Veteran crew chief Cope to oversee Nationwide No. 5 Chevy in 2014

Veteran crew chief Ernie Cope will oversee the Nationwide No. 5 Chevy for JR Motorsports in 2014 with an all-star cast of drivers that includes Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne.

Cope, 44, transitioned from the driver’s seat to crew chief in 1997. The Tacoma, Wash., native has worked in that role most recently at Richard Childress Racing in the Nationwide Series, where he won races with both Harvick and Tony Stewart in 2013.

“I made the move to stay with Kevin,” Cope said. “We wanted to keep racing together, and we expect to win races or at least have a shot at winning every weekend.”

Cope worked as the crew chief for the Wood Brothers in 2007 before joining Kevin Harvick Inc. in 2008. When KHI folded after 2011, Cope made the transition to RCR.

Eight of Cope’s nine NNS victories and six of his eight truck wins came with Harvick behind the wheel. Cope also led Jeff Burton to one of his six top-10 finishes this season, when the No. 31 Chevy finished 10th at Phoenix.

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