The Cup Series has not had a female driver since Danica Patrick retired after the 2018 Daytona 500. Now that trend will change. Veteran driver Jennifer Jo Cobb will make her debut in NASCAR‘s top series on Apr. 25.
The owner of Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing, the 47-year-old driver will drive the No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro for Rick Ware Racing during the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. According to a press release from the organization, her primary sponsors will be Arrowhead Brass and Fastener Supply.
“Being a female in a male-dominated sport is not an easy task, especially for as long as Jennifer has been competing in NASCAR,” team owner Rick Ware said, per Yahoo! Sports. “I hope that she has a successful first NASCAR Cup Series debut and look forward to Arrowhead Brass making their NASCAR sponsorship debut at Talladega as the primary sponsor on Jennifer’s car.”
Cobb will be only the 17th woman to start a Cup Series race
There have not been many women in the male-dominated Cup Series, especially in recent years. Shawna Robinson competed in the top series for two seasons (2001 and 2002), taking part in eight total races. Janet Guthrie, on the other hand, started 33 races from 1976-1980 and finished top-10 a total of five times.
Patrick was the most successful female driver in the Cup Series. She competed in 191 races over a seven-year period. She didn’t reach Victory Lane during her career but posted seven top-10 finishes. Patrick also became the first woman to win the pole position for the Daytona 500 (2013).
Cobb has more than 200 starts in the Camping World Truck Series and one top-10 finish. She has another 31 starts in the Xfinity Series with the last taking place in 2018 at Talladega. Last year, Cobb broke two records in the same weekend. She set a new land-speed record of 223 mph in a Cup Series car. She then led 16 laps of a Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, becoming the female with the most laps led on an oval in one of the top three series.
“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 in a press release. “I have a long history with RWR and a lot of respect for this organization. This team has a lot of heart and reminds me a lot of my small team competing against such mammoth organizations.”
Cobb will not be the only NASCAR driver making a Cup Series debut
Harrison Burton, an Xfinity Series driver and the son of NASCAR legend Jeff Burton, made an appearance on NASCAR Race Hub on Thursday evening. He revealed that he would drive the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota Camry while making his own Cup Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
Burton has won several races during his competitive career, especially in the Xfinity Series. The 20-year-old headed to Victory Lane four times during the 2020 season and posted a total of 15 finishes in the top five. Burton finished the season in eighth place overall while Austin Cindric captured the championship trophy. Now he will join Cobb on the list of newcomers for the fan-favorite race.
Burton and Cobb will have an opportunity to impress when they suit up for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The race will take place on Apr. 25 at 2 p.m. ET. Fox will provide coverage with Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon, and Clint Bowyer in the booth.