Race Weekend Central

Derrike Cope to Compete in Daytona 500

Derrike Cope, the winner of the 1990 Daytona 500, will wheel the No. 15 Chevrolet in another attempt to claim his second trophy at Daytona International Speedway, Cope confirmed to FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass on Tuesday.

Cope’s No. 15 car will be entered under Rick Ware Racing, though it will be built by StarCom Racing, where Cope is the team manager. Pat Tryson will be his crew chief for the Daytona 500, and Jacob Companies will be the sponsor. The No. 15 is a chartered entry, Pockrass confirmed.

It will be Cope’s 26th Cup Series race at Daytona. He has one win, one top five, and one top 10 at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

“I am really looking forward to running this year’s Daytona 500 with Rick Ware Racing,” Cope said in a press release. “I have known Rick [Ware] and his family for a long time and I am excited to have the opportunity to go to Daytona and race for another win! I am excited to have Don Perry with Jacob Company as the primary sponsor as well. I want to thank Mike and Matt Kohler and Bill Woehlemann with StarCom Fiber for making this all possible! I could not be more excited to get back to Daytona!

“We are excited to partner together with Derrike on his final Daytona 500 start,” team owner Rick Ware added. “Derrike is a former Daytona 500 champion, and has had a great career in NASCAR. I look forward to seeing the No. 15 Jacob Companies Chevrolet on track in a couple weeks!”

Cope last competed in the 2018 Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Overall, he has started 427 races with two wins, six top fives, and 32 top 10s.

Cope joins Josh Bilicki, Cody Ware, and Joey Gase in Rick Ware Racing’s Daytona 500 lineup. Bilicki will compete full-time, Ware will also run full-time, and Gase will compete in an unspecified amount of races. James Davison also remains hopeful to compete in the Daytona 500, though he definitely will compete in more Cup Series races this season.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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I’m confused. Rick Ware owns three charters, #15, #51, and #52, and leases a fourth charter from Front Row Motorsports for #53. Front Row plans to run David Ragan in #36 again at Daytona. Last time, they used a Rick Ware charter for that run. If Ware has Cody Ware, Josh Bilicki, and Joey Gase in three cars at Daytona and now Derricke Cope in the fourth, is Front Row running the #36 as an open entry? I don’t see how James Davison can race for Ware as it would be Ware’s fifth car. (I’d ask how StarCom co-owner Derricke Cope can run for a four-car team, but, if NASCAR is letting Denny Hamlin run for a four-car team and co-own a fifth team, they can’t possibly deny Cope the ability to do the same thing.)

And, do we know where Spire got its third charter? They own the old Furniture Row charter for the #77 and supposedly obtained two more, one from Leavine Family Racing and another, possibly from Todd Braun, who controlled the JTG Daugherty Racing #37 charter. They are leasing one to Trackhouse for the #99. That seems to leave JTG Daugherty Racing’s #37 as an open entry as well.

Racing Gator

NASCAR looks very bush league to have a 62 year old driver in its top event of the year. And running a car with a charter means he does not even have to qualify! I guess it means a Ned Jarrett versus Dale Jarrett battle could still happen if these two retired gentleman decide to run other charter cars!


Looking into my crystal ball, I see all these “drivers” bringing out cautions in Brian’s events, especially at opportune times for certain individuals.

Bobby DK

Go Derrike! After the other 30 drivers crash out you have as good as chamce as anyone!

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