To say University of Colorado Boulder freshman Cooper MacNeil lives life in the fast lane would be an understatement.
Not only does he live the hectic life of a college freshman, but also that of a professional sports car driver.
He currently races for WeatherTech, an automotive accessories company, and with the Alex Job Racing team, one of the most successful teams in sports car racing with 39 wins. Still a teenager, and with only two years of professional racing under his belt, MacNeil is making a name for himself in the motor racing world.
“The kind of racing I do requires a lot of experience,” MacNeil said. “The guys I race against are veterans. They have 20 years of experience. Here I am, 19-years-old, racing these guys and competing really well.”
In his young career, MacNeil has already won the National Sports Car Club of America, or SCCA, Touring 2 Points Championship and placed in the SCCA Runoffs at the NACAR sanctioned Road America track. He most recently raced at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in Jan. After sustaining a broken axle in the last few hours of the race, his car fell in the standings, but MacNeil is already looking ahead.
“I would eventually like to run in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France,” said MacNeil. “That’s considered the most important endurance race in the world. I think right behind that is the Rolex 24 at Daytona. I’ve already done that one so I’ve got one more to check off the list.”
For as much as Cooper loves racing, he also loves CU-Boulder. “When it came time to look at colleges, there was no better look than here in Boulder,” MacNeil said. “To be honest, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
The Hinsdale, Ill. native followed his older brother to Boulder and began his collegiate studies as an open-option major before switching to business with a focus on business administration.
In Boulder, he splits his time between training at the local racetrack, High Plains Raceway, and the classroom. Since he’s been doing this balancing act since high school, MacNeil said he is used to the busy lifestyle. In order to stay on top of his game in both school and racing, MacNeil said he gives each his undivided attention.
“I basically differentiate between racing and academics pretty well,” MacNeil said. “When I’m at the racetrack I focus on the racetrack. Here in Boulder I focus on school. I think that’s worked well for me the past couple of years because I don’t get them mixed.”
MacNeil said he hopes to graduate in four years, take what he learns to help him in the work force, and maintain a professional racing career.
“I hope to continue racing for a long time. If that means ten years balancing work with racing then that’s what it is,” MacNeil said. “I definitely want to continue racing and continue my education at CU.”
For more information about MacNeil and his life of racing click on to http://coopermacneil.com/2012/01/ajr-ready-for-rolex-24/ and http://coopermacneil.com/bio/.