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Driver: Derrike Cope Biography: Nascar Racing
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Born: Nov 03, 1958
Hometown: Spanaway, Wash
Resides: Huntersville, NC
Primary Series: Nextel Cup
When he was in high school, Derrike Cope was planning on being a professional baseball player for a living.
The Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles were scouting Cope during his high school days, but Derrike's father Don insisted he take the scholarship that Whitman College offered.
In 1978, Derrike was playing catcher in a collegiate game when his plans changed. He tried to retrieve a wild pitch and when he turned to throw, his knee gave way. Cope was told his medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments were severed.
During his recovery, he helped his brother with his race car. Cope's father was an engine builder for some of the best drivers in Winston West competition. Cope started to become interested in racing and after driving a few times, decided racing would be his new career.
"I had just started racing at Spanaway (Washington) Speedway when the throttle on my race car stuck and my car hit the wall, flipped and hit the embankment," he said. "I was blinded in my right eye for several weeks following that accident.
"An injury like that could have altered my whole life. I had to do a lot of thinking before my sight came back about what I would do. Once my eye had recovered, I went on with my career, and rarely do I think of what could have happened."
In 1984, Cope was named rookie of the year in the Winston West Series with two wins.
For more information visit the official Nascar website
Car Number: #55
Driver: Derrike Cope
Car Make: Chevrolet
Car #55 Driver History