Jennifer Jo Cobb not approved for NASCAR Cup debut
In a shocking turn of events, Jennifer Jo Cobb has not received NASCAR's approval for her Cup series debut at the upcoming Talladega round. She would have been the first woman in the series since 2018. Our guest contributor Kobe Lambeth reports.
Last week, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran, Jennifer Jo Cobb, was prepared for the opportunity of a lifetime. After being a team owner in the sport for over a decade, it was announced that she would make her NASCAR Cup Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25. Six days before the race, in a shocking turn of events, she did not gain NASCAR's approval to compete in the top series at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
Originally, Cobb was scheduled to drive the No. 15 Arrowhead Brass Chevrolet for Rick Ware Racing.
"I am so thankful for this opportunity with RWR, and greatly appreciate Arrowhead Brass for coming on board to help make this happen. It's also exciting to have my longtime sponsor at Fastener Supply to extend their support as well." Cobb said.
The team released a statement on Monday evening confirming that Cobb did not receive approval to compete at Talladega, calling it an unfortunate situation but supportive of NASCAR's decision to uphold the rules and regulations.
Rick Ware Racing has a history of giving female drivers opportunities to compete. In 2004, Kim Crosby made her Xfinity debut with the organization at Talladega, bringing home a top-20 finish. Chrissy Wallace made her Xfinity debut with the team, in 2010, in the season opener on the high banks of Daytona. Cobb also made select starts with the team in Xfinity over the years.
This announcement comes two days after an on-track incident involving fellow competitor, Norm Benning. It appeared that Cobb intentionally crashed Benning, exiting Turn 4 coming onto the frontstretch at Richmond Raceway. NASCAR parked Cobb and had the 47-year-old, her crew chief and spotter report to the hauler after the race.
According to Bob Pockrass from FOX Sports, the incident with Benning had nothing to do with NASCAR's call to decline her Cup debut. Last year, James Davison wanted to make his Cup debut with Spire Motorsports at Talladega.
But NASCAR pumped the brakes and declined to approve him, despite making several starts in the Indianapolis 500. Davison made his Cup debut a week later at Pocono Raceway. The approval process remains unclear.
Cobb was set to become the first female competitor to compete in NASCAR's top division since Danica Patrick's final start in the 2018 Daytona 500.
To this date, Cobb has made a total of 248 starts between the Truck Series and Xfinity Series, with a majority of those starts being in a truck owned by Cobb herself. She only has a single top-10 in Truck Series competition, with a career-best sixth-place in the season-opening round at Daytona International Speedway in 2011.