Back in the 1960s and 70s, Burlington’s Ronnie Sox was one of the best drag racers around. Inducted into seven Halls of Fame and the winner of five world championships, Sox left his mark on the racing world.
Now the Hot Wheels brand has decided to honor the Burlington legend as well. In late December, Hot Wheels released its Drag Strip Demons line of cars in the United States including funny cars, top fuel dragsters, factory experimentals, fuel altereds, and super stock vehicles. All the cars replicate those from the 1960s and 70s with 30 drivers in all, one of those being Ronnie Sox.
The Sox car is a replica of his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda. It was in this car that he won 1968 National Hot Rod Association Driver of the Year Award.
Sox grew up in Burlington and went on to partner with Buddy Martin, creating the Sox and Martin Racing Team. From 1967 to 1969, Sox won six Super Stock victories and earned nine victories in 23 events from 1970 to 1972, according to the NHRA Web site.
He was the winner of five world championships and 46 national event victories in the NHRA, American Hod Rod Association and the International Hot Rod Association, according to the Ronnie Sox memorial Web site. Sox was also inducted into seven Halls of Fame, including the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2007. Sox was also voted Number 15 on NHRA’s list of the Top 50 drivers. He died in 2006 at age 67 after a battle with prostate cancer.
The Drag Strip Demons line is being sold in stores such as Walmart and on the Internet.
“I started seeing them on eBay and I got really interested in them,” said David Sox, Ronnie’s brother, a salesperson at Dick Shirley Automotive in Burlington. Sox has been searching for Ronnie’s car specifically in local stores but has not been able to find it; he had to order his on eBay.
“I thought that this was pretty cool,” Sox said. “It’s very special. He would be very very humbled to know stuff like this is going on.”