While NASCAR turns its attention to the Chase for the Cup, we turned our attention to two drivers who won't be in it. Aesthetically pleasing twins Amber and Angela Cope instead rip up the Nationwide series, but took time out ahead of tomorrow's Chicagoland race to talk running dudes off the road, growing up in Puyallup, and dropping the hammer.
Who inspired you to take on such a male-dominated sport?
Angela: Our dad got us a go-kart at the age of 9 -- we didn't even know what a go-kart was and he just stuck us in this thing that went like 60 miles an hour. That's really where it all started. Our uncle Derrike (who also races in the Nationwide series and seriously spells his name like that) is a big inspiration to us too, but we really look up to our dad.
What are the differences between NASCAR and open-wheel racing?
Amber: I will race anything -- but the open-wheel stuff is similar to go-kart racing, and that's something we're both very comfortable in. The stock cars are a lot heavier, so they're a lot harder to maneuver and to get comfortable with so you can tell your team what the car's doing. That's the big difference.
If you weren't racing, what careers would you have pursued?
Angela: I've been spending a lot of time on our online clothing boutique, so probably designing clothes, maybe opening a couple of stores.
Amber: I'm going to school to be a mortician.
How does "that twin thing" help you on the racetrack?
Amber: There ARE always two of us, so if you mess with one, there's another one coming. Even if she's in last place, she'll wait until you come around, and she'll take you out.
Angela: Remember when we did that in Iowa?
Amber: Oh, yeah!
Angela: Some guy hit Amber in the caution, so I just drilled him. He was flipping me off out the window.
Amber: You mess with one, you get the other.
Angela: Yup, and we will wait for you.
Sure, but weren't you both supposed to say all of that at the exact same time?
Amber and Angela: Wait...what?
Do you guys have the same racing styles?
Angela: Amber's more reserved.
Amber: (Talking over her) I'm more patient! If it's a four or five hundred-lap race, you're not gonna win it in the first lap. But Angela thinks she's going to.
Angela: Well not the FIRST lap, but I'm definitely the more aggressive one.*
What is your favorite part of Days of Thunder?
Amber: I just like saying "drop the hammer".
Who has the prettier race car, you or Danica Patrick?
Angela: Danica, unfortunately. Wait, you did say car right?
You grew up in Puyallup, did that prepare you for living in the South?
Angela: Absolutely not. We lived pretty sheltered lives: all we did was race, and go to school. But when moved out here to live with our uncle, we turned 21 a week later. Let me tell you, it got a little crazzzyyy.
What the fastest you've ever driven on public roads?
Amber: 130 in a Dodge Viper -- bright yellow, baby.
Does a guy need a hot car to impress you?
*In their first NASCAR race together, Amber finished 26th while Angela was involved in two incidents in 18 laps. Chick is NOT patient.