Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Nice Guy DJ Copp Gets A Reward
There have been few stories more interesting than the continuing fan reaction to Bobby Labonte pit crew member DJ Copp.
Added originally to NASCAR Now for tips on pit stops, his plain and simple style of presenting NASCAR issues to TV viewers caught-on immediately. Copp has outlasted two show hosts and one studio analyst on the ESPN2 TV series already.
Copp has worked for several teams during his career including Ultra Motorsports, Roush Racing, DEI and now Petty Racing. A recent profile on the Internet says his most memorable racing experience was winning street stock races at Canandaigua Speedway in New York. It also says he is a New England Patriot fan.
Last season on NASCAR Now saw Copp brought into the studio to add commentary. That experiment went very well. This year, fans have seen him return to add expanded features and to carry a live camera and microphone on pit road during races. Some of his conversations speaking to the fans during pit stops have been memorable.
Now, on the final week of racing before ESPN steps back into the Sprint Cup Series, Copp is getting another opportunity. On Saturday night from Gateway International Speedway near St. Louis, Copp will be filling-in for the vacationing Tim Brewer in the Tech Center.
Copp began as a fabricator with Ultra Motorsports and works in the auto body business in North Carolina during the week. His perspective on issues associated with racing at Gateway should be very interesting.
Viewers may see Copp during final practice coverage on Friday night at 7PM ET and during qualifying on Saturday at 5PM. With Allen Bestwick also on vacation, it will be Dr. Jerry Punch hosting the pre-race show from the broadcast booth. Look for Copp to contribute in that program as well.
With all of the high-priced on-air talent and big names swirling around ESPN's coverage of the sport, it is nice to know that a 30 year-old guy from Ontario, NY who just loves NASCAR can make his way onto national TV and be successful.
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