By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
With no Cup drivers in the field, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway provides an opportunity for many. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Jennifer Jo Cobb, will be just one of many taking a chance in the unpredictable restrictor plate race. Cobb will pilot the No. 55 Toyota Camry for JP Motorsports, replacing Stephen Leicht.
Cobb has had an up and down year to date. At Daytona, her truck was completely destroyed in a multi-truck pile-up. Cobb also made her debut in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Elite 2 Division at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain. She finished 17thand 19thin the highly competitive races.
“It’s turning into a really good year with unexpected opportunities coming up – first Spain and now Talladega!” said the Kansas City, Kansas native. “My team, JJCR and JP Motorsports have been working together to help each other during the 5-week break from the truck series, and my team rallied for me to be able to drive this race. A group of race fans found out about the opportunity and went to work to collect the money to cover the race expenses for us and it became a win-win for both of our teams.”
Cobb has 30 career starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, three at restrictor plate tracks. Her best restrictor plate finish in the series came at Daytona in 2011 when she finished 36thafter being involved in one of the various ‘big ones.’ In the Truck Series, the 44-year-old has 12 starts on Superspeedways with a best finish of sixth at Daytona in 2011.
Now Cobb and team owners Jerry and Phyllis Hattaway will look to parlay the Talladega race into future opportunities. JP Motorsports earned their best career finish as an organization in their debut at Daytona, finishing 15thwith Leicht behind the wheel.