Derrike Cope, who has not competed as a driver in a NASCAR Cup Series event since 2018, will bust his firesuit and helmet out and compete in the 2021 Daytona 500 with Rick Ware Racing in the No. 15 entry. The car will technically be a RWR entry, but it will be prepared by StarCom Racing.
Jacob Companies will provide sponsorship. This news was first reported by Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports.
Another former Daytona 500 winner plans to compete in the 2021 race — 1990 winner Derrike Cope confirmed to me he will drive the Rick Ware Racing No. 15 car (built by StarCom) with sponsorship from Jacob Companies. Pat Tryson will crew chief. #nascar @NASCARONFOX
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) January 19, 2021
“I am really looking forward to running this year’s Daytona 500 with Rick Ware Racing,” said Cope in a RWR team release. “I have known Rick 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!”
This will mark Cope’s final Daytona 500 start of his lengthy career.
“We are excited to partner with Derrike on his final Daytona 500 start,” said Ware. “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!”
Pat Tryson, who served as the crew chief for the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing team a season ago, will reprise his role as the crew chief for Cope in the Daytona 500.
Cope, 62, won the 1990 Daytona 500 in a last-lap pass of Dale Earnhardt, when Earnhardt had a tire go down in turns three and four. Cope followed that victory with another one later in 1990 at Dover International Speedway.
In addition to his two wins, Cope has six top-five finishes and 32 top-10s through a career that has spanned 427 NASCAR Cup Series starts.