Actually Jennifer Jo Cobb wanted to make her Cup debut at Talladega Superspeedway – But NASCAR put a spoke in the 47-year-old’s wheel
NASCAR Cup Series (by: André Wiegold)
With currently 217 Truck and 31 Xfinity races under her belt, Jennifer Jo Cobb from Kansas City wanted to make her Cup debut with Rick Ware Racing at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR put a stop to the 47-year-old team owner’s plan because she does not have the required results to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Jo Cobb, who also raced in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, once received a Cup Series license years ago, but it was revoked over time because laps and races in the lower national leagues alone are not enough to compete in the top class.
Kaz Grala, on the other hand, will return to the Cup Series at Talladega. The 22-year-old Boston native will pilot the #16 car for Kaulig Racing. MBM Motorsports will also make its return, putting Timmy Hill in the #66 car. Denny Hamlin will start from the pole position in his Gibbs Toyota at the superspeedway.
Last weekend, Hamlin and teammate Martin Truex Jr. dominated the Richmond race that marked the end of short-track weeks. Although the two Toyota drivers collected numerous lead laps and Hamlin won both stages, the victory went to Chevrolet. In the final stages, Alex Bowman, who had dropped back earlier in the race due to a penalty, moved into the lead to win the race.
NASCAR Xfinity Series (by: André Wiegold)
Natalie Decker will return to racing action next weekend in Alabama. The 23-year-old from Wisconsin will take her place behind the wheel of the #23 Our Motorsports car. In 2019, she finished 16th in the Truck Series at Talladega.
Xfinity champion Austin Cindric will be on the pole in the Xfinity race, leading the field to the green flag. The Penske driver will have new competition in the title fight in the form of Brett Moffitt. Moffitt was actually collecting points for the Truck Series, but now decided to change his mind in the middle of the season. The 28-year-old from Iowa will start in the NASCAR Xfinity Championship with zero points.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (By: Simon Mones)
Kyle Busch Motorsports is increasingly becoming the team of the moment in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In the last four races, a driver from Kyle Busch’s team has always triumphed. This was also the case this weekend in Richmond, when John Hunter Nemechek made it to Victory Lane for the second time this year.
In a race marked by numerous cautions, the Truck returnee put in a dominant performance, edging out his team boss in the final sprint. For the Toyota team, even a one-two-three would have been possible, but KBM driver Chandler Smith ultimately crossed the line only in fourth place.
“It’s pretty cool to be able to come out here and do what we were able to do. We had a really fast truck. I’m super proud of all of my guys and thankful for them,” explained Nemechek after the race. In addition to the race win, the KBM driver secured the second stage win of the day ahead of Grant Enfinger (ThorSport Racing) who won the first race segment.
In Darlington and Richmond, Kyle Busch’s team will give another young talent the chance to prove himself in the Truck Series. With 18-year-old Corey Heims, the championship leader of the ARCA Menards Series will climb into the cockpit of the #51 car.
“Corey is another driver in the Toyota Racing Development program that has proven that he can win in the ARCA Menards Series and earned this opportunity to drive for us in the Camping World Truck Series,” Busch stated in a team release. “With no practice or qualifying, Darlington is going to be a tough place for his first start, but he’s been on the simulator at TRD working with Mardy [Lindley, crew chief] and our engineers and they’ve been very pleased with how it’s going.”
And Heims is also looking forward to the opportunity to compete at Darlington for Kyle Busch Motorsports. “I’m thankful to everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota for giving me the opportunity to make two starts in the Camping World Truck Series this year. The #51 team has had fast trucks everywhere they’ve been this season, and I’m confident that they’ll have a strong JBL Tundra at Darlington. I just need to learn throughout the race and be there at the end.”