SickthingsUK: Nascar Racing

In February 2003 Alice announced a sponsorship deal with the Mongomery Race team to sponser driver Chase Mongomery's No. 27 car in ARCA car races as 'Alice Cooper Motorsports'. The first race was on 8th February 2003 at the 'ARCA RE/MAX Advance Discount Auto Parts 200' race at Daytona Beach, and amazingly they won! Alice was present at the press conferance before the race and in 'Victory Lane' to receive the trophy.

The sponsorship seems to have only lasted a year or so.

The following interview was posted to ESPN the day of the first race:

While Cooper is new to the sport, Montgomery's success comes as little surprise. Despite his young age, Montgomery finished fourth overall in his first ARCA season last year. His previous career-best finish was a third-place at Nashville last season, but he also sat on the pole at Daytona (Bobby Gerhart won the race).

"It was my first race, first win -- it's great, Chase did a great job," said Cooper.

Cooper is better known as a heavy metal star who puts on theatrical, pyrotechnic-filled rock shows. But the Detroit-native sees parallels between the world of music he is more accustomed to and the world of stock-car racing, which will soon be accustomed to him.

"I think NASCAR -- I think sports -- it's showbiz. These cars are like gladiators. They are monsters. To me, it's a very theatrical sport," said Cooper. "I've always thought that theatrics and rock go together. You want heavy metal? This is heavy metal. … We don't have a radio in the car, by the way."

Cooper's role in the Busch team, which will race next weekend at Daytona, is primarily to draw attention to the effort, as the team is still seeking primary sponsorship. ("I'm just here as a pretty face.") But when the green flag drops, Cooper is, well, ready to rock.

"The exciting thing for me is that I'm coming in on the bottom level. These guys totally have to educate me on this. I want to be in the middle of it. I'll be down in the pits during the race," said Cooper, who said he's willing to pitch in and do something during the race.

Won't things be pretty loud down on pit road?

"It won't be as loud as my band."

With no previous stock-car involvement, Cooper may have to get up to speed quickly.

"I'm coming in from a total novice's position, right? All I know about cars is drag racing in Detroit or drag racing in Arizona. -- I'm from Detroit and we had three sports -- baseball, football and grand theft auto. They all involved running. -- So when you are talking about Nascar, you're talking about the ultimate heavy metal car. 800 hp of just pure Detroit steel."

But this rock-star turned restaurant-owner turned more than respectable golfer isn't feeling out of place.

"I feel right at home with that. I'm glad I'm not driving it. I'm glad Chase is in there going 185 mph. We all kind of live through it vicariously. We look at this thing and go, 'Oh, that's cool. That's the coolest thing in the world.'"

There likely isn't much racing advice Cooper can give his young driver (maybe how to use a guillotine or how to handle a snake?), but it's possible his influence might rub off, anyway. Montgomery has suddenly become an avid listener of Cooper's music.

I've owned an Alice Cooper CD prior to the deal and thought it was pretty cool. (But) I think I've worn out his new CD."

Said Cooper: "I'm trying to see if I can get him to wear my makeup."

Sound a bit nutty? Ask what Cooper thinks about drivers pushing 185 mph.

"You think I'm crazy?" said Cooper while pointing at Montgomery.

But it's that craziness that helped lure Cooper into the sport.

"What we all saw was a coordination of rock and roll, heavy metal and racing. You can't get anymore heavy metal than an 800 hp Pontiac going at full speed with a fearless 19-year-old driving it. This is my first (stock-car) race. You watch it on TV but you never really see it until you come here. It's sort of like you hear a record but you never really hear a band until you go and see them and actually feel the bass drum hitting you in the chest. That's what the race is like when you're here."

Now that he's won a race as a team owner, Cooper has big plans.

"I'm going to retire now undefeated. Chase is threatening to stuff me in the trunk to make sure I'm at the next race."

Might Cooper's presence really be making a difference? Absolutely, if you ask Montgomery.

"I'm thrilled -- this is my first win, period. I think I won a go-kart heat race" said Montgomery. "It's incredible. I can't believe I've waited so long to win one. This was our first race with Alice -- to go out there and do this, it's awesome. I don't know if he's a good luck charm or we just had all our ducks in a row, but I'm definitely making him come to the next race."

Cooper's explanation? "I put a snake in his car -- that was really his inspiration to win today."

Though Cooper is not exactly a gearhead ("I'm totally new to the game. I can't even imagine how excited Chase is."), he can appreciate the importance of Saturday's win to Montgomery.

"It's like getting your first no. 1 record. You can't explain (how it feels)," said Cooper.