Getting Up To Speed With…Corey Russell
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Madman Photography)
The Cooper Clan is one of the most famous families to race at the Cottage Grove Speedway. The family has had over a dozen drivers with last name Cooper as well as several relations compete too. Corey Russell is the latest member of the family to take up the racing trade.
Driver: Corey Russell
Hometown: Cottage Grove, Oregon
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Years Racing: 0
Classification: IMCA Modifieds
Car Number: 3RL
Chassis: Larry Shaw Race Cars
Sponsors: C&M Racing, Junction City Muffler Shop, I-5 Tire Factory, West End Performance, Eastside Rollforming Specialties, 1st Class Designs, Dennymite Race Cars, Eco-Machine Technologies,
Special Thanks: Andrea Russell (wife), Ryan McTaggart (cousin), Ron Cooper (cousin), Gus Cooper (cousin), Russ Cooper (uncle), Alan Cooper (uncle), Earl Cooper (grandfather)
BD: Corey although you do not have the same last name you are the newest member of the “Cooper Racing Clan”. Correct?
CR: Yes. My mother (Linda) was Earl’s daughter. I grew up around racing my whole life. My family was heavily involved and many of them raced. My grandfather (Earl), who built cars, and my uncle (Alan), who raced them, were two major inspirations for me to start racing.
BD: Your car number is 3RL. Does the “RL” represent anything special?
CR: What I was shooting for was a tribute to my late grandfather Earl. I tried to make it where it kind of spelled out his name. It was definitely something different but cool. He was very important to me and when my parents were busy working he basically raised me. He had always wanted me to get in a race car and we had plans to build one together, but we never managed to make it happen. The entire project from rebuilding the car, the retro paint scheme, and making all come together was a tribute to him.
BD: So far after three races how would you rate your season?
CR: It’s been a learning experience. I feel good about it so far. I’m happy my car has no dents. I’m just trying to get the hang of it and get seat time.
BD: Family is can be very helpful especially in racing. And the family you come from is very special. How have they helped you out?
CR: They are a huge part of it. Racing has been a part of my whole life. If it weren’t for my cousins Ryan (McTaggart) and Ron (Cooper) I wouldn’t have been able to do it. My wife Andrea is getting very involved too she was even turning wrenches on my cousin Austin’s (McTaggart) car last week. And my kids are getting into it. My youngest just told me the other day that she wants to be a race car driver. We’ll see about that.
BD: Now is it true that your car is at the legendary Earl Cooper shop?
CR: Yeah. Both Austin and I have our cars there at grandad’s old shop. It’s a big deal because I grew up at that place. There are lots of cars that have come out of that garage. There are a lot of good memories that I have of that shop.
The Cottage Grove Speedway returns to action this Saturday May 18th. Classes in action include Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Hornets. For more information be sure and visit the venue’s homepage www.cottagegrovespeedway.com or call the brand new Northwest Tracks Hotline at (360)-699-RACE.