On October 23, 2010, she and her sister, Angela Cope-Ruch, made NASCAR history by becoming the first twins to participate in one of the sport's top three series. They made their NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series that day at Martinsville, Virginia. Amber came in 26th place, while Angela came in 30th. They started racing Go-Karts at the age of nine. When they were 12 years old, they moved up to stock cars because they wanted to be like Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon.
They had no idea how popular they would become until they reached adulthood. Today, the sisters are known as The Twinsters and they race together in several events each year. They have two classifications of races they compete in: rookie races and sprint car races. In rookie races, drivers test out different types of cars on a short track to see what type they prefer. In sprint car races, the tracks are longer and usually have tighter turns than those in the truck series.
The sisters have four world championships to their name and have won nearly 100 races across all three of NASCAR's top divisions. They also have five pole positions to their name.
Amber is married to Derrike Cope. They met when they were both working for Hendrick Motorsports. Derrike used to drive for the team before starting his own business building homes. The couple has two children - a son named Drake and a daughter named Tatum. Amber also has a brother named Austin who lives with his family in North Carolina.
As Amber and Angela gained more expertise and confidence behind the wheel, they realized that they would have to leave Washington to seek a career in NASCAR. They relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, to begin training with Uncle Derrike Cope, attending every Cup race he attended. They both earned degrees from NC State University during their time there together.
Angela graduated in 2000 with a degree in marketing and sales management, and she has worked for Lowe's Home Improvement as a sales representative ever since. She currently lives in Mooresville, North Carolina with her family.
Amber completed her degree in 2001 and went on to work at Lowe's as a merchandiser until 2003 when she was hired by Furniture Row Racing as an office manager. She now works as a janitor at Roush Fenway Racing.
Both women were very attractive students at NC State, and many men noticed them while they were attending school there. In addition, some of them came forward after learning that they were full-time employees at NASCAR races where their father competed.
They both received promotions within their companies, and they now earn a combined annual salary of $150,000. They also each own a part-time business, with Angela owning a clothing line and Amber working as a freelance publicist.
Amber raced for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2018 and 2019, with the major sponsors being Tavia (www.mytavia.com) and Glenn McLeod & Sons Ltd. Amber returned to her origins in dirt track racing and snowmobiling in 2020, participating for Ripper Motorsports in the National Powri Midget series. She also races in super late models for R&D Automotive.
After winning the pole position and leading most of the race, teammate Tyler Ankrum crashed out due to mechanical issues. Balcaen went on to win the event by over 20 seconds. The win gave her driver's points and moved her up to fifth place in the season-long point standings. She is currently eligible for a wild card into the season finale at Las Vegas if she wins or places high enough in the standings.
In 2019, Amber finished sixth in the point standings. She had two top five finishes that year with her best result being second at Kentucky Speedway.
Before joining KBM, Amber competed in three events with Go Fas Racing. She earned her first career victory at Hickory Motor Speedway and also led more laps (110) than any other driver in the history of the track. Her efforts earned her a spot in the NASCAR Whelen All-America Series playoffs where she went 1-1. The first round match up was against eventual champion Chris Eggleston who came into the matchup with a perfect record.
Amber Balcaen, a future NASCAR driver, was given the opportunity to race a late model for Kyle Busch Motorsports. She raced at Hickory Motor Speedway in August 2018—the show was filmed last year—but she wrecked and broke a tire, finishing only 19 of 500 laps. Despite this poor performance, she still managed to place 17th overall, which qualified her for the playoffs.
In addition to racing, Amber has also been working as a security guard. Before joining NASCAR's top series, she also raced motorcycles on the open road for several years. She is the daughter of former NASCAR driver Andy Balcaen and sister of Kaitlin Balcaen, both of whom have also competed in various forms of motor racing.
Amber made her debut at the age of 15 in an ARCA race held at Talladega Superspeedway. She was running 7th when she had a massive crash that destroyed her car and left her with multiple injuries including a broken back. The accident ended her season immediately and she decided to focus on recovering from her injuries instead.
She made a full recovery from her injuries but after spending three years out of racing, she returned in 2011 with two races under her belt in the ARCA Series. In 2012, she moved up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where she drove the No. 22 Chevrolet for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
By 1998, both sisters were PSGKA Gold Cup winners in the "Junior Piston Port". Both sisters split seat time in 2006 at the ARCA Re/Max Series at Berlin, Gateway, Chicago, Milwaukee Mile, and Toledo, Ohio. By 2008, the twins qualified for the ARCA Re/Max Series at Kentucky Speedway, with positions 8 and 15. They finished 10th and last, respectively.
Amber's career victory came in the third race of her career, which was also the first Gold Cup event held at Portland (Oregon). The 18-year-old from Prineville, Oregon defeated Kristi Miller by 0.3 seconds at the World Center of Racing. This was also the first Gold Cup win for PSGKA Auto Sports, who have gone on to win multiple races each year since their debut in 1997.
Including Amber's victory, all five Gold Cup events have been won by women drivers. Four of the victories have come in the last five years. The only other woman to win was Janet Guthrie, who captured the inaugural event in 1996. Guthrie went on to become the only female driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500, doing so in 2001.
Of the 12 women who have competed in the Gold Cup, eight have won at least one race during their careers. The others who have won include Janet Guthrie, Sarah Fisher, Tina Harvick, Vickie Arley, Jennifer Holloway, Katie Huttman, and Kirstin Olson.