Personality of the Year 2015: Nominee 4

Six drivers have been shortlisted for the 2015 Stox Personality of the Year award.

One nominee will be announced each day – so make sure you keep checking the site!

How to vote

Once all nominations have been announced, you will be able to vote for your favourite via the website.

Voting will open on Monday 14 December and will close at midnight on Saturday 19 December. The winner will be announced on Sunday 20 December.

Nominee 4: Rob Cowley


Rob celebrating his final win at Birmingham in October.

My old school used to have the sporting motto “It matters not whether you win or lose but how you play the game” and I reckon that this thinking could easily be applied to Nuneaton’s Rob Cowley.

Rob has been racing stock cars for over 30 years, notching up his first championship win in the UK Open at Skegness in 2012 at the age of 60 but you cannot help but think that maybe taking part is as important to him as taking the chequered flag. Don’t get me wrong – all drivers want to win or they wouldn’t be out there week in, week out but no-one enjoys a victory lap more than Rob Cowley. While some drivers cannot crack a smile or even look at the crowd when clutching the chequered flag, Rob plays to his audience like a true entertainer.

The fastest hairdresser in stock car racing can cope with a cut and blow-dry one day and a cut and blown tyre the next and while he limits his racing to tarmac these days (that shale dust is a b****r to wash out) he made BriSCA history at Birmingham on 17 October this year when he became the oldest F1 final winner ever at the age of 63. However, Rob rates watching son Chris take his first shale final win at Coventry as his highlight of 2015.

Rob and Chris do most of the work on the cars themselves and Rob admits he would much rather be out in the garage than inside watching telly, spending at least four nights a week  maintaining the 73 and 37 machines. Their long-term mechanic is Simon Day with additional help from Rob’s nephew Jason. Chris works shifts which obviously limits his availability. The team intend to lay down a new chassis when time allows but with both current cars and the transporter to look after that is a project for the future.

Rob would love to win a final at his local track, Coventry and qualify for that “last ever” Brandon world final and hopes to get in some shale racing, probably limited to Coventry and King’s Lynn, next season if all goes to plan, but before that he and Chris are off to New Zealand as Chris is one of the Team GB drivers taking on all-comers down under in the New Year.

Fans will be glad to know that the man who famously dropped his trousers on national TV in Gears & Tears and made that sky-dive to raise money for the Ben Fund has no plans to retire from racing – he enjoys it all too much.

Rob Cowley 73 leading Mat Newson 16. Photo Colin Casserley

Rob leading the 2012 UK Open championship race

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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