Toronto Motorsports Park dragstrip

My husband came home one day and told me he had bought a race car. In fact, it was in the driveway! After making several trips to our local track to do testing with the car, my husband and I decided that it would be a good job for me to fill in the log book. I learned a lot filling in that book, maybe too much from both my husband and my father-in-law Dave Cooper. Soon enough the day came when I became tired of watching him have so much fun so I decided to take my daily driver (same Firebird I drive now - but with a V6) down the track. It went an abysmal 23.24 seconds! The next weekend we went out I decided to give it a try and raced it in the trophy street class, with two baby seats in the back! I won first place! Needless to say, I was hooked! I guess it was a case of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" that got me started racing! A couple of years later, my husband selflessly sold his race car so that we could afford for me to race mine!
A little known fact about the car is that my husband used my Firebird to propose to me. We were driving down a country road and he pretended that there was something wrong with the engine. He pulled over and got out to look under the hood, and said "You better come and see this!". I was scared that we were now stranded in the middle of nowhere but when I got out, there was a big sign on top of the engine that read "Will you marry me?" I was surprised to say the least and immediately said "YES!"

Sue Cooper burning out at the 2010 CSCN!

Sue's 1986 Pontiac Firebird

Engine: 350 ci SBC, 76 mm Turbonetics Turbo, Lunati 4340 crank, Diamond Turbo Pistons, Oliver Rods, Dart Little M block, Dart platinum 215 aluminum heads, Comp cam, Edelbrock EFI intake, 42# injectors.

Transmission: Powerglide.

Chassis: Stock suspension with 8 pt. chrome-moly roll cage fabricated by Fat Dog.

Best ET & MPH: 9.58 , 144 mph.
Best 60': 1.33


FAT DOG, Reaper's Realm Haunted Forest Ride, Fastenal Canada.

On my way to number one qualifier at GBM!


Kelly Cooper, Tom Craig, Nathan Cooper, Shawn Hillier, Adrian Szczepanski.

Thanks to..

I have to give huge thanks to my husband, Kelly Cooper for his tireless hours and hours worked on the car and for being an inspiration and endless source of encouragement to me. Tom Craig who is not only an awesome engine builder, but a great friend and mentor as well. Adrian Szczepanski who is one of our best friends and has hardly missed a race in eight years! Oh ya, he makes the BEST jambalaya on the planet too! Saunders Racing Engines for making me a priority in times of need. Al Lozon and Butch Kemp who were instrumental in getting my new motor ready mid season. Mike Kohlne who is like a "Dad' to all of us racers, he preps the BEST racetrack anywhere and always makes sure we're safe. Mike Bennet and Mike Ski who 10 years ago created a family out of a bunch of drag racers and gave us a place to do some incredibly fun pro tree racing! My sons, Shawn and Nathan who are always cheering me on and who are as proud of me as I am of them! The entire McRae family, John, Diane, Sean, Amanda, and Ang, who form the basis of my 'super-fans' and who come to every race they can! Reaper's Realm Haunted Forest Ride, my new sponsor for 2010, and now confirmed for 2011 (VERY exciting)! Special thanks to Tony Sloot for helping me win the championship and Johnnie 'O', who inspired me to get some 'lucky underwear'!

Just found out I won the championship!


2002 RPM Media day Trophy Street winner.
2004 Best reaction time award.
2008 OSCA perfect light award (.500 pro tree).
2010 OSCA (Ontario Street Car Association) 9.90 index Summer Sizzler winner!
2010 CSCN (Canadian Street Car Nationals) 9.90 index winner!
2010 OSCA 9.90 index Wild Street Champion!!!

Words of Wisdom

Goals for Next Year: "I had a great year & accomplished 2 of my goals! One was a podium finish & the other was to get in a magazine! I never dreamed this would be the year but I won both the CSCN (Canadian Street Car Nationals) 9.90 index AND the OSCA 9.90 index championships! My car also appeared not once but three times in RPM Magazine (March & September 2010, and Jan 2011!) I also appeared in the Jan 2011 issue of Drag Race Action Magazine! I guess now my goal is to back up those championships and there are a couple of people I'd like to beat in a race (I'm gonna keep those names secret!;) Could it be you?"

Superstition: "This year I had lucky underwear and I seemed to find a four leaf clover in the pits at almost every event! I also have a little stuffed witch zip-tied to my roll cage named 'Esmerelda'."

Going rounds at Grand Bend Motorplex!

Favorite Memory: "My favorite memory was when I won the championship. Going into the last race, I was only 3 points ahead of Steve Price. We both qualified with a 9.902, behind Tony Stekov who ran a 9.901! Steve's m.p.h. was more than mine, putting him in the #2 spot and me in #3.(This put me only 2 points ahead.) We agreed in the staging lanes that we would meet each other in the finals and race it out for the championship. Things didn't go exactly as planned and I lost 1st round to Gary Quill. I was so disappointed. I had handed Steve the championship. On my way back down the return road, I got stuck behind some cars being towed, which made the ride back very long. When I went past Mike Ski on the wall he was holding up a finger like a #1. I was puzzled and thought he was just congratulating me on a great season. Then I went past my 'Super fans' and they were all smiling and holding up #1's! It wasn't until I got in front of the tower and my husband Kelly and son Nathan came running over to my car to tell me I had won the championship! I was SO surprised! Apparently Steve was lined up against Tony Sloot first round. I'm sure he thought he had him covered as Tony was out for the first time with his car and had run a best time that weekend of 10.48. Steve wasn't aware however that before the race my husband and some other guys were figuring out that Tony's throttle wasn't opening all the way. They fixed it and when he came up for his burnout, he messed it up. My husband made him back up and do it again! All this time, Steve was waiting at the line. When Tony finally got there he slapped a big tree on Steve, who had apparently fallen asleep! Tony took the win with a holeshot and ran an impressive 9.96! He had handed the championship back to me! It was awesome!"

Being videotaped by Nathan!

Who has been an inspiration/mentor to you?"First I would have to say my mom. She raised me to believe that I could do anything I wanted. I am amazed by her strength every day. Second, my husband, who has never faltered in his support for my desire to race, he is my best friend!
As far as woman racers, Shirley Muldowney is at the top of my list, I can still remember the first time I saw 'Heart Like A Wheel' and it still inspires me to this day! I also admire Sandra Grella and Ellen Paveo, I can remember how cool I thought they were when I was first starting to race!"

What advice would you give young girls who want to be race car drivers?

"I would tell them that drag racing is a very expensive sport. I would not be doing this had I not gone to college and found a good job! Education is the MOST important thing you can do for yourself and your future. It also helps to find a guy who's into racing!"

My first Winner's Circle!

What advice do you have for your Sisters In Speed? "Don't forget your sunscreen and I'm cheering for you! Being a Sister In Speed is the COOLEST! Let's kick their butts!"

This is my family- myself, my husband Kelly, and our sons Shawn and Nathan, in our first ever winners circle photo. It was taken at the OSCA's Summer Sizzler race in July of 2010. It was a day I will never forget!