NASCAR's Blonde Twins: Are Amber and Angela Cope Serious Racers?

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2012

NEWTON, IA - MAY 21: (L-R) Twin sisters Angela Cope, driver of the #44 TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet, and Amber Cope, driver of the #93 Elie Hydro Sales Specialties Chevrolet, talk in the garage area after the first practice session of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Inaugural Iowa John Deere Dealers 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 21, 2011 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Twin blondes, Amber Cope and Angela Cope, are no doubt a novelty to NASCAR racing. They appear to have goals that may make their inconsistent appearances at the track nothing more than a marketing ploy.

Kevin Harvick was not pleased when Amber Cope, driver of the No. 24 car, hampered what looked to be an appearance in Victory Lane at the Nationwide race in Loudon.

Harvick stated after the race, "It's somebody who shouldn't be on the racetrack that has no clue what they're doing in the racecar. She wants to be Danica Patrick, but she can't hold her helmet."

Cope finished the race in 26th place, 33 laps down. The fact she was really the last car running should have made her very cognizant of staying out of the way of faster cars.

The Cope twins come from a racing family in the Northwest. Her uncle, Derrike Cope, is best known as the winner of the 1990 Daytona 500.

Dale Earnhardt looked to be the winner, but suffered a cut tire on the final lap and Cope became one of those unlikely surprise winners. His only other Cup win was in Dover that year.

They became the first twins to race together in the top three series of NASCAR with mentoring from their uncle who continues to race as well, but with little success.

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Since that time, Angela has raced in the Nationwide series fewer than 10 times, and Amber has only a couple runs in the series.

Unlike drivers such as Johanna Long, Jennifer Jo Cobb and Danica Patrick, who focus on racing and may have other commercial interests, the Cope twins focus on marketing themselves with NASCAR as one way to do it.

A look at their website is revealing, to say the least, with their Maxim video on the home page and links to their clothing line and the Vanilla beauty salon. They are described as blonde bombshells.

The twins also are available to enhance tradeshow experiences. One has to wonder exactly what they would be doing at such events, other than being the blonde twins that they are.

NASCAR needs women to become competitive in the sport, but it is difficult. Without strong sponsorship like Patrick has, they don't have top-tier equipment and contending is tough.

Though some may find the Cope twins to be entertaining to look at, NASCAR does not need drivers, male or female, that use NASCAR as a means to promote themselves.

Perhaps Harvick had a valid point with his comment about Amber Cope.

We can only hope that if the Cope twins are truly planning to make a serious run at becoming competitive in NASCAR, that they will respect the more experienced drivers.

Racing in the big leagues cannot be done casually. Hopefully these young ladies will reach their goals in whatever way they choose, but one has to wonder how serious they are about NASCAR.