Posted By: Holly Blake, Follow @HollyLBlake
I had the opportunity to meet Amber and Angela Cope this past weekend at Iowa Speedway just before they climbed into their Nationwide cars for the first time to practice for Sunday’s race. The girls made NASCAR racing history by being the first twins and two of three females to compete in a NASCAR Nationwide race.
Q: Is it hard competing against each other?
They both looked at each other and laughed and then said “No. No, not at all.” Angela said, “I think ever since we started racing go carts at 9 years old our family, our Dad kinda stuck it in our heads that we’re a team.” Amber chimed in, “So we’re not basically out there against each other, we’re always together.”
They went on to say that sets them apart, it works for them. They are able to communicate to one another. They say they usually know what they are feeling and going through the same motions.
They said they have different driving styles too. They share what works for each of them. So I had to ask how their styles were different.
Angela said “Amber is more laid back, more patient, waits for things to happen, where I’m probably more go get ‘em. If there isn’t a hole, I’m going to make it and if it takes me out it’s ya know . . .”
Amber agreed she is more patient.
Q: Are you treated differently in the sport because you are women?
Amber – “Absolutely. I think it is something you are always going to deal with.”
Angela – “I mean, we’re in a male dominated sport.”
Q: How do you feel about that?
“We’ve been in it since we were nine years old. It’s really all we know. You know what? We come out here to do one thing and that is to worry about us and getting through the weekend and getting laps in and we don’t worry about anything else. There are always positives and negatives in everything you do so for the most part it doesn’t phase us.”
Q: Now to a tough one – goals. Where do you want to be in five years and in 10 years?
Amber – “Well hopefully 2012 will be full time in Nationwide. And, five years from now we’ll be in Cup full time.”
Angela – “Yeah the exact same but within a couple of years I definitely want to see us stepping up in better stuff and bigger sponsors to really give us a chance to run in the top 10. That will be our goals year after year.
Angela: “Long term to have a full ride both of us. We want a full ride.
Amber: “And when we say full ride, it’s not going to be the back of the pack. We want to run competitive. That is what we are here to do. If we run a handful of races this year, a few limited then we would rather do that in better equipment.”
Q: If an opportunity comes along separately – is your goal to stay together as a team? Are you presenting as a 2 for 1 deal?
Amber: “Yeah, absolutely. No matter what we are always a team. It all depends what comes our way at that time. We won’t be happy if we aren’t running full time. We will be happy if we are both running and competitive. Even if we share a ride for a year, we can take turns. As long as we’re able to secure a good team.”
Q: They say that twins are usually inseparable, is that true of you?
Both answered yes right away.
Amber: “We do everything together – we are each other’s best friends. We are together every day. We have coffee together, play with our puppies together. We do everything together – we really do”.
Angela : “We’re each other’s best friends. I think that when you have a twin you are never inseparable, you have that bond. It’s nice to know you have someone there and it’s good that we are in this together. We’re sharing the same emotions all the time so it’s nice to be able to talk to one another and make each other feel comfortable.”
Q: Does having the Cope name help you?
Amber: “Yeah – Absolutely. You know to have an uncle that won the Daytona 500, I think that always, you know everyone knows of him as that.”
Angela: “But at the same time we have to make a name for ourselves. That’s where we’re at in our career the past two years. Uncle Derrike has been out pursuing his career and his dreams because it’s still what he loves to do and we want to see him succeed at that as well. In the end, he’s doing his thing and we are doing this on our own. And he’s really freakin’ proud of us.”
Amber: “He is, if it weren’t for him we wouldn’t be here.”
Q: What made you decide to be race car drivers?
Amber: “Racing has been in our family, our Grandfather did it, our Dad, and Uncle Derrike. It’s all we’ve ever known. From the age of nine, we did racing every single week.”
Angela: “We were traveling every single week. We were hardly in junior high and high school. We were known as race car drivers. It’s something we’ve always wanted and dreamed of.”
Both answered parts: “We’re getting closer and closer. We have really good backing and we have good sponsor and we have a good foundation. You have to have a team that believes in you. You all are striving towards one goal and I think everybody is on that one page more so than we were last year. So to have that foundation and to grow from there, I’m telling you – it’s all about the team. You start bringing people in and get them excited and once that happens, pretty soon before you know it, everybody is all about it. And we see it more and more today than we ever have so I think that’s how we know we’re getting really close to achieving what we want.”
Q: Do you prefer the Nationwide car over the trucks since you were in a truck at Martinsville or is just opportunity?
Both answered this in combination: “This is where we want to be. We’re more comfortable in the cars and have done a lot of testing in them. Our sponsors wanted us to be more in the Nationwide or Cup than the trucks, which obviously is a big jump for us but right now we’ll take it.”
Q: Would each of you share a favorite thought or tidbit with the fans.
Amber: “I guess for me I love to sew. I sew blankets for my puppies.” Angela piped up, “You’re so random. Why would you say that?” Amber said, “I’m proud of it. I’ve been taking sewing classes and I’m bad ass at it. I am, I’m good at it.”
Angela: “I don’t know what to say to that. What do I want the fans to know about me? Help me out sis. I can’t beat that one – I don’t sew, I don’t cook. I dress my puppy every day. She is a toy miniature Yorkie – 3lbs. She has so many clothes. She is the love of my life. Her name is Coco.”
For the record, Amber has two dogs – Shiatsu’s. Gizmo and Chloe. She did not claim dressing up her dogs but she does sew blankets for them.
I thank Amber and Angela for their time. I enjoyed meeting them and they were very gracious to answer all my questions. I wish them luck in their futures, together or separately but always as twin sisters and best friends.