CJ Racing Fields Two Trucks in 1999

CJ Racing latest to join fray By Brett Borden DENVER, N.C. (March 11, 1999) Another team has thrown its driver's helmet into the ring in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 1999. CJ Racing, with Ernie Cope and Rob Rizzo as drivers, will field...

CJ Racing latest to join fray By Brett Borden

DENVER, N.C. (March 11, 1999) Another team has thrown its driver's helmet into the ring in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 1999. CJ Racing, with Ernie Cope and Rob Rizzo as drivers, will field No. 27 Hastings Premium Filters Ford F-150s.

Their first race will be the season-opener at Miami-Homestead Speedway, with Rizzo assuming driving duties. It is possible that the team will field two trucks, with Cope, who is running for USG SHEETROCK Brand Rookie of the Year honors, piloting a second entry.

Cope, cousin of NASCAR Winston Cup series veteran Derrike Cope, has spent the past three seasons as a crew chief for NCTS teams owned by Geoffrey Bodine and Gloy-Rahal Racing. His driving resume includes stints in the NASCAR Winston West series, the Featherlite Southwest Tour NASCAR Touring Division, and the Northwest Rebco Tour. The 29-year-old driver says he has been looking forward to returning to seat duty in his adopted series.

"I've been around it the last three years," said Cope. "I learned a lot more about cars here than I did back west. I'm ready to start racing again."

Team owner Mike Albernaz will assume crew chief duties. Albernaz has helped NCTS driver Tammy Jo Kirk recently.

"I just helped her out with my time," said Albernaz. "We had a sponsorship deal but it fell through. This (new team) is the first time we've had a full-time sponsor. We're pretty excited to have Hastings Premium Filters on board."

Cope will run 15-18 races this season, satisfying the requirement for USG SHEETROCK Brand Rookie of the Year honors, while Rizzo will take the wheel at Homestead, Nazareth (Pa.), and the circuit's road course venues.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Derrike Cope , Tammy Jo Kirk