(Aug. 17, 1999) - As the saying goes, "You can't teach experience," and no one knows that better than State Fair Brand Corn Dogs Pontiac driver Derrike Cope as he prepares for this Sunday's Pepsi 400 at Michigan Speedway. Over his 13-year...
(Aug. 17, 1999) - As the saying goes, "You can't teach experience," and no one knows that better than State Fair Brand Corn Dogs Pontiac driver Derrike Cope as he prepares for this Sunday's Pepsi 400 at Michigan Speedway.
Over his 13-year career, Cope has seen his fair share of success at Michigan and he is confident his familiarity with the track can jumpstart his 1999 campaign.
"I look forward to that," Cope said. "Obviously, Michigan is a place where I've had some success. I enjoy the place. I know what my needs are. We took this very same car to Michigan this year and made the race. I think we're going back with a better motor and we'll obviously have more time to look at this car."
Not only is Cope excited about returning to a race track where he has had a lot of success, he also knows that State Fair Brand Corn Dog crew chief Barry Dodson will have another week under his tool belt to mesh with the team. This will be Dodson's third race with the revamped Bahari'-Eel racing team which was sold to new team owner, Jack Birmingham, on July 26.
"Barry will get a chance to get acclimated to this car and the new faces on the State Fair Brand Corn Dog team," Cope said. "With a couple of races under our belt, we will have some time to break everyone in. Hopefully, Michigan will be a place that we can showcase ourselves productively."
Cope has three top-10 finishes at Michigan, including an eighth-place run in the Miller 400 two years ago. The finish was especially impressive because Cope started the race in the 42nd position.
"I get around well there," Cope said. "It's a place where you have to make good choices. It doesn't take much to miss there. It's one of those race tracks that has a lot of corner. You have to have some strength in the motor department and I think we have made major strides under the hood. The motor department has made the difference with us."