Sears Point Cope Review

Late crash spoils strong run by Cope SONOMA, Calif. (June 29, 1998) Some good pit strategy, solid pit stops and savvy road course driving by Gumout Pontiac driver Derrike Cope nearly netted the 1990 Daytona 500 champion his best finish of the...

Late crash spoils strong run by Cope

SONOMA, Calif. (June 29, 1998) Some good pit strategy, solid pit stops and savvy road course driving by Gumout Pontiac driver Derrike Cope nearly netted the 1990 Daytona 500 champion his best finish of the NASCAR Winston Cup season Sunday at Sears Point Raceway.

Crew chief Doug Hewitt had Cope come in early for gas late two-thirds of the way through the Save Mart/Kragen 350. Hewitt's strategy had Cope running as high as 11th with less than 25 laps remaining after he started from his 41st starting position.

But on lap 90, Cope's Pontiac wheel-hopped through turn 11 on the 1.95-mile road course, causing Cope to lose control and hit the Pontiac of Kyle Petty.

The damage led to a broken rear end on Cope's Grand Prix, relegating him to a 38th-place finish. Cope still managed to rise from 38th to 37th in the point standings.

"We gained some track position through pit strategy and all that," Cope said. "I had problems wheel hopping all day long. I let Kyle go because I knew he had me beat and then another car came up there and I started wheel hopping again and ran into Kyle. When those things happens you're going to run into some grief."

Next up for owner Chuck Rider's Bahari' Racing team is Saturday's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Cope ran as high as second in the season- opening Daytona 500 when a freak accident on pit road cost him a possible chance at victory.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Derrike Cope , Kyle Petty