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Fifth Place
Greg Engle, Examiner.com

Girls Shouldn’t Race In NASCAR

Unlike his nickname, Kevin Harvick wasn’t very ‘Happy’ Saturday. With 22 laps to go in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Harvick was large and in charge having taken the lead from Brad Keselowski on lap 155 of the 200 lap race. With a 1.5 second lead Harvick looked to have a great chance for the win. It was not to be however as he was held up by a car laps down from the field. Keselowski was able to catch Harvick, pass him and go on to victory.

The No. 24 car was piloted by Amber Cope, one of twin nieces of former Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope. On the cool down lap Saturday, Harvick let his displeasure known by giving Cope’s car a bump. Later he voiced his irritation with Cope.

"The 24, every time you'd come to her, she didn't know whether she was going high or low," Harvick said. "It looked like she went up, so I committed to the bottom, and she came down."

"It's not one of those deals. It's somebody who shouldn't be on the race track and has no clue what they're doing in a race car. She wants to be Danica Patrick, but she can't hold her helmet."

The war of words set off by Harvick continued on Twitter as Harvick fans bashed the twins on their joint Twitter account. The most notable Tweet was “Sorry, #NASCAR, but the only pole @AmberAngelaCope will take is in a strip club.”

Cope fired back actually demanding that Harvick apologize.

"Just bc u say it does not make it right!!!" Amber Cope tweeted. "Mr @kevinharvick...where should I go? I will take the apologies Monday! ASS!"
Cope later added, "I guess he forgot his journey" and "I know I can hold a helmet." "Way to go tough guy," she tweeted. "I bet if u take a moment in your arrogance u will realize your fault @keselowski figured it out."

The wanna-be Danica Patrick was making her second start in NASCAR’s number two touring series. Amber’s only other Nationwide start came at Iowa in 2011. That race ended early for Cope as NASCAR officials forced her to park for being too slow. Her sister Angela has a few more starts in the Nationwide series, 6, with her best finish being a 25th place last year at New Hampshire.

That lack of on track performance however hasn’t stopped the attractive sisters from using their role as ‘NASCAR drivers’ to garner fame, attention and sell products. Their website touts the sisters as the “next best thing to hit professional auto racing”. The site also says that the twins will be “bringing an impressive racing pedigree and die hard competitive attitude to the track”. To date the ‘die hard competitive attitude’ must still be in route to the track. The website says the two will race in NASCAR while working on their clothing line and newly acquired hair salon.

The bio on the website lists the sister’s ‘professional’ racing backgrounds: “The pair of blonde bombshells began developing their driving chops by the age of nine, beginning with a go-kart they received from their parents as a Christmas present.” It adds that the sisters “eventually became the most successful go-kart drivers in the Greater Puget Sound region, recording 50 first place wins while Angela set five new track records.”

What the site doesn’t list is the fact that the sisters left go-karts and spent most of their early adulthood as cosmetologists, leaving that profession to move to North Carolina to try their hand in NASCAR at the urging of their uncle six years ago.

Since then it seems they’ve spent more time selling racing related products, posing for provocative posters, including a very risqué photo spread in Maxim magazine this past March titled “Twin Turbos” and running their online boutique than actually racing. Angela did provide one memorable quote prior to their NASCAR debut: “We'll be hard to miss with our platinum blonde hair and big Dior glasses," she said.

Unlike other females who race in NASCAR, including Danica Patrick, Johanna Long and Jennifer Jo Cobb, the Cope sisters are girls who call themselves race car drivers. Patrick and the others are race car drivers who happen to be female. While the others may have examples of using their looks to make a few bucks, their primary focus is on racing; gaining experience, getting better and doing their best to be at the track each and every time there is a race in their series.

Girls don’t belong in NASCAR, race car drivers do. No matter if those drivers are male, female, white, black, Asian, Hispanic or the like, only true racers belong on the track. Those only looking to race for fame and fortune away from the track are putting themselves at risk, and others as well. It’s time the girls put their clothes back on and either make sincere, genuine efforts to become racers or pack it in and go back to their cosmetology profession.