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Local racer sets his sights on Indy 500, while raising money and awareness for people with dyslexia

Elliot Cox chases his racing dream
Posted at 1:29 PM, May 24, 2023

WHITELAND — Elliot Cox was bit by the racing bug early in life.

"I started racing when I was five years old," Cox said.

As a child, he asked his parents for a dirt bike for a gift, to which they said no.

He credits his "grandpap" for getting him a go-kart instead for his racing start.

Elliot Cox got a go-kart from his grandpap
Elliot started lessons after getting a kart from his grandpap.

"She (mom) freaked out when I brought it home, and told me I would never drive anywhere but the grass," Cox said.

But it was his mom, who took her five-year-old son to Whiteland Raceway Park to get kart lessons so he could safely ride.

From that moment on, you could find Cox in the driver's seat.

"I started in kid carts here at Whiteland Raceway Park," Cox said. "I worked my way up through the karting ladder."

Young racer
Elliot Cox as a young racer pursuing his passion.

And he found success at a young age on the track.

"I won the SKUSA PRO tour in 2017 and went to on represent Team USA in the finals in Italy a few years ago," says Cox, who now races in the USF 2000 series. "We travel a lot with IndyCar, I go to a lot of the races."

WRTV interviewed Cox at the age of six when he was out on the track pursuing his passion.

Young Elliot's interview with WRTV
Elliot at age 6 meets with WRTV's Lauren Casey.

He is now 15 years old and a student at Franklin Central High School.

He is also now poised to be on the team for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development, as he raced out at IMS Grand Prix weekend and will compete on his first oval later this May at Lucas Oil Raceway.

"I've always loved the month of May," Cox said. "My goal in racing is to be the youngest winner of the Indy 500."

Elliot Cox now races for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development
Elliot races in the USF 2000 series.

That is the same goal a 6-year-old Cox shared with WRTV years ago and it still stands today.

But another big goal off the track for Cox is to raise awareness and funds for a cause close to his heart.

"Driving for Dyslexia is a charity I founded when I was 10 years old in 2018.," Cox said.

Cox himself struggles with dyslexia.

Driving for Dyslexia
Elliot founded his charity at age 10.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dyslexia is a learning disorder that causes people to have a hard time identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters. It makes tasks like reading difficult for people like Cox.

Another racer who struggled with dyslexia was Justin Wilson, who passed in an IndyCar crash at Pocono Raceway in 2015.

Elliot and Justin Wilson
Elliot was inspired by a fellow driver with Dyslexia, Justin Wilson. Wilson died in a a crash in Allentown, PA.

Before his death, he made a huge impact on Cox's life and served as his role model, and part of the inspiration for Cox's Driving for Dyslexia charity.

"He was a dyslexic race car driver who sat me down and told me not to let dyslexia stop me," Cox said. "Carrying on Justin's legacy is a big thing to me."

Cox speaks openly about his struggles with the disorder and works to be a role model to other kids.

"Telling other kids that it doesn't have to stop them, and just to push through any difficulties they have in life," Cox said.

He says through his charity and advocacy work he feels like he is making a difference in other kid's lives, encouraging them to chase their dreams.

Driving for Dyslexia has raised nearly $300,000 to support student's with dyslexia by providing teacher training.

Driving for Dyslexia
Elliot has raised nearly 300-thousand dollars through his charity Driving for Dyslexia.

This fall, the charity will host the Driving For Dyslexia ProAm at Whiteland Raceway Park where people and businesses can rent karts, there are giveaways and more.

To follow along with Cox's racing journey and get more information on his charity, visit https://www.elliotcoxracing.com/