Lexington, NC -- Angela Cope, 22, a Puyallup, Washington native, will take the biggest step of her racing career this week with her entry in the Sara Lee/GFS Marketplace 200 at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan. Cope will pilot Andy Belmont’s #1 Ford Taurus, in what is promised to be a thriller of a short track event.
At the guidance of her uncle, Daytona 500 Champion, and NEXTEL Cup series competitor Derrike Cope, and ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Andy Belmont, Angela completed a very successful test at Hickory Speedway, earning her approval to compete in the ARCA RE/MAX series. “Angela did a wonderful job at Hickory, the test went better than I could have ever imagined, stated Andy Belmont. “Berlin will be tough, but I believe the only way to learn is by jumping into the fire.”
“I’m very happy with how the test went, and look forward to seeing what we can do at Berlin”, stated Cope. “This event will be a learning for us, as our primary goal for this race, and for the remainder of this season, is to get seat time – we just want to get seat time, stay out of trouble, and learn.”
While Cope may be new to the ARCA RE/MAX Series, she is no stranger to racing. Both Angela, and twin sister Amber, began competing in Karts at the age of 9. Amber and Angela's accomplishments in their seven years of driving go-karts include 50 first place wins and setting on pole position 20 times in the Pacific Northwest. The next stop on the “Twins” racing tour was Late Models, making their debut in the year 2000 at various speedways throughout the Northwest. In 2005, Angela Cope earned her greatest accomplishment in racing, setting fast time and winning the Lucas Oil 150 at Sun Valley Speedway, located in Vernon, British Columbia.
“I couldn’t be more proud of both Angela and Amber”, stated Derrike Cope. “I have enjoyed watching them grow as people, and within the sport that has been such an important part of our family.” “I hope that someday I have the opportunity to compete on the same track as both Angela and Amber – at the highest level of the sport.” The Cope Racing legacy dates back to Grandfather Donald Cope, who began competing in various forms of motorsports in the San Diego region in 1955, before making their home in Washington State. Derrike’s bother Darren, father of Amber and Angela, is a well known engine builder, and continues the family tradition as operator of “Cope Brothers Machine Shop” in Tacoma, Washington.
While Angela has her shot at Berlin, equally capable and accomplished twin sister Amber will make her debut in the Shop N Save 150 at Gateway Raceway in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday July 28th. “I felt like the Hickory test was a great help in gaining the confidence and experience we need to compete at the next level of the sport”, stated Amber Cope. “I am looking forward to one more practice session before Gateway later this month.”
The Sara Lee/GFS Marketplace 200 ARCA RE/MAX race will begin Saturday at 8:30pm ET.