|Title and cover subject to change|
As announced in a video posted earlier this morning, I am pleased to reveal my next book will be a biography of 1990 Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope. The working title is “Derrike Cope: Unheralded,” and it will be published as early as later this year. An official release date will be announced soon.
While I am making this announcement as Derrike prepares to make his first Daytona 500 start since 2004, this is not the announcement of a book I am merely planning to write. It is already nearly complete. I have written more than 50,000 words, and editing is ongoing. Over this past weekend, I’ve been drafting a new chapter to discuss the 2021 Daytona 500, which will be featured in the final product. I will not be at the track this week, but I will be following his story quite closely.
I first had the idea to write about Cope after our August 2018 book signing for “J.D.” in Watkins Glen. I felt this was another story that, like the life of J.D. McDuffie, is known but not very well understood. This is a theme that I plan to apply to my future books on NASCAR history, including my third book, which I have already started writing.
I reached out to Derrike and his wife Elyshia in the summer of 2018 and conducted my first interview with them during the Phoenix weekend that November. My latest interview with Derrike was just last year at Fontana, days before the start of the pandemic. Both of them have been tremendously helpful and supportive of the project, and I’m eager to share the finished product with everyone.
The book focuses not only on the 1990 Daytona 500, but other key moments in Cope’s racing career, both before and after that momentous day. As with “J.D.,” I was pleased to discover a rich and compelling story that helps explain why he has stayed involved in the sport for so long. I know you will enjoy reading it.
As you saw in the video, I have interviewed several others for this project, including Carroll Warner and Dave Fulton, who were key figures in funding Cope’s racing career, and his former crew chief Buddy Parrott. Special thanks also to Charlie Berch and Bryan Hallman, who have shared several photographs I plan to use in a photo chapter, and to Rick Houston and Steve Waid at The Scene Vault Podcast for providing materials of their own.
My original plan was to wait until I had a firm release date before announcing this project. However, the pandemic has made that much more difficult, and I have not yet signed with a publisher. Not wanting to leave it on the shelf, I am preparing a back-up plan to self-publish the book as I have with my LASTCAR season reviews on Amazon. I would like to have it available in paperback, eBook, and as an audiobook narrated by myself. Again, I hope to have that release date set soon, so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, I am also open to additional interviews, stories, and materials to finish fleshing out the book. My DMs on Twitter are always open @LASTCARonBROCK, and you can also E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t guarantee everything will make the final cut, but I’m always open to new material on Derrike and his career.
Thank you for your attention and watch for more information on this exciting new book!