Angela Ruch ‘drives like lightning’

By David Mullen

“Lady and gentlemen, start your engines.”

Angela Ruch at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Photo courtesy of Angela Ruch/Facebook

On Friday, June 7, top female NASCAR driver and soon to be reality star Angela Ruch will race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Ruch currently competes with Niece Motorsports in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, driving the No. 44 Chevrolet. On the track, she drives like a “mother.” She actually is a mother, having just adopted a newborn boy and is looking to grow the family.

“The Ruch Life,” premiering in September on a network that Ruch would not disclose, is a series following Angela and husband Mike’s journey through their busy life, following the adoption process, auto racing and keeping a marriage thriving while competing in a male-dominated sport. By the way, she talks as fast as she drives. 

“Our uncle [Derrike] won the Daytona 500 in 1990,” Ruch said. “We were always into sports and drag racing. We got go-karts for Christmas when we were nine. We didn’t even know where the throttle or the gas pedal was.” Raised in rural Washington, she began racing before she was old enough to get a driver’s license. “We were driving 140 miles per hour at 15 before we got our license,” Ruch said. “We just wanted to keep racing and forging ahead. We wanted to be like our uncle.”

Thanks to the go-karts, her passion for racing began and Angela, now 36, with her sister Amber, made NASCAR history on Oct. 23, 2010 by becoming the first twins to compete on a professional race track. Amber has since retired from racing. Ruch’s grandfather, Donald Cope, was a noted motorcycle and race car driver in the mid-20th century. Father Darren Cope was a drag racer. 

“We did play some baseball,” Ruch said. “We loved fast pitch softball. But racing was the priority at the top. We did road courses. And we did some dirt racing with our go-karts.”

She decided to switch to racing pickup trucks because of her relationship with Niece Motorsports. “My background is with the cars,” Ruch said. “It is what I have done my whole life. But the trucks meant we could be a little more competitive for our sponsors. It made the most sense.” 

This year, Ruch joined the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. In her races, she has finished a NASCAR career-best eighth at Daytona. Her first lead lap finish was unprecedented, and she recorded the second-highest lap speed ever for a female in the Truck Series. Texas Motor Speedway will mark the first of 12 events that she will participate in this year.

When not racing, she has been taping the reality TV show. “The Ruch Life” is being produced by Blue Eyes Holdings with EMMY Award winning Executive Producer Jason Sciavicco. “It is based on our lifestyle,” Ruch said. “We primarily live in North Carolina. We have a penthouse in Charlotte and a penthouse in Miami.” 

Talk about going from 0 to 60 in five seconds. “So, let me get this straight,” I said. “You go from the most boring city in America to the most exciting city in America?” “That’s very true,” Ruch said. We proceeded to discuss Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach. 

“For the last four years, we have had producers approach us wanting to tell our story,” Ruch said. “And we went back and forth and said ‘No, No,’ and then my husband finally said ‘Why not?’ We travel the world. We have our own private plane. We come and go. We do whatever we want. Now, we are trying to have multiple babies. It’s kind of crazy. On this reality show, you are going to see our fast-paced life going from partying to becoming a family again.” 

Her husband has three children from a previous marriage that are all recent college graduates.

So, on June 7, Ruch will continue her face-paced life. This time, she will be trucking around Texas Motor Speedway, trying to separate the men from the lady.