‘Wild West Tour’ Stop Thursday (July 11) At Red River Co-op Speedway Gives Canadian Fans Chance To Join McCool’s ‘Mohawk Nation’
Mississippi Driver Will Attract Plenty Of Attention During World of Outlaws Late Model Series’s Return Visit To Winnipeg Track
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – July 10, 2013 – When Bub McCool goes racing on Thursday night (July 11) in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Wild West Tour’ event at Canada’s Red River Co-op Speedway, he’ll be over 1,450 miles from his home in Vicksburg, Miss. But even on far-flung foreign turf, he’ll have plenty of supporters behind him.
McCool, you see, has become one of the most popular drivers on the World of Outlaws circuit. In just his second season as a series regular, the racer from the Gulf Coast has developed the unmistakable name recognition and reputation for approachability that brings him a steady stream of visitors to his hauler and a growing roar from the stands wherever he travels with the national tour.
These days it doesn’t matter if McCool, 36, is at a track in Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Wyoming or Canada. If the WoO LMS is in town, there are going to be fans talking about good ‘ol Bub and looking to meet him before or after the races.
“I’ve definitely noticed a difference,” McCool said when asked about the increase in his fan base since he hit the road with the Outlaws in 2012 and claimed Rookie of the Year honors. “The fans are coming over to see us more than they used to. It’s real good because we enjoy the hell out of talking to ’em.”
Certainly McCool’s burgeoning popularity can be attributed to his high-level performance, which includes a pair of WoO LMS A-Main triumphs: his career-first win last year (in just his ninth start as a series regular) and No. 2 just a couple weeks ago on June 25 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. But he understands as much as anyone that some other factors earn him extra attention.
For starters, there’s his name. Bub McCool just sticks out like a bold-faced line on a drivers’ roster – and sounds like it belongs to a throwback, old-school racer.
“Oh yeah, I get asked a lot about it,” said McCool. “People say, ‘You got the coolest name in racing.'”
And of course there’s McCool’s hair. The distinctive Mohawk he rocks – sometimes colored, sometimes spiked, always noticeable – makes him stand out in a crowd.
“It seems like the Mohawk is what most people know about us,” said McCool. “Everybody’s expecting me to have it now. A lot of fans with Mohawks and kids with Mohawks come over and want pictures with me, and a lot of times when I take pictures with kids (with conventional hairstyles) I’ll hear the kids telling their mom or dad, ‘I wanna get a Mohawk.’ I think that’s pretty cool.”
The origin of McCool’s signature hairdo dates back to January 2008. During the Winter Classic at Columbus (Miss.) Speedway, McCool’s sister, Lindsey, shaved the hair of McCool’s then 4-year-old son, ‘B2,’ into the Mohawk he had been begging for – and moments later, Bub and his father, Johnny, joined in the fun.
“When ‘B2’ was smaller he was wanting to get (a Mohawk) for about six months,” said McCool. “I finally let him do it, and when my little sister started cutting his hair he looked up at my daddy and he said, ‘Paw Paw, I want you and my daddy to get a Mohawk too.’ So that’s kind of how it started. My daddy did it – he’s still got one – and I did it too.”
McCool’s new style clearly brought him some immediate good fortune.
“The (Winter Classic) rained out the night we got (the Mohawk),” said McCool, “but the next day we raced and got our first win at Columbus after we’d been racing there for like 16 years. The Mohawk kind of had to stick after that.”
McCool has sported a Mohawk for most of the past five years. He’s colored it green, yellow, blue, orange and a combination of blue and orange (a special edition for last year’s WoO LMS awards banquet). Sometimes he’ll spike it out, but usually not when he’s in the midst of racing.
“It don’t take too long to spike it up, but the first time you put that helmet on, it’s over with,” McCool cracked with his hearty laugh.
McCool currently has a bright green tint to his Mohawk, which should make him easy to spot when fans go searching for him on Thursday night at Red River Co-op Speedway. He’s looking forward to visiting with the Canadian fans at the three-eighths-mile oval, which hosted the WoO LMS for the first time one year ago.
“Last year we all ended up getting out of there pretty quick after our race because there was a threat of rain and we worried about getting stuck in the pits,” said McCool. “But that was unusual for us. We always like to hang out after the race and talk with the fans, so we’ll try to make sure we’re there afterwards this year. We’ll meet ’em and even drink a beer with ’em.”
McCool would like to turn his post-race get-together with the locals into a victory celebration. After finishing a solid fourth in last year’s WoO LMS 50-lapper at Red River, he’s confident that he can make a run at the checkered flag.
“I ran pretty good there last year,” said McCool, who currently ranks ninth in the WoO LMS points standings. “I started on back in the feature (10th spot) and passed cars to move up, so it turned out pretty good for us. I liked the place and think we can do a little better this year.”
McCool will face off at Red River with a star-studded roster of WoO LMS drivers led by points leader Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and defending tour champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who won last year’s inaugural World of Outlaws event at Red River. Other WoO LMS travelers include former champions Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y.; veterans Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga.; and rookies Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., and Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas.
Among other drivers expected to enter Thursday night’s action are Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., John Mason of Millersville, Ohio, and local Winnipeg-based favorites Ricky Weiss and Mike Balcaen.
Thursday’s WoO LMS card at Red River Co-op Speedway is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
For more details on the WoO LMS event, including ticket prices, visit the speedway website at www.victorylane.mb.ca or call the RRCS office at 204-582-0527.
Red River Co-op Speedway is located five minutes South of Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Highway 75.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.