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The Jennifer Jo Cobb Bristol Story

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  • The Jennifer Jo Cobb Bristol Story

    Cobb, 2nd Chance Motorsports split: Jennifer Jo Cobb was scheduled to start Saturday's Nationwide race 41st but when the command to start was made, Cobb was not in the #79 car. She refused to drive it after she said team owner Rick Russell told her he wanted her to start and park just before the race began. Here's what Jennifer Jo Cobb said about the situation: "There were rumblings all week about our team starting and parking. I have made a commitment to my sponsors, my fans and NASCAR that I'm not a start-and-park driver. I'm really serious about this. I have to work hard to prove to people that I'm serious about this. The conversation was never had with me until 10 minutes before the race started that I was to start and park. I had already bought & tires to run this race, so you can imagine, it was a blow both to my principles and my finances to hear this. As the owner of this team, he has the right to ask NASCAR to black flag me and said he would do so. After thinking about it & I tried to come up with a solution and there's also rumblings around town that he was going to surprise me and take me out of the car at California (next week). We have a five-race agreement that says that I'm racing for him and that's why I took the Nationwide points vs. the truck points. Because of the promises he's made, I've made decisions about my career and so 10 minutes before the race he told me not only am I starting and parking to save his car for California but that he would be replacing me as a driver in California and that he was the owner of the car and there was nothing (she) could do about it.
    Car owner Rick Russell gives his side of what happened with Jennifer Jo Cobb before Saturday's race and what resulted. "Five minutes before the race, she took her crew and left. We had a crew meeting here on Friday morning and I explained to everyone what our purpose was here this weekend. In Vegas we destroyed a car through Kyle Busch's accident. We only had one car, so had to have the body completely replaced on the car except for the roof, decklid and rear bumper, so without a sponsor the total of about $16,000 about broke me to get this car together. We already had our entry in for here and California, so rather than try to roll this and lose this, we decided we'd come up here and I let everybody know we were here in a conservative mode. We would practice smart. We would qualify and we would make a few laps and then we would park the car and save it for California. She waited until five minutes until start time and told her crew chief and her other people that worked for her and they left. I'm sitting on pit road with a car without a driver and made myself look stupid, NASCAR look stupid, the whole bunch of us look stupid.'' Also, Rick Russell said that Tim Andrews will drive the team's car at California next weekend. (Hampton Roads)(3-19-2011)
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