While Yuba City’s Brian Cooper has certainly showed plenty of speed in the early portion of 2019, feature wins have just slipped out of his reach. Whether it’s been mechanical failures, or a terrible redraw not giving him enough time to get through the field, Cooper had been held winless. That all changed Friday night.
Friday night was the site of the annual Bill Brownell Memorial at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway, one of the most prestigious races in the state. Cooper would be slotted in to start 4th in his heat race, but he quickly found himself 2nd behind leader Phil Marino. Though Cooper felt he had a quicker car than Marino, he thought it wasn’t worth risking an incident, and followed Marino to the finish in 2nd.
For the main, Cooper would redraw a 6. In just 1 short lap, Cooper went from 6th to 2nd,moving like a hot knife through butter. Once Cooper settled into 2nd, he began following the tracks of leader Keith Brown Jr, waiting for Brown to make a mistake.
Multiple times, it looked as though Cooper had taken the lead, but a caution would come out and nullify the move, handing the lead back to Brown. Finally, with 10 laps to go, Cooper made the winning move, as he cleared Brown for the lead. It wouldn’t be a cakewalk, however, as both Brown and Micheli trailed closely behind.
With just a few laps left, a late caution would bunch up the field one last time. Cooper wouldn’t be fazed though, executing a perfect restart and pulling away with the win.
After the race, Brian said “This sport can be very humbling. With everybody in the class getting better which makes for better races and better competition the wins are harder to come by. So you have to be on top of your game each week and after trying a bunch of new stuff that didn’t quite work like we had wanted so far we went back to basically having the same thing we had in the car last year. Started 4th in the heat and finished P2. Had the fastest car just didn’t want to push it and risk damage so just settled in and cruised. Started P6 in the feature and jumped to 2nd on the opening lap. Was rolling around the bottom and was waiting for the leader to make a mistake. Had the pass for the lead twice and the caution came out. 3rd time was a charm with around 10 to go. The car was really good but still have to make it better. Thanks to everybody that makes it possible for us to do what we love to do. It’s always special to win the memorial races.”
Brian’s next race will be May 25th and 26th at Marysville Raceway.
Brian would like to thank all of his sponsors, including:
Victory Circle Chassis
Five 1 seven designs
Jay’s Mobile Welding & Fabrication
David and Rena cooper
My wife Stacey Bartlett-Cooper
Crew guy and friend Michael Sevigny
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