Just a few months after the IndyCar Series saw five women compete in one race (Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher, Milka Duno, Simona De Silvestro, and Ana Beatriz), the ladies of NASCAR got in the act this past weekend at Martinsville (Virginia) Speedway with the running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday, October 23rd . Four women – series regular Jennifer Jo Cobb, 18-year-old Johanna Long, and twins Amber and Angela Cope – qualified for the Truck Series race, marking not only the first time four women have competed in one of NASCAR’s top series, but also the first time sisters are competing against each other.
Cobb, the veteran of the group, is the highest-ranking woman ever in one of NASCAR’s top three series, currently 17th in Truck Series points after a 33rd-place finish at Martinsville. Running this season as an owner/driver, Cobb is also sponsoring her own ride – Driven Male is a clothing brand that Cobb’s owns and developed; she also owns the line’s female counterpart, Driver Boutique.
Long competed in her fifth race of the season, starting 17th and finishing 22nd; she ran in the top 20 most of the day until a spin with eight laps to go put her back a few spots. Long has qualified in the top 20 for all five events this season, and had a career-best finish of 17th in her debut race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
The Cope twins, nieces of former Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, began racing go-karts as youngsters in the northwest, moving to North Carolina five years ago hoping to step up to stock cars or trucks. They have competed in the ARCA Racing Series, and were among nine women who went to Daytona earlier this year for ARCA testing. Like Cobb, the twins own a boutique, called Pink Candy Boutique. Angela qualified 32nd at Martinsville, while Amber lined up behind her in 34th; at the end of the race, Amber edged ahead of her sister, finishing 26th to Angela’s 30th. The girls stayed out of trouble and gained all-important experience as they look forward to their future in auto racing.
Sources: Dave Rodman, “Four women qualifiers a Truck Series record,” nascar.com
Rea White, “History awaits racers at Martinsville,” msn.foxsports.com