Ron Mack wins Inaugural Don “Pinky” Cobbs Memorial Tech Inspector Award

Ron Mack Wins Inaugural Don “Pinky” Cobbs Memorial Tech Inspector Award

Route 66 Raceway’s very own technical inspector, Ron Mack, was the recipient of the inaugural Don “Pinky” Cobbs Memorial Tech Inspector award at the NHRA/SFI Tech Inspector meeting at Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel on Jan. 6, 2007. The award recognizes an individual who showed outstanding service to NHRA Racing as a Technical Inspector in the North Central Division.

“We’re very proud that Ron was presented with this award,” said Route 66 Raceway’s Operations Manager, Chris McMahan. “It means a lot to be recognized by the NHRA…it shows a lot about the facility and how we set the standard in the North Central Division on how technical inspections should be run. Our safety record going into our 10th year reflects how strong our technical department is.”

Mack (who just completed his ninth year of tech inspection) is no stranger to drag racing. The first race he ever attended was at US-30 Drag Strip in Gary, Ind. in 1958. Currently retired, Mack spent his career teaching automotive classes at Thornton Fractional North and South High Schools. Mack experienced his first taste of tech inspection at Route 66 Raceway in 1998 when former competition director Gary Skiles asked him to join the tech department. Since then, Mack has enjoyed every moment working as a tech inspector.

“The thing that I enjoy the most is the camaraderie with drivers and fellow co-workers, seeing all the different cars come through, and the safety aspects of the NHRA,” said Mack.

One interesting aspect of Mack’s career with the NHRA North Central Division 3 Racing Series is being an essential part of starting a technical inspection program for Route 66 Raceway.

“We did the very first car at Jacob’s Chevy in Joliet in 2000,” said Mack. “We were the first people in the country to do it for the NHRA, which at that time we called it Quick Tech. After NHRA saw what Route 66 Raceway was doing, it developed its own system, and named it Extended Technical Inspection (ETI). We inspect the most race cars in the country, including our Jr. Dragster program. I would have to say we inspect about 325 race cars every year.”

When it comes to drag strips, some of Mack’s favorites include his home track- Route 66 Raceway, O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis and all those “mom and pop” tracks scattered throughout the North Central Division.

As for the plaque Mack received, “That’ll probably end up in our basement, with all of my other racing awards.”

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