Questions and story by Dwight Drum. HTML by Gary Larsen
MARK COX CHATS WITH DWIGHT:
When you look Mark Cox into the eye, you see confidence and character. Sometimes it's easier to listen to a person describe his past if you are to know him in the present. Listen in as I (Dwight) listened too.
"I became a managing partner with Marty of AHDRA in Crossroads Harley Davidson when he bought the existing franchise in April 94," Mark said. "My goal became Top Fuel when I bought an old Jim McClure bike, A 'Puppet' frame, from Ray Price. I went through a learning curve, and won three events the first year. I won a championship in 98. When I bought carburetors from Johnny Vickers over the phone, I realized we had a racing relationship that would add up to winning. We've worked out some kinks, and now I'm ready for AHDRA and IHRA events and a championship."
I snapped photos of Mark Cox as he prepared to go to the line, as he focused on the quarter mile in front of him, and no boxer stares any harder at his opponent, in this case the drag strip, than Mark.
Photos and digital images by Dwight Drum
Photo enhancement and HTML by Gary Larsen
DOB: 3/1/59 Birth town: Winston-Salem, NC
Home town: Yadkinville, NC
Do you have a nickname?
Who would you most like to be like?
"Johnny Vickers. I want to out run most of my heroes."
What are (or have been) your scariest moments?
"The crash in Georgia. It was a violent nitro explosion at Budd's Creek. It got my attention. It blew the bike completely in two. "
Do you work out?
"Yes…primarily cardiovascular stuff. I work out for stamina."
Do you have a special diet?
"I eat lean, and drink lots of fluids like water and Gatorade."
What mental routine prepares you for each run?
"A real focus… Johnny Vickers and I communicate so well. He helps me a lot. I get into the Mark Cox world, and stay focused on the job at hand. I keep a race face."
What keeps you focused?
"Being very involved in the preparation of the bike, builds my focus.
Do you have time for a hobby?
"Hunting, but I have an eight month old son. He's a full time job, not a hobby."
Many motorcyclists ride to unravel, what do you do to unwind?
"I enjoy getting away and riding. I also like hunting and bush-hogging."
What personal quality (one trait) would you want to be admired most for?
"Dedicated and determined."
What’s most important?
1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Winning 5.Other
"A strong desire to win. I race to win."
Are you happy?
"Oh yeah. In eight years…twelve race bikes. I ran stock cars for eight years, but lost the sponsorship. Harley Davidson…It's the shoe that fits for me!"
What could make you happier?
"I'd like a sponsorship to compete full time. I'd like to see us be able to make a living at racing Top Fuel Harley Davidson."
If you could change one thing about motorcycle drag racing, what would it be?
"More sponsorship…A higher level of exposure…Bigger purse money."
When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt?
- Yes. 2. No. 3. Sometimes
Where do you find the most peace in your life?
"With my family."
Other than racing do you have a full-time occupation?
"I'm a managing partner in Crossroads Harley Davidson in Wilkesboro, North Carolina."
When asleep do you ever dream you're riding a motorcycle?
"I dream about racing a lot."
What got you started in Motorcycle drag racing?
"The Harley Davidson dealership opportunity allowed me to pursue Nitro racing."
What quality do you admire most in other people?
"Honesty and dependability. Don't cut corners."
What vehicle do you rive on the street?
"A Chevy 3/4 ton extended cab."
Can you describe your best run?
"At Bristol testing…a 6.96…My first six second run. I also ran over 200 mph that weekend."
In a few words, how would you sum up…yourself?
When frustrated, what do you do first?
1.Erupt 2.Withdraw 3. Try to be cool 4 Other
"I try not to erupt too much. I don't run from a problem."
You’re a skilled racer…What skills separate you from the fast traffic on public highways?
"I knock em out of the way. I try not to wait in line too much."
What do you worry about the most?
"Things I can't control."
Can you describe the G-forces at the tree. The Launch?
" When the clutch locks up, you'd better hold on. You have to think ahead of a nitro motorcycle."
Who means the most to you?
"My son Brady, but not only him, my entire family, parents and wife. If Brady wants to be a racer, I'll make sure he's the best."
"I'm looking forward to being involved in the future growth of all Harley Davidson racing. I encouraged with the motorcycle industry growth, and want to help it continue. Johnny Vickers, my crew chief, and I have the same goals. We want to make a full time living at racing. John at Weekend frame makes the frame right, we want to make the bike go right. (Johnny Vickers, three time national champion added…"I want to go back riding eventually)"
It's not easy to find a single word for a complex human, and harder still to pick a word for a competent racer. Mark Cox, 'The Hammer' hits the track with speed and intensity. I found a word that complements his nickname. Gary agreed, Mark Cox is the…
CROSSROADS HARLEY-DAVIDSON, INC.
1201 Woodfield Way, Wilkesboro, NC 28697
OPEN Monday thru Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
TEL (336) 667.1003 FAX 336.667.9158