Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jennifer Jo Cobb: One Track at a Time (Daytona and Phoenix recap)

Jennifer Jo Cobb
From DIS to PIS

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Photo by Debbie Ross
Jennifer Jo Cobb ended her 2010 season with her name in the history books. She became the highest-finishing female driver, ranking 17th, in the history of the Camping World Truck Series. With 2010 behind her, she planned for her 2011 season. As an owner/driver, she’s not just driving for Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing. She’s working behind the scenes to build a team with all that entails.

With NASCAR's new rule that requires all drivers to declare only one series in which they would go for the championship, Jennifer chose to go for points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Since it's her first year running full-time in the series, she is also in the running for Rookie of the Year.

Planning to hit the ground running in Daytona, Cobb was entered in both the NNS race and the NCWTS race. The NextEra Energy Resources 250 really set the tone for the 2011 season. Jennifer qualified in 31st place in her #10 Driven2honor/Lilly Cosmetics Ford.
2011 NCWTS 10 Truck
Driving one of the only two Fords on the field, Cobb finished on the lead lap and in sixth place. Cobb herself stated that had there not been so many trucks heading to the garage, she probably wouldn’t have finished in such a good position. Her sixth-place finish gave Cobb a career best and to top it off, she made history, notching the best finish by a female driver in Truck Series history. Cobb spoke to her team on radio at the race's end and said, “Great job everybody, oh my God!”

Side note: In 1949 Sara Christian placed fifth at Pittsburgh’s Heidelburg Speedway, setting the record for best finish in NASCAR by a female driver.

There was a point during the race that Jennifer left so many of her fans wondering. She pulled up rather quickly next to the #18 Toyota driven by Kyle Busch. It was in a manner that left no question that she wasn’t happy with Kyle for some unknown reason.

After the race, Cobb said the following on her Twitter account: "As 4 Kyle-he blew around me on a caution, swerved real close 2 me and revved his eng. He cut me off n prac the other day & I am just fed up"

Busch and Cobb have a history of not seeing eye to eye. It looks as though it may continue this season, giving the NASCAR fans another rivalry to watch closely. So you’ll have to stay tuned for more on the feud between @JenJoCobb and @KyleBusch.

With a good finish behind her in trucks, Cobb set her sights on the NNS DRIVE4COPD race the following day. Unfortunately, Jennifer failed to qualify for the race. So, the #79 car was loaded up; next stop, PIR.

Phoenix International Raceway was a double-duty track for Jennifer Jo Cobb. Friday nights' running of the Lucas Oil 150 would have her in the ownership role with her #10 Ford sponsored by Challenge Complete.  Driving her Lilly Cosmetics truck will be rookie Chase Mattioli.  He qualified in 34th position, and finished in 35th position.
2011 NNS 79 Car

On Saturday, Cobb drove the #79 Carpet Empire Ford Mustang with 2nd Chance Racing at the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200. After failing to qualify in the Daytona Nationwide race, Cobb saw this race as her first in the series. Unfortunately, Jen spun getting off pit road to make her qualifying attempt (which she referred to as an "oops"), so she would start the race in the last row.

The #79 began Saturday’s race in 40th position, the last in the field. During the race, she began having issues once again. The #79 ended up behind the wall, where her crew chief Steve Kuykendall and the crew did what they could and got her back on the track. The diagnosis for the #79 was that the steering pump failed. Even with the mechanical problems, Jen went on to finish in 32nd place.

Jennifer got on Twitter after the race and tweeted the following to her fans:

“Just fin our 1st @NASCAR_NNS race w @2ndchanceracing w failing power steering pump”

So now we're heading to Las Vegas for the NNS Sam's Town 300. With the Camping World Truck Series not racing this weekend, Jennifer will be concentrating on the Nationwide Series and hopefully coming out with a top-10 finish!

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