, which has added banking to its 1/8th-mile. Wayne County has taken 1 1/2 feet off the top of the track and 3 feet off the bottom with raised infield corners. With the intention of three-wide racing, the banking starts at 15 degrees and drops to 5 degrees. It represents a winter’s worth of work.
POWRi will run a special format for the event. Drivers will draw for starting position for heat races and then be placed in qualifiers lined up by their heat race finishing points. Top finishers will advance to the feature. Gates open at 2 p.m. and hot laps begin at 6, with racing to follow.
Dereck King, of Vienna, Ill., is the POWRi Micros point leader going into the third event of the season. The three-time series champion has finished second at the Southern Illinois Center’s Mini Magic Mile in Du Quoin and at Belle-Clair. He leads J.B. Gilbert, of Charleston, Ill., 380-310. Gilbert was third at Belle-Clair and eighth at DuQuoin.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series top-10 points (after two of 27 events): 1. Dereck King 380, 2. J.B. Gilbert 310, 3. Aaron Andruskevitch 210, 4. (tie) Joe B. Miller, Ryan Langston 200, 6. Devon Piper 185,7. (tie) Jeremy Camp, Andrew Felker, Jordan Campbell 170, 10. (tie) Natasha Cox, Kara King 160.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series 2011 race winners: Du Quoin–Ryan Langston; Belleville–Aaron Andruskevitch.
For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.