Bob Collins of Shepherdsville, Kentucky got a taste of his passion for Mustangs when he was 14 years old. At that age, Collins and his father fixed up a 1969 Mustang convertible his father purchased for $1,400.
Collins’ desire to get his rocket to go faster has increased with age. Wanting to drive faster, he began looking for places to go where he could do that without losing his driver’s license. That search led him to a three-day high-performance driving class at the Bondurant school in 1996 with Buddy Rice as his driving instructor. Collins’ new hobby became a passion for the automotive industry.
Collins found NASA in 2015 when he attended his first Great Lakes HPDE event after 10 years of track days with other organizations. Collins continued to work on improving his driving skills while attending the high-performance driver education classes and successfully completed competition school at Gingerman raceway last June.
Not only is Collins one of our newest members of the Great Lakes Region American Iron Series, he is also an instructor for the region. Collins enjoys working with our HPDE1 students. He loves helping drivers have an enjoyable and safe weekend while testing the limits of their driving skills and those of their cars. He attributes his move to wheel-to-wheel racing from the NASA HPDE program to the great members of the Great Lakes Region that are always open to lend a hand or give advice on the driving line. A modest man, he says, “I am just trying to improve, with much to learn.” This season, Collins is focused on improving his lap times and starting to use an AiM data logger installed in his Mustang.
Collins was fortunate to purchase a race-prepped Mustang from Paul Faessler the owner of Paul’s Automotive Engineering. Paul Faessler is known for his 1965 American Iron Extreme Championship-winning Mustang. His son, Brian captured the 2018 National Championship with Paul driving to victory lane in the 2008 & 2016 AIX National Championships. Collins is grateful for the quality of race craft and support he’s received from Paul and Paul’s Automotive Engineering.
In 2015, Collins met Jay Andrew, NASA Great Lakes Regional Director, who shared that volunteering for NASA events could make track time a little more cost effective. Andrew is also a two-time National American Iron Championship winner for the 2006 & 2007 race seasons.
Andrew is another one to watch out for as he brings back his 1986 championship Fox body after 12 years. I hear a Coyote motor might be scratching at the back door, but you’ll have to wait and see. As all of you may know, Andrew has been keeping his skill level sharp as he continues to practice and race in ST4 and Spec Iron series class with Jeff Seit. In this class, they have more than a handful of victories under their belts.
This series is becoming more of a race of champions, and who is going to be setting records for different road courses like, Pittsburgh International Raceway, The National Corvette Museum, Autobahn Country Club, GingerMan Raceway, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course? Bob Collins hopes to be one of them.
|Racing Class:||American iron|
|Sponsors:||Paul’s Automotive Engineering|
|Day Job:||UPS transportation manager|
|Favorite Food:||My wife’s mustard lamb chops|
|Favorite TV show:||“Better Call Saul”|
|Favorite Track:||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course|
|Dream Racecar:||2010 Paul’s Automotive Engineering Ford Mustang|