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Stan Fox

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  • Stan Fox

    The day after Stan’s accident in New Zealand I mentioned to my wife that a friend of mine had died. The funny thing about that statement is that Stan and I never formally met. Still I don’t consider my statement to be untrue. There were many of the racing deaths that saddened me this year: Tony and Shirley Bettenhausen was a shock to me, Adam and Kenny left me near tears a few times and though I never really knew Tony Roper I was sad for his family. The passing of Stan had the most profound affect of all on me. Part of this stems from the fact that Stan and I are close to the same age which I feel we had some sort of kinship in that respect. Another part is that I have followed Stan’s racing career for most of twenty years. And finally he was a midwestern short tracker that spoke my language.

    My introduction to Stan Fox was at Winchester toward the end of the summer of 1979. Stan was driving a maroon #74 Edmunds VW midget. In the feature Stan wasted little time jumping out to a lead, a lead he would stretch until Ken Schrader, driving the Gene Hamilton roadster took second from Steve Lotshaw. Ken quickly caught up to Stan. Ken tried for several laps to make the pass for the lead but his car would lose grip in the middle of the third and fourth turns. Finally on the last lap Kenny made a final try for the lead but the car once again washed out but Kenny was too far into the pass to pull out and both cars crashed out making Lotshaw the winner. Though Stan was disappointed, there was no sparring in the pits between the two drivers.

    Because of my shy demeanor my only conversations with Stan consisted of a few “hi, hows it goings”. He impressed me in that every interview I ever saw he was so upbeat and playful with that unforgettable smile. In midgets he was a tremendous talent and a force to be reckoned with at each and every track. I admired the fact that Stan would somehow find a way to make it into the Indy 500 starting field in cars without the big budgets even if he had to foot some of the expense himself. His talent behind an Indy car was best exemplified in that crash in 1992 with Phillipe Gache. His quick reaction to the stopped car of Gache probably minimized the best he could the ensuing crash and possibly saved the life of Gache.

    The crashed at the start of the 1995 Indy 500 probably ended that race for me as well. Yes I watched the rest of the race but the concern for the welfare of Stan was never far away. I was very happy that Ron Hemalgarn never forgot a friend and had Stsnley taste the victor’s milk in 1996. I cannot imagine the misery Stan must have went through in the years following that fateful accident but the end result was that he was able to make a positive out of it with “Friends of the Fox.”

    Stanley was a one of a kind driver that I will dearly miss.

    Note this is something I found while checking out some floppy disks I had stored. I think this is something I sent to his sister Jenna shortly after Stan's untimely death.

  • #2
    Originally posted by grogg

    I was very happy that Ron Hemalgarn never forgot a friend and had Stanley taste the victor’s milk in 1996. .[/b][/I]
    I never knew that. That's the coolest thing I've heard in a while.
    "George Bignotti's Sinmast Wildcat (Designed by Bob Riley); delicately built, carefully prepared and boldly driven by Gordon Johncock." -- Keith Jackson


    • #3
      I don't know if he actually drank the milk but I knew Ron made sure Stan was still very much a part of the Hemelgarn Team in 1996.


      • #4
        I was very fortunate to stand on the hill at Phoenix and watch the Silver Crown race with Stan at the Copper one year. It is a memory I shall always cherish. He joked with me and taught me a few things about the technical side of those cars that I later used when I turned wrenches on sprinters.

        His accident at Indy is still very vivid in my mind, and his passing hit very hard.

        I choose to remember him as pictured above...a smile on his face while strolling the garages.


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