Jennifer Jo Cobb spent her entire Sunday of what should have been the 47-y-o Cup Series debut getting so messed up working on her truck she didn’t even wanted to enter her vehicle afterward.
Cobb was in line to feature in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega and would have become the third female to compete in a Cup race since 1990 and only the first since Danica Patrick’s 2018 Daytona 500 involvement.
“Saturday night going into Sunday was the hardest, and I just wanted (Sunday) to be over with,” Cobb told RACER. “I just needed (Sunday) to go away.
“To give so much to this sport and (what) this sport has given to me. To have felt like a solid fixture in this sport. I have dedicated my entire life to this, and to have the president of NASCAR tell the media that I just wasn’t ready for this race, but that I was ready six years ago…”
“I received a phone call on Thursday afternoon, two full days after the announcement,” she says. “I was given a very vague reason (why) I was inactive. It was Brett Bodine (who called), and I truly thought he had me confused with someone else because I’ve raced consistently for 10-plus years; every single (Truck) race. I was confused by the language, and I was so flustered. I was driving, so I pulled over, and I didn’t know what to say.”
“I truly went through two days thinking it was a mistake,” Cobb says. “We were all just baffled.”
“I feel like I belong,” she said. “I feel like even though I don’t have money to compete up front, I compete with my peers that have the same budget level that I do, and there are many races within the race. If you don’t want the lower-budget teams there, then you’re going to end up with a 16-truck field, and then when 10 of them wreck out …
“We belong; we have a purpose. We work our ass off to be there. We work harder than the other teams because we have less people. We have less money. When we need a part, we don’t pick up the phone and order it; we call all the used parts places, try to find it at 50% of the cost. It takes us 10 times longer to repair or build a Truck. Everything is harder. They’re harder to drive. And so, the biggest thing I say about this, whatever the excuse is, why weren’t all 40 of the drivers who participated on Sunday held to that same standard?”
“Just said no,” Cobb says of NASCAR. “And took away my approval in the Cup Series for any track. I have never seen them do that.”
Jo Cobb’s has a feeling that she’s been disrespected, and she did however admits she spent last week in crying. Since the news was published, Jennifer managed to heard from drivers, crew chiefs, owners, and others who have been outraged on her behalf.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps, following the press conference announcing a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America, said NASCAR’s competition department leadership felt Jennifer Jo Cobb was not ready to compete in Cup at Talladega: pic.twitter.com/yNzxs16ndL
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 25, 2021
“Austin Dillon’s rookie year, I was a rookie,” Cobb says. “I’m on track with him a couple of years ago at Kentucky, and they’re like, ‘Hey, Austin’s got something on his grille, he’s going to get right up on your bumper and follow you, so hold your line.’ I’m like, ‘OK, cool.’
“Would he trust somebody who couldn’t handle a race car to do that? So, if I’m so inexperienced or dangerous to race with, why do they come race with me?”
“Because this is what I want to do,” said Cobb. “I love the life. I love the fans I meet; the people who tell me that I inspire them. I love traveling. I have so many friends in this sport that this is my life. I love it. So I don’t have to make a lot of money or amass a lot of net worth, and I haven’t. Everything goes back into the team. And nine times out of 10, those assets are crashed or blown up, and often not by me.”