MIKE COPE'S HAULER CATCHES FIRE  by Jeremy Troiano
Forces Short Track Veteran To Miss Madison Event
Cope's tractor and trailer, which hauls all of his racing equipment to and from the track, caught fire on Wednesday while making its way to Wisconsin for this weekend's race at Madison International Raceway on Friday night.  The trailer was only a couple of hours from the Mike Cope Racing shop near Lake City (FL).

Despite going through all the scenarios possible, Cope will miss this weekend's ASA race in Madison.

"Our truck driver felt something going wrong on the trailer.  He pulled over and looked at everything and decided that he was going to take it up the road less than two miles to a truck shop.  He called me on the phone and we decided that would be the best thing.
"It was between the time he called me and the truck stop, which was only about two miles from where he stopped the first time, that all hell broke loose.

The right front axle on the truck burnt out the wheel seal, which in turn got so hot that it caught the right front tire on fire.  A small little fire quickly intensified.

"Woody (the truck driver) hurried and got the truck out of the way," added Cope.  He then got back and tried to fight the fire with some extinguishers.  He emptied six fire extinguishers before the fire trucks showed up.  They emptied two water trucks and then finally got the rest put out with foam
"It really looks to be not as bad as it really is.  The smoke damage on the inside is just amazing.   The fire never really got inside thankfully, but the smoke damage was done.  I haven't seen anything removed from the trailer yet because it is now in a truck shop getting fixed well enough so that we can at least tow it back.  I am sure there are going to be plenty of things ruined.  The trailer is ruined.

"I opened the door and the lounge and everything was black.  I pride myself in keeping my stuff very nice, so it is just really bad.
Cope's racecar didn't suffer any major damage.  Thankfully, he was only carrying one car because the other is still being repaired from a crash at I-70 Speedway last month.

Cope's season hasn't been quite what he expected it would be.  Cope's run the gamut of emotions this year, from the highs of qualifying in the top five to the lows of wrecking his primary car.

In the season's nine races, Cope has accumulated three top-10 finishes with a best result at Houston Motor Speedway earlier in the year, where he finished seventh.

"Luckily, we've got our health and no one got hurt.  It is just an item that can be replaced.  That is what you have insurance for.  It was just one of those stupid things that happen I guess."

Anyone interested in helping Mike out is encouraged to email us at 51webdesign@excite.com.  We will help you get in touch with Mike.
Despite a very tough year, Mike Cope has kept an uplifting outlook on life!
It's official.  Mike Cope's season has gone from bad to downright horrible.

"It just tops off the (horrible) year I've been having," said Cope from his race shop on Thursday.