Jul 25, 2001
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This just in from Bryan Norton:<BR><BR>Brian Cox, an Amateur licensed with CMRA/CCS, was the first racer to sample the new Air Fence Bike installed at Texas World Speedway. The Air Fence was supplied by the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund and is used exclusively for motorcycle racing at the track. Cox lowsided his Yamaha YZF-R6 in turn 8a, the same turn in which Ryan Smith lost his life in 1999. The bike and rider contacted the last section of Air Fence and then continued into haybales set up by the CMRA. The bike came to a final rest upside down on the haybales. The rider suffered no injuries and walked away from the incident. The bike didn't fare as well, and was damaged enough for Cox to park it for the weekend. He returned to racing on Sunday on a bike borrowed from fellow racer Scott Fisher.<BR><BR>The crash occurred during practice on Saturday, July 21 and was the first day the Air Fence was in use.<BR><BR>Cox explained his accident, saying "The front just went away. It tucked at the beginning of the apex and that was all she wrote. I slid all the way into the last section. I slid so long down the track that I actually had thoughts going through my head as I was sliding on my back, 'I'm getting ready to break bones, I'm getting ready to make impact.'"<BR><BR>Asked about what it feels like to hit the Air Fence he replied, "I couldn't even hardly feel it. I think I went into it and kind of under it and then I think I impacted some haybales that were beside it. The bike and myself both hit the Air Fence.<BR><BR>"I'm thankful to John Ulrich. I got my $50 worth! I sent in $50 several months ago to the Air Fence Fund."<BR><BR>Cox was quizzed about how the sight of the Air Fence affected his riding through the turn, "I knew they were going to deploy it, and when I saw it in practice I was like 'yeah!' For some reason that corner is my favorite on the track, just the way that corner is designed. It is unfortunate there is Armco there. With the Air Fence I was going through there like I was on a 250 Grand Prix bike. I was full tilt, there wasn't much space between my bike and the track. I just tucked the front, it just went away."<BR><BR>CMRA official Robert Brothers commented on how the Air Fence Bike held up to the impact, "It stayed in place, there were no cuts. There are a couple of scuff marks on it but I think it will clean up with some 409. It did its job today. If it does get torn we've got a patch kit to take care of it."<BR><BR>The 20 Air Fence Bike modules took over two hours to set up on Friday before the event, but less than an hour to return to storage on Sunday with the help of a loaned flatbed trailer. It is stored at the track and is shared between both the CMRA and RPM race clubs.