Tom Malloy's Trench Shoring Sponsors Courtney Crone

Story by Howie Zechner

I'd received the heads up long before the official invitation arrived. Courtney Crone, a major deep pockets sponsorship. The news was exciting and I couldn't wait to share it. Still I couldn't, I was sworn to secrecy. Damn, I hate when you know and can't say.

The offical release date was April 23, 2016. An announcement would be made to the Motor Press Guild (MPG) and special by invitation only guests at the very private home of the Tom Malloy Collection in Corona, California.

The Tom Malloy Collection is one of the most impressive private acculumation of Indycars in the world. Housed in splendor at a secret location that Google won't even reveal, it's filled with unique historically significant cars and racing memorabilia. For the first time visitor, it's a visual overload.

No stranger to four wheel competition or driver talent, Tom grew up around racing. His dad, Emmett J. Malloy, built and operated Carrell Speedway in Gardena, California, owned open-wheel race cars, and sponsored several different drivers including Jimmy Reece in the 1953, 54, and 55 Indy 500. A sponsorship from Tom Malloy could change a drivers life.

The function started at 9:00 AM. Coffee, doughnuts and million dollar cars kept everyone talking and smiling. Taking pictures, interviewing VIP racers, owners, and sponsors. It's heaven in a four wheel playground.

Host Tom Malloy - CRA Sprint Car driver Jimmy Oskie

Motorcycle legend Sammy Tanner with this stories author, Howie Zechner.

Four time Sprint Car Champion Wally Pankratz won 114 Main Events in his career.

MPG president Jason Fogelson started the press conference with announcements, upcoming events and commitments. Thanking our host Tom Malloy came to the podium and gave a short history on his American auto racing collection. Proud of his multi million dollar acquisition, Tom told of his favorites and shared history of these magnificent racing thoroughbreds. Tom announced he will be taking some of his vintage Indy 500 cars to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Dean Case - Mazda Motorsports Communications Officer - Mazda North American Operations

Then it got down to business. Tom Malloy announced that his company, Trench Shoring, has signed a major sponsoring deal with Courtney Crone. Quite the fan of Courtney, he made no secret that she has lots of talent, takes direction well, is a quick learner, and will be a motorsports superstar.

Tom Malloy

1992 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year Lyn St. James was next on the microphone. One of only seven women who have qualified for the Indy 500, had 11 CART and 5 Indy Racing League starts, Lyn St. James told of how proud she was when Courtney Crone became one of two women to receive the 2016 Women's Sports Foundation "Project Podium" grant. Founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King, the organization is dedicated to creating leaders by providing girls access to sports and fitness. It's a big deal and receives grants from Mazda, Newman's Own, Toyota, Rolex, Volkswagen, IMSA, NHRA, and IndyCar. Project Podium is the natural progression to further assist talented women in motorsports, St. James relayed as Courtney Crone came to the podium.

Lyn St. James - Courtney Crone

Lyn St James – Howie Zechner - Courtney Crone

Only 15 years old, Courtney has been racing most of her life. Starting at age four in Karts, then Quarter Midgets. Courtney was a California State Kids Kart Oval Champion, won 8 Quarter Midget Championships, and set 2 Quarter Midget World Record Qualifying Times.

Courtney Crone - Photo courtesy of Dorcey Alan Wingo

Trying her hand at 2-wheel competition, Courtney raced Speedway Motorcycles, winning 12 Speedway main events and capturing 2 Youth Speedway bike Championships. Extremely popular with the Speedway, community fans were sad to see her return to four wheel competition.

Courtney Crone - Photo courtesy of Dorcey Alan Wingo

In 2015, Courtney Crone won her 1st Sprint Car main at Perris Auto Speedway and 1st Ford Focus Midget main at Ventura raceway.

Courtney thanked her sponsors Trench Shoring, Sammy Tanner, Arai Helmets, Troy Lee Designs, Team Swolen, stand 21 and others. Talking about her upcoming 26 event 2016 schedule that includes racing the Steve Watt 360 Sprint Car, Ed Lever Formula Mazda and Jerome Rodela Midget, her enthusiasm was obvious and contagious. "I want to win the INDY 500," she matter-of-factly answered when asked what she wanted in her racing career.

Our little girl's growing up, I snickered as the conference concluded. For sure, dad Jack Crone replied. She's becoming quite the lady. Drivers Jimmy Oskie and Wally Pankratz concurred. Courtney Crone will be one of the racer greats.