July 17, 1969 |
Tacoma, Washington, USA
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career|
|1 race run over 1 year|
|Best finish||71st (1995)|
|First race||1995 Dura Lube 500 (Phoenix)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|10 races run over 4 years|
|Best finish||57th (1996)|
|First race||1996 Craftsman 200 (Portland)|
|Last race||1999 Dodge California Truckstop 300 (Mesa Marin)|
Ernie Cope (born July 17, 1969 in Spanaway, Washington) is currently the Competition Director at JTG Daugherty Racing. He is a former American stock car crew chief and a former competitor in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Craftsman Truck Series and Winston West Series. He is also the cousin of 1990 Daytona 500 champion, Derrike Cope.
He began his professional career at the age of 19 in the NASCAR Northwest Tour, winning the series' most popular driver award in 1994. In 1995 he moved to the Winston West Series and won Rookie of the Year honors as well as the Most Popular Driver award. Also that year he attempted to make his Winston Cup debut at Sears Point Raceway, as part of a combination race between the Winston Cup and Winston West series, but failed to qualify. He was able to qualify for the fall combination race at Phoenix International Raceway; however, he qualified last in the 44 car field, taking a provisional, and was the first car out of the race, retiring after 19 laps due to engine failure. It would be his only Cup Series start.
In 1996 he raced in four Craftsman Truck Series races, all in the western United States with a best finish of 19th at Portland International Raceway. He finished 57th in points. He made one start each in 1997 and 1998 and made four starts in 1999 with a best finish of 22nd at Evergreen Speedway; he finished 49th in points that season, his best points finish in the series.
Crew chief career
Cope retired from full-time racing at the end of the 1995 season and accepted a position at Geoff Bodine Racing to crew chief the #7 in the Truck Series. He was Sadler Motorsports' crew chief in 2004 and served in various capacities with Robert Yates Racing in 2005. In 2006 and 2007 he was the crew chief for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing's #59 team in the Busch Series. In 2008 he moved to Kevin Harvick Incorporated to crew chief the #2 Truck Series entry driven by Jack Sprague. In 2009 and 2010 he was the crew chief for KHI's #33 Nationwide Series entry. For 2011, Cope remained with KHI, being the crew chief for Elliott Sadler; he remained with the team when it was sold to Richard Childress Racing, acting as crew chief for the No. 33 with a variety of drivers in 2012 and 2013. In addition, he substituted for Luke Lambert as crew chief for Jeff Burton in the Sprint Cup Series in early 2013. In October 2013 he left RCR, being replaced by Nick Harrison. On December 12, 2013, it was announced that Cope would become the crew chief for the No. 5 of JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series in 2014. On August 18, 2014, Cope was announced as the crew chief of JR Motorsports' No. 9, driven by Chase Elliott, in 2015. Cope left JR Motorsports at the end of the 2015 season to become the Competition Director at JTG Daugherty Racing beginning in 2016. He substituted for Randall Burnett as crew chief for A. J. Allmendinger at the June 2016 Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 race at Pocono Raceway.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)
Winston Cup Series
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series results|
|1995||Lew Miller Racing||19||Chevy||DAY||CAR||RCH||ATL||DAR||BRI||NWS||MAR||TAL||SON
Craftsman Truck Series
|NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series results|
|1996||Ernie Cope Racing||38||Chevy||HOM||PHO||POR
- "Northwest Motorsports: Ernie Cope Aims Nationally". The News Tribune. Tacoma, WA. May 6, 1993. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- Cavin, Curt (October 29, 1995). "Skinner's win over Irvan clinches first truck title". The Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, IN. p. C8. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Ernie Cope - NASCAR Sprint Cup Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Ernie Cope NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Grou. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- STEWART GOES ‘ALL IN’ TO DELIVER ARMOR ALL A SECOND-PLACE FINISH AT TEXAS, Kevin Harvick Inc. PR, April 6, 2009
- Pockrass, Bob (March 8, 2013). "Jeff Burton supports crew chief's decision to be home with pregnant wife". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-03-09.
- "Harrison To Lead No. 33 Nationwide Team". National Speed Sport News. October 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
- "VETERAN CREW CHIEF ERNIE COPE JOINS JRM". NASCAR. December 12, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Ernie Cope to Crew Chief Chase Elliott in 2015". JR Motorsports. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
- "Veteran crew chief Ernie Cope to leave JR Motorsports". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2016-11-04.