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RIP Ray Cooper

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by lono, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. lono

    lono Active Member

    Ray Cooper, the long-time PR rep for first Chevrolet and in recent years Dodge, died Friday night after battling cancer for the last three months.

    Coop, as we all knew him, was a great guy and will be sorely missed in the Nextel Cup garage.

    Prayers go out to his family at this time of loss.
  2. Mira

    Mira Member

    Coop was awesome. He will be missed dearly.
  3. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    RIP to Coop, whom I loved despite hating just about everything he believed in.

    Bless you, Coop. May there be unlimited casinos in heaven.
  4. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    Never knew him personally but I met him one time - seemed to be a good guy.

  5. Full of Shit

    Full of Shit Member

    As someone who only covered a few NASCAR races, I never spent any time with him other than the usual media-center stuff, so I hope some of our gearhead regulars will share some of their favorite Coop stories.

    RIP, Coop.

  6. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    I can add little more other than his name appeared in my inbox quite frequently, re: various press releases and quote sheets.

    I pray that he's enjoying a view from above, and I pray his family feels comfort from the One above.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Terrific, terrific guy. Very sad stuff. I'm not a big fan of racing PR folks in general, as I've made clear. I loved Ray Cooper. Great guy who did his job extremely well. Never once did I ask him for help and not get it.

    RIP Ray.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Arrangements for Stanley Ray Cooper


    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

    Forbis and Dick Funeral Home – Guilford Chapel

    5926 W. Friendly Ave.

    Greensboro, NC 27410


    Funeral Services

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    11 a.m.

    Friendly Avenue Baptist Church

    4800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, N.C. 27410

    11 a.m.

    In lieu of flowers, donations are to be made to the Victory Junction Gang Camp and Hospice of Greensboro.
  9. DavidPoole

    DavidPoole Member

    If you will allow me, for those who didn't know Ray Cooper I will tell you why I respected him so much.
    First, he brought a journalistic sense to his job in PR. I know there are built-in limits to how far you can go with that, but sometimes to his own peril in terms of job security Ray would put out comments from drivers or crew chiefs or team owners that didn't exactly toe the company line. And if it was particulary good stuff, he'd walk over to the regular beat guys and say, "Hey, save a little room in your notes for what So-and-So just told me."
    Once, when he was working for Chevrolet, he caught Felix Sabates in a mood and Felix just went off on NASCAR and just about everybody else. This is back when stuff was faxed out, and it was the midweek thing that each manufacturer used to send out to advance the following race. It was like eight or nine pages of Felix just ranting. So everybody picked up on it and by the weekend Felix had a hurricane blowing around him. All of the brass at Chevy were furious at Felix, but they took it out on Ray for asking the questions and then putting out what Felix said. To his everlasting credit, Felix told the folks from GM to lay off Coop because all he had done was accurately report what Felix had said.
    Coop also treated new people the right way. He gave them grief and that made them feel like they were joining the club in the NASCAR media center, but at the same time he would take people around and introduce them to his teams and try to help them learn the ins and outs of how things get done in this sport.
    Back when we had time to kill, before this thing got so complicated, we'd sit around on a Saturday night watching college football and playing quarter-ante poker over a pizza or six. We'd play all these wild games with all these wild cards where you'd have to have five of a kind to win a hand (pass the trash, follow the queen, criss cross, bedsprings and a variety of stud called "Shull" after Ed Shull, who sort of came up with it). We'd have two winners a hand, best high hand and best low hand. So there would be all these wild cards around the table and Cooper would look and figure that everybody with anything would be going high. So he'd go low with nothing and win half the pot. Or, he'd see people going low and win high with two pair. Drove me nuts.
    I wrote in my blog Saturday morning that in a lot of ways in Coop's life it seemed like he was always walking uphill and into the wind. But he kept on walking. When he got sick and found out how bad it was, he was scared and upset but all he wanted to talk about was how fast he could get back to work. He just kept his legs churning until the whistle blew.
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks, David. Post a link to your blog when you get a chance.

    Ray walked on our side for a while, did he not? Back in the day in Greensboro?
  11. DavidPoole

    DavidPoole Member


    Yes, Ray was a racing writer for Greensboro and Myrtle Beach before starting into PR.
  12. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    David, great post. Too bad Cup has gotten so big, PR people can't often do more than toe the corporate line. Or win half the pot on Saturday night. Wish I knew him better.
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