Detroit Free Press

Originally Published: February 09, 2003

Rocker Alice Cooper on roll

Author: Mike Brudenell

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-Rocker Alice Cooper is keeping the pedal to the metal these days in more ways than one.

Cooper has signed on as a NASCAR Busch Grand National series sponsor/owner.

"I'm going to be in the pits," said Cooper, 54. "But you won't see me in the race car."

Cooper, a muscle-car enthusiast, is partnering with Montgomery Racing of Tennessee. The team will be called Alice Cooper/Montgomery Racing this season.

"I own a '69 Shelby," said Cooper, whose songs-including "School's Out," "Eighteen" and "Welcome to My Nightmare"-became national anthems to a generation of restless youth in the '70s.

"I've always had something from Detroit. Fast cars and rock 'n' roll go hand in hand."

Chase Montgomery, 19, will drive Cooper's Pontiac Busch car in a select number of races. With support from Cooper, Montgomery drove to victory in the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200, the first ARCA Re/Max event this year, at Daytona Friday.

"I've listened to Alice for a while," joked Montgomery. "I've worn out the one CD of his that I own."

Montgomery will start in the first Busch race of the year, the Koolerz 300, at Daytona on Feb. 15.

"When I was 19, I thought I was indestructible," said Cooper. "But these guys who race today, they're gladiators. They go out on the track, and they become monsters."

The ultimate showman, Cooper said he'd done some crazy things in his life, but racing a car at 190 m.p.h. wasn't one of them.

"I've put my head in a guillotine and wrapped a boa constrictor around my neck, but I wouldn't get out on the track and race," he said.

Cooper did admit, however, that racing, like singing, was theatrical. "Racing is entertainment in the fast lane," said Cooper, who plays plenty of golf when he's not on tour.

Cooper will headline a concert Friday in nearby Sanford, about a half-hour's drive southwest of Daytona Beach.

"In a couple of years, you're going to see Kid Rock at Daytona with a race team," said Cooper. "Who knows, maybe even Ozzie Osbourne might become a team owner."