Amber and Angela Cope are a combo that is very unique to the NASCAR circuit. They are twin sisters, both who compete sparingly in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Having relatives and siblings is nothing new to NASCAR, such as the Dillon brothers, the Jarrett’s, Petty’s, and Parsons’ have all had relatives and siblings compete at the NASCAR level. The unique thing is, the Cope twins are the first set of twin sisters to compete at a high level in NASCAR.
Like many racers, the Cope twins started out their careers at a young age, but for the Copes, it was a unique way of falling into the sport. “Our racing careers started out at the age of nine when we received a go-kart for Christmas,” the Copes said. “We did not really have any intentions other than it was something to keep us busy and stay out of trouble. We started racing competitively around the northwest, winning races, championships and setting track records. We then realized that we had a passion and a drive for racing and we have enjoyed it since.”
If you look at the name Cope and realize they share the same name as 1990 Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope, that would be because he is the Cope sisters uncle. As you would expect, Derrick has been influential to Amber and Angela’s growth in NASCAR. “Uncle Derrike has been influential by supporting our dreams and encouraging us to keep going,” the Copes said. “The sport is very difficult for anyone to get into and his advice, encouragement, and support has help guide us through all of the difficult obstacles we have had to endure.”
While being a part of the Nationwide Series, the Cope twins have experienced controversy and raised the ire of one of the sports stars. At the end of the New Hampshire race, Kevin Harvick took exception to the way that Amber Cope held him up. While most thought of it as a racing incident, Harvick took the exception, blasting Cope’s driving post-race. What happened after was a firestorm of criticism both ways, with no clear cut winner. “I was devastated that someone would attack me in that manner,” Amber Cope said. “I am a very kind hearted and peaceful person to everyone. It is hard to see someone as a role model when they have such disrespect and hatred towards me, when I am trying to learn and develop in this series like he did when he started out.” “There were many things said and it was unfortunate what took place, but we respect Harvick as a driver,” Angela Cope said. “We look up to him as a driver and we have always respected his efforts on the track, but unfortunately I don’t feel like the things Harvick said and did afterward is how a role model should have behaved.”
With the aftermath of that over, Angela Cope came up with a creative way of proving she could be competitive in the Nationwide Series. She started an online donation source, so she could run up front in Charlotte on October 12. “I not only launched the campaign but helped raise funding and to get the fans involved further,” Angela Cope said. “We are so appreciative of everyone’s support in our efforts to compete. All we want is to continue to get seat time and hopefully get some seat time week after week. I am running at Charlotte and I can’t wait.”
While Charlotte is the goal for Angela Cope, both have the same goals for racing, learning and competing week in and week out. To do that, knowledge and experience will be key. They admire and look up every driver and NASCAR person that is at the track, and overall it is just about living their dream and going further with it. “It is awesome we got the opportunity to be in NASCAR, but we are competitive and the sky is never the limit,” the Cope sisters said. “There are so many goals to achieve for us; running a full-time season, qualifying in the top five, taking the pole, and of course winning a race. There are so many opportunities to achieve goals in the sport, and that is what we love about it.”