Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jennifer Jo Cobb climbs points ladder to history

Jennifer Jo Cobb made history in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the weekend, becoming the highest-ranked female driver in the points standings in the series' history.

Following a 14th-place finish in Saturday's race at Darlington Raceway, the veteran racer gained a spot in the standings and moved up to the 16th position. This surpasses the previous mark held by Tammy Jo Kirk, who was ranked 17th during the 1997 season.

Cobb's 14th-place finish at Darlington in the No. 10 Ford F-150 ties her career-best finish in the series at Texas, garnering her two top-15s out of four top-20 finishes in 2010. Her starting position of 21st also tied her best qualifying effort this season at Kansas.

The 37-year-old is the only woman competing full-time in NASCAR's three top-tier series, and she is doing so as an owner/driver. To compete in her first full season in the Camping World Truck Series, she purchased trucks from the No. 10 team of Circle Bar Racing. She is in contention for Rookie of the Year.

Along with the challenges of competition, Cobb has encountered the challenges that come with trying to secure sponsorship. Her team does not have full backing for the 2010 season. Cobb remarked on her Facebook page that she had to cut short her second practice session at Darlington because the team had run out of tire money. Her No. 10 truck runs the logos of her clothing lines, DriverBoutique.com, which features apparel for female racing fans, and DrivenMale.com, its male counterpart.

The Kansas native also runs limited events in the Nationwide Series. Cobb and Baker Curb Racing are pooling their resources to run the four races with the new Nationwide COT this season, with Cobb driving in three of the events. When the new model made its debut at Daytona in July, Cobb was involved in a wreck on lap 7, ending her day early in the No. 27 Ford and finishing 43rd. She will be behind the wheel of the No. 27 again at Richmond on Sept. 10 and Charlotte on Oct. 15.

Cobb will have little time this week to celebrate her place in Truck Series history. The series heads to Bristol for a rare mid-week race on Wednesday.

For more on Cobb's season, check out her blog Cobb's Corner for weekly updates.

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