Dave Fulton

Derrike Cope Tries New Smyrna - 1985

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Five years before he won the Daytona 500, I sponsored this Thunderbird in February 1985 for Derrike Cope of Spanaway, Washington at The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida's New Smyrna Speedway. The car was owned by Dave Fuge who had made a name for himself on the west coast building chassis for NASCAR Northwest and Southwest Tour cars. Fuge later moved to North Carolina and became a principal owner of the TriStar Winston Cup team with one of Derrike's former motor builders. This car was towed to Florida from Washington state. Fuge had a contract with McCreary Tires, which were no match in the frigid New Smyrna February night temperatures against the Hoosier shod field. In person, this was a beautiful racecar. At the time, Derrike was racing on the Winston West NASCAR circuit for George Jefferson in Jefferson's 7-Eleven sponsored Thunderbirds. This photo appeared in the February 2010 edition of The Midwest Racing Connection.
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