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Bartosh

These gentlewomen are

definitely starting some engines

  (Reprinted from Sept. 22, 2011)

  Suddenly, auto racing has become intriguing.
  Once thought to be nothing but an activity for good, old Southern boys to engage in while waiting for crop harvesting time to arrive, the sport has taken on a far more metropolitan image in recent years. Steady TV airings of races certainly helped in that regard, and the arrival of Danica Patrick didn’t hurt, either.
  While she hasn’t taken the racing world by storm in an accomplishment sense just yet, the attractive Patrick made her presence known to product marketers right away. Madison Avenue, meet a primped-up Gasoline Alley.
  Since Patrick is more visually appealing than other professional drivers, it’s not surprising she’s become a spokesperson for various items, some of which are even related to her sport. As advertisers have understood for years, pretty women are a can’t-miss sales option, rivaled only by babies and small, domesticated critters.
  But while Patrick is considered the poster girl for femininity behind the wheel, she’s not the only woman in the driver’s seat. In fact, sisters Amber and Angela Cope have been parking their posteriors there since 2001.

  Now, I’m not going to even pretend that I can differentiate between the various racing circuits. Much like professional boxing, the auto world has more governing bodies than a dozen third-world countries put together — I wouldn’t know NASCAR from a boxcar, or ARCA from Orca.
  To me, driving is driving, and the toughest test doesn’t come on an oval or some other geometrically shaped track. No, it’s found on a big-city expressway, where speeds seem to be only slightly slower than on race day and numerous distractions — texting, dining, make-up application — are thrown in for added thrills.
  Considering my lack of familiarity with the world of wheels, I can’t say for sure whether the Cope sisters have racing experiences similar to those of Patrick. But since their uncle, Derrike Cope, is a past Daytona 500 winner, I’m assuming so.
  Truthfully, though, it doesn’t really matter. One look at the sisters tells me everything I need to know.
  Several photos of them accompanied an emailed press release sent to me, announcing the Copes’ appearance in a Chicago event. Trust me when I say the women don’t exactly qualify as dirt-under-the-fingernails types.
  Actually, it’s hard to tell, since their fingernails aren’t prominently displayed in the photos. But other body parts are, particularly those best highlighted by standard racing apparel such as bikini tops, lacy undergarments and high heels.
  I’m just guessing here, but Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. probably don’t own any clothing items like those. And if they do, that certainly tops this story.
  To be fair, there were a couple shots of the Copes in actual racing gear featured within the press release. It took a while before I looked for them.
  Now before any of you start labeling me — or any of my Neanderthal buddies who would have also dawdled had he received the same email — a pig for not seeing beyond the obvious, I have just one thing to say: Blame it on the Copes.
  They undoubtedly had approval over what got sent out on their behalf, and if they really wanted males to consider them only for their on-track skills, they’d have chosen to display themselves in a less-revealing manner. Nope, the thing they wanted to drive was guys over the edge.
  Don’t believe me? Consider that “bombshell” was one of the words found in the written portion of the press release, and that one line of copy stated that “never had two women had the ability to distract more drivers than when Amber and Angela Cope set foot on the speedway.
  Especially when those feet are housed in fashionable pumps and attached to shapely legs. Excuse me for a moment while I splash some cold water on my face.
  An item in the press release I found interesting — besides the pictures that is — was a statement that told of how the Copes had been “consistently racing since they were 9 years old.” Come on — is the writer counting foot races or the one to see which Cope could become prom queen first?
  Unfortunately, I was unable to catch the Copes during their Chicago appearance, due to the fact I can’t run as fast as their cars. Who knows when they’ll be back, but it doesn’t matter.
  There’s always lingerie football.