The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

NASCAR Winston Cup Bud at Watkins Glen Preview: #36, Derrike Cope

7 August 1997

 #36 Derrike Cope, Skittles Pontiac Grand Prix
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 The Bud at the Glen Advance
 Watkins Glen International

WATKINS GLEN, NY - As the Skittles Race Team unloads a new road-course car, 
driver Derrike Cope looks for a fresh start during the Bud at the Glen this 
weekend after a 41st-place finish at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor 

The team spent a lot of time preparing the new Skittles Pontiac for the 
11-turn track at Watkins Glen. With emphasis placed on the handling of the 
car, Cope should have little challenge maneuvering around the 2.45-mile track.

With two top-20 finishes in as many years at Watkins Glen, Cope feels he 
could take the Skittles team to at least a top-10 finish. His best finish at 
the challenging road course came in 1993 when he finished 11th.

 - "We truly have the potential of running in the top 10 this weekend at 
Watkins Glen and, with some good luck, could even win this race," said Cope, 
who fell two spots to 27th in the Winston Cup points standings after 
finishing 41st last weekend at Indy.

 - "Ryan (Pemberton) and the rest of the Skittles Team has worked 
exceptionally hard at getting this new car prepared," added Cope, who 
finished 16th last year during the Bud at the Glen. "With the combination 
right- and left-hand turns on a road course, the down force and balance of 
the car contributes a great deal to the handling."

 - "I'm confident that the guys will find the right qualifying combination 
this weekend," commented Cope, whose best qualifying effort at Watkins Glen 
came in 1990 when he started seventh.

 - "With just one groove to run around the turns, passing is even more 
difficult at Watkins Glen than at other tracks," said Cope. "You can't run 
wide open and rely solely on horsepower. Brakes and shifting often come into 
play on a road course."

 - A crash on lap 13 during the Brickyard 400 forced the #36 Skittles car 
into early retirement from the 160-lap race, but may have earned the team a 
"Purple Heart." The Skittles Pontiac proudly displayed the Marines logo on 
the back quarterpanels of the car which were damaged during the accident. 
Co-owner Tom Beard is sending the panels to his friend, John Dalton, who 
happens to be the Secretary of the United States Navy, in hopes of receiving 
the Purple Heart honor for being wounded in action.


Best Finish: 11th; 1993 Budweiser at the Glen
Top-5 Finishes: N/A
Top-10 Finishes: N/A
Best Start: 7th; 1990 Budweiser at the Glen
Biggest Payday at Watkins Glen: $21,795; 1996 Bud at the Glen

 YEAR   EVENT                    Start  Finish   Earnings     Reason
 1996   Bud at the Glen            32     16      21,795      Running
 1995   Bud at the Glen            31     15      16,040      Running
 1994   Budweiser at the Glen      17     40       9,965      Engine
 1993   Budweiser at the Glen      15     11      13,930      Running
 1992   Budweiser at the Glen      20     34       5,130      Engine
 1991   Budweiser at the Glen      26     13      13,560      Running
 1990   Budweiser at the Glen       7     35       7,330      Engine
 1989   Budweiser at the Glen      12     40       2,145      Engine

By Muhleman Marketing