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Racing Brings the Cooper family together

By Adam Wells
By awells@wbbjtv.com

The Earnhardt's, Petty's, Waltrip's and Andretti's. All of those are families within the sport of racing. If one member is involved then more than likely so are the rest. But its not just on the highest levels of racing. That's even the case right here in West Tennessee.

For Ronnie and Matt Cooper, racing has been much more than a hobby. Its a part of their everyday lives. It all started more than 20 years ago when Ronnie decided to pick up the sport. After that it became a family tradition.

"Its been a good thing for our family," Ronnie Cooper said. "We've been close. My daughter likes it. My wife doesn't care for it but she used to go. I think she got burnt out a while back. Its been good keeping us together. All you have to do is look across the shop to see where everybody was at.

In time it was only natural for his son Matt to get involved.

"When I was little growing up. I remember we went all over the place," Matt Cooper said. "On Friday and Saturday nights we were at the track. I guess it was just in the cards for me.

"Hes been with me every step of the way," Ronnie said. "He enjoys it and does a good job and works hard. Keeps his mind occupied and out of trouble."

Even though they can be found at the track every weekend, its not how they earn a living. The Coopers own their own trucking and dirt-work company in West Tennessee, the racing is just for fun.

"We work for a living and we put in 40 to 50 hours like everyone else," Matt said. "Then we come home and put 4 to 5 more hours on a car every night. That adds up. Your kinda tired on Sundays.

Donne and Matt know they are not going to win every race they enter. However, its the competition and the love of the sport that keeps them coming back.

"I like the competition," Matt said. "Some nights you get beat and you go home and work on it. Others your on top and it makes you feel good."

"You keep all your equipment in line and hopefully your prepared to go," Ronnie said. "But sometimes you blow it real quick and sometimes you have a good night. Its luck to. You have to do your part and sometimes your on and sometimes your not. Its like anything else sometimes you hit them and sometimes you miss."

The next time you head out to the races look for the Coopers. They'll be there waiting on the green flag to drop.

"The main thing that I try to remind myself is that its just for fun," Matt said. "Were not doing it for a living. As long as we have a big time it all works out."