- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) - In 1967, Ed Cothren placed third in the state in the Hobby Division of the Limited Sportsman Racing Series.

Earlier this month he finally received his trophy at a ceremony hosted by the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame museum to honor the longtime racer.

Surrounded by some of the things he cherishes most - his family and a room full of classic racing cars - Cothren said he was honored to accept the award.

“It’s better late than never,” he said. “I’m just glad to finally have it.”

The social media networking site Facebook has connected millions of users and can now boast that it connected Iredell County resident Cothren to his trophy.

Phil and Roby Combs are the sons of track stewards who were responsible for overseeing races and distributing trophies.

“I have no idea why you never received your trophy,” Phil said. “If it weren’t for Facebook this never would’ve happened. Debbie Barker started a Facebook memory page for Hickory Speedway, so I posted a picture of the trophies and asked for help to find their owners.”

Less than two weeks after Combs posted the picture, the trophy was in Cothren’s rightful possession. A member of Cothren’s family saw the post and reached out to Combs. Everything else fell into place.

“It’s very rewarding,” Phil said. “The part that’s most rewarding is that I think my dad will be happy that the guy finally got his trophy. It really is a treasure. This has to mean a lot to him, but it also really means a lot to me.”

Roby said he and his brother inherited their love for the sport from their parents.

“Our dad was part of the grassroots movement for racing,” Roby said. “That’s why we’re so (passionate).”

Cothren started racing in the early 1960s and stopped in the 1980s. With help from his mechanic brother, Cothren established a winning career with his 1955 Chevrolet. In only his second year, he claimed victory in 21 of the 42 races he participated in.

“We had a lot of good luck,” Cothren said. “I’m smiling on the inside and the outside, today.”


Information from: Statesville Record & Landmark, https://www.statesville.com/index.htm

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