Jay Cox Sits on Top of Pro Nitrous Points as Season Nears Halfway Point

PITTSBORO, N.C. (June 19, 2016): Although a relative newcomer to PDRA Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC frontrunners, Jay Cox has found himself right at home in the winner’s circle this season. With four races complete, Cox has been in three finals, securing wins twice. This has been enough to put him in first place, just over 400 points ahead of Travis Harvey.

The Carolina good ‘ol boy says he never dreamed he’d be in this position. “When I was playing baseball I used to tune in and watch all these guys running Pro Nitrous,” told the former minor league player. “I always dreamed about doing it and never thought I’d have a chance. The first PDRA race we went to I had a little 800 cubic inch motor. Just to qualify and be able to run with these big name people – that fulfilled my dream. I never imagined being able to run up front.”

Although Cox says the thought of being a viable contender against the biggest names in Pro Nitrous was far off, that never kept him from talking a little junk once he got in the game. In fact, the Flatout Gaskets Nitrous Wars, which have been as much about talking the talk as walking the walk, have fueled Cox and car owner Bryant Marriner to work continually harder to be on top. Now that Cox is winning, he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

“It’s hard for people to talk junk to you when you’re winning. Tommy Franklin and Stevie Jackson are probably the two I talk junk with the most. Nothing personal, but we always like to get into it. And rightfully so; we tend to run each other a lot. I love the smack talk. All it does is make me work harder. Anybody that wants to talk, I encourage it. Bring it on. There’s been a lot of nights this winter I ain’t went home. I stayed in the shop and worked all night because of something somebody said. The more they wanna talk the faster we’ll go.”

Over the winter, Cox picked up a new 945 cubic inch motor from engine builder, Charlie Buck. After a win at a preseason event in Bradenton, Fl. Cox says his PDRA season started off slower than he would have liked, with a semi-final and runner up finish at the season opener and Spring Drags. Cox got what he was looking for at the next two events, however, and has set himself up for a championship battle in the last half of the season.

“Without Mr. Bryant it wouldn’t be possible,” Cox thanked. “He supplied me with the best stuff money can buy. He let me get anything I thought we needed, nothing obsessive, but whatever we needed to compete. It’s kinda been up to me to make it run. It’s really worked out really well. I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of people. Rick Jones and RJ Race Cars, Mark Micke Transmissions, Marty at Neal Chance Torque Converters have all worked with me ever since we started running Pro Nitrous to fit my style of racing. They got me pointed in the right direction and got me whatever I needed to run the car the way I like to run. I had a lot of help when I first started coming up from Charles Carpenter and Billy Stockton. If I’d get a little lost or out in left field they’d point me in the right direction. Brandon at Switzer Dynamics does a lot for me in the nitrous department.”

Cox also thanked Marriner’s company Bryant Industrial Crane and Rigging, Buck Racing Engines, Hoosier Tires and Leggett Logging. “Charlie [Buck] went out on a limb these last two weeks, investing a lot of time and money, pretty much for me and Chris [Rini, who also runs PN]. I think we’re on to a lot of good stuff. Every time I make changes to the car it’s responding. We went 201 in the heat and we haven’t tore up anything in the last two or three races. It’s just going to get faster from here on out.”

Cox and Bryant both thoroughly enjoy the class and it’s ultra tight competition, especially sitting from their current vantage point in first. Their program has come a long way in the short time they’ve been partners. Cox relates how the friendship came to be:

“I was at the drag strip and heard this awful noise coming by. I mean, it was flying. There was a big, stand-up, three-hundred-sixty-nine dollar NAPA battery charger with wheels on it, and they are dragging it 30 miles an hour through the pits. I run out there and stop him and say, ‘Hey man, wait a minute. You’re dragging your battery charger. It’s hooked to the car.’ He jumps out, wraps the cable around it and says, ‘Hold this. I’ll be right back.’ They make a run. They come back. I look at him and said, ‘You got the fastest battery charger in the world.’ Ever since then me and him hit it off. He went to a couple races with us and got to liking it. The more he liked it, the more he wanted to get involved. I had home built stuff. My motor was from Charlie, but it was 100 cubic inches smaller than everybody else. I had a car we had built ourselves. It worked good and ran good. Bryant would talk a little junk. Other people would talk a little junk. They’d outrun us. We would get something a little better and then go outrun them.

“With Bryant what you see is what you get. He don’t hide nothing. He tells you exactly how he feels. He will jump right up and get in your face in the middle of church if he wants to. Loves to stir the pot. Even in my hometown where everybody knows me and they watch us on the Live Feed, I come home and the first thing they say is, ‘Bryant was doing back flips on the starting line!’ Bryant is good for drag racing. He brings that excitement and extra little bit of effort.

“It’s hard not to get along with Bryant. That’s the one thing that’s kinda unbelievable for me – since day one he’s never told me what to do. Just have fun and win. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I made mistakes last year that cost us some money and hurt us a little bit. He never got mad at me. That takes a lot of pressure off. There’s enough pressure racing against the fastest guys in the world.”

Although Cox handles driving and tuning, he is quick to point out that his success would not be possible without several minds coming together. Crewman Dennis Bennett and Cox’s father make up the team effort with Marriner. “I can’t take credit for none of it solely myself,” Cox adds. “Tuning one of these cars and running fast is honestly pretty easy. But to go out there and run PDRA with the fastest nitrous cars in the world is very difficult. Without three or four minds coming together it would be really hard and stressful at times.”

The stress level and the smack talk are both likely to increase as the PDRA nears the halfway point in its season. As the points battle plays out round by round the world’s top Pro Nitrous competitors will be gunning for each other, fighting to be top dog in one of the toughest classes in all of drag racing.

Watch Cox and Bryant defend their points lead at the upcoming North-South Shootout at Maryland International Raceway, July 14-16. Tickets and full event information can be found at, or watch online via the Motor Mania Live Feed.

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