Stewart Cooper - Petty team profile

Stewart Cooper Crew Chief No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge Charger Stewart Cooper is an intelligent and talented young man that will be a strong leader for the No. 45 crew and a positive addition to the Petty Enterprises team. Cooper has been ...

Stewart Cooper - Petty team profile

Stewart Cooper
Crew Chief No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge Charger

Stewart Cooper is an intelligent and talented young man that will be a strong leader for the No. 45 crew and a positive addition to the Petty Enterprises team. Cooper has been involved in racing since his teenage years and has made a name for himself in the NASCAR garage by working with several notable organizations. With primary sponsorship from Wells Fargo, Marathon Oil and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Cooper will guide the No. 45 Dodge through a successful 2008 season.

Growing up in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., Cooper took an early interest in racing, in-part because one of his neighbors was former NASCAR driver Bobby Hamilton, who drove for Petty Enterprises from 1995 to 1997. When Bobby Hamilton Jr. was competing at Highland Rim Speedway, Cooper was in his mid-teens and worked as a general mechanic on Hamilton Jr.'s late-model stock car.

At the age of 16, Cooper was appointed a crew chief for the first time. At Nashville Speedway he served as crew chief for Casey Atwood's late model stock car. A few years later, while still working with Atwood's team, Cooper enrolled at Vol State University. Wanting to improve on his talents and further his opportunities, he went on to obtain an engineering degree from Kennedy-Western University.

Cooper then made the decision, in 1998, to move with Atwood to LAR Racing where he would act as a general mechanic. He also worked on a limited NASCAR Busch Series schedule as a rear tire changer. Only a year later, Atwood moved to Brewco Motorsports and Cooper followed with a great opportunity to advance his career. He took the job of car chief for the team, which won two races and finished 13th in the championship point's standings.

Cooper moved to Evernham Motorsports in 2000 to work in the Research and Development department for the team. After gaining experience in that position he returned to Brewco Motorsports for the 2001 season, during which he was paired with rookie Jamie McMurray. The 2003 season would be a successful one for both Cooper and Brewco Motorsports. With NASCAR veteran and 1994 Series Champion David Green behind the wheel, the team scored three wins and a second-place finish in points.

Cooper, as crew chief for Green, led the team through successful 2004 and 2005 campaigns. The No. 27 drove to one win, three top-five and six top-10 finishes in 2005. That strong run resulted in the team reaching eighth place in championship points. Cooper led the No. 27 to another top-10 points finish in 2006; it was their third consecutive year finishing in the top-10. He began the 2007 campaign with Brewco before moving to the No. 38 NASCAR Nationwide Series team, where he helped guide Jason Leffler to a third-place finish in the final point's standings.

This role, Cooper's first as a Sprint Cup Series crew chief, will be another major milestone in his already-impressive career. With Cooper in the lead, the No. 45 Dodge Charger team is well-prepared for a notable 2008 season.

-credit: pe

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