Getting Up To Speed With…Cooper Desbiens
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of HighLine Images and Designs)
It’s hard to believe that Sutherlin, Oregon’s Cooper Desbiens has been racing for nine years. It just seemed like yesterday that he hopped into a Kage Kart for the first time. In 2014 he will be racing at Cottage Grove Speedway in the Open Kage division and possibly might get a crack at a full sized Sprint Car. Desbiens is a third-generation driver following in the footsteps of his father Patrick who raced Kage Karts, Sprint Cars, and even crewed on several top tier teams and his grandfather, Buzz, is a former racer too who ran Asphalt Sprint Cars for over a decade and won two championships at Douglas County Speedway, won the Nickel Cup his rookie season, and visited victory lane countless times.
Cooper, an eighth grader at Sutherlin Middle School, has won a 5HP championships at both Cottage Grove Speedway and River Arena Speedway and finished third in the final Roseburg indoor points this winter including his first career feature victory in that class. We talked to him about how his career got started, what his plans in 2014 are, and why he races the #4D. Now let’s get up to speed with Cooper Desbiens.
Driver: Cooper Desbiens
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Sutherlin, Oregon
Occupation: Student at Sutherlin Middle School
Years Racing: 9
Classification: Open Kage
Team: Cooper Desbiens Racing
Chassis: Ryan Foster Chassis
Sponsors: Budget Lumber, J.H. Desbiens Construction, Oregon Tool & Supply, Law Offices of Matt Longtin, FK Rod Ends, Konnected Apparel
Special Thanks: Patrick Desbiens (Father), Brody and Jim Waller
BD: Well Cooper what are your plans for this season?
CD: Well we’re going to run Kage Karts at Cottage Grove mostly this summer. We plan on going to Montana for the Wild West Shootout in July and are going to run a little bit of Cycleland. Also in September we’re going to go to the Topher Classic in Idaho and we might run some other places too. I just want to run as good as possible until I get into a Sprint Car which hopefully will be soon.
BD: Speaking of the Sprint Car, when do you think you may be getting into one?
CD: It might be longshot but we might be running it at the end of this summer. I’m pretty stoked to do it. I can’t wait to race against my friends Ryan Robinson and Kalib Henry someday.
BD: Is there a story behind you using the #4D?
CD: It’s my dad’s number. I wanted to use his number because he’s helped me along since day one. I couldn’t do this without him.
BD: How exactly did you get your start in racing?
CD: When my dad was still racing he started asking me if I wanted to race too. I said yes and I started out in the Box Stocks and it was kind of scary at first when I started but I just worked hard to get better and eventually overcame my fear.
BD: Growing up watching a lot of Sprint Car racing who are some of your favorite drivers?
CD: Probably Joey Saldana and Kyle Larson too. Joey is a good friend of ours and my dad I know Kyle from watching him race Sprint Cars.
BD: The last couple of seasons you’ve really hit the Kage Karts hard with traveling a lot and racing pretty much year round. How fun is it to do something like that at such a young age?
CD: It’s a lot of fun. The indoor stuff is a little bit harder because there are a lot more people and where I race (Roseburg’s River Arena Speedway) it’s a smaller track.
Although the first Kage Kart race at Cottage Grove is Friday May 9th the ¼-mile schedule is expected to start things off this Saturday April 12th. Be sure and don’t miss out on the action as 2014 looks like it will be a fantastic year. For the latest information regarding CGS log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com.