Had he been born a couple of decades earlier, Stan Fox, a United States open wheel race car driver, probably would have raced a midget car at Davenport Speedway. They were quite popular here after World War II. Though Fox was born too late for that, he did, in fact visit the track.
Fox was a guest of the racing history group, Midwest Oldtimers, for the Midwest Oldtime Days racing weekend in September 1996.
In the photos above from the Phil Roberts collection, Fox is shown that weekend sitting in an antique midget car owned by Davenport’s Ron “Auto Ron” Williams and also standing with Roberts, who handled publicity and did some announcing for Midwest Oldtimers.
Stan Fox was born in 1952 in Janesville, Wisconsin. He died in 2000 near Waiouru, New Zealand. And, as Wikipedia puts it, Fox was one of the last links between the midget car racing world and the Indianapolis 500.
Fox began his career as a midget car racer. Fox also competed in the Indianapolis 500 eight times between 1987 and 1995, driving for A.J. Foyt and Ron Hemelgarn. He was also a motorcycle racing enthusiast.
Fox was a nice guy that a couple of bad breaks. The last one took his life.
While driving for Hemelgarn, Fox was seriously injured during the 1995 Indianapolis 500 in one of the most horrifying accidents in the history of the race. After starting ninth, Fox went low into the first turn on the first lap of the race and spun.
His car connected with the car of Eddie Cheever Jr., and several other cars also were involved in the wreck. The entire front nose cone was ripped from Fox’s car, leaving the pilot’s legs exposed. Fox suffered serious head injuries.
That accident ended Fox’s racing career, but he continued to stay involved with the sport. He started a non-profit organization that supported people with head injuries and brought them to the track each May to meet the drivers and get VIP treatment.
Fox never gave up his dream of driving a race car again, but he was not destined to achieve it.
In December of 2000, on the Desert Road some 200 miles south of Auckland, New Zealand, Fox’s van collided head on with a car, and he was killed. He was 48 years old.
~ Phil Roberts