Wait a minute. Why is a little-known Nationwide driver and Camping World Truck owner in the Sprint Cup power rankings?
Because she stood up for herself against the concept of starting and parking.
Cobb and team owner Rick Russell of 2nd Chance Motorsports had a contract to run the season's first five races, but after an accident at Las Vegas, Russell wanted to start and park the car for Bristol because there would be no repair time for the fifth race at California if anything happened to the car. Cobb bought tires and hired a pit crew, but to no avail. She was told she would be black-flagged by NASCAR if she ran more than one lap. (Owners can black flag their own cars if they so choose.)
So she walked out, 10 minutes before the race was due to start.
Cobb and her folks have handled this situation with the grace of public relations royalty, embracing every opportunity to talk to the media and landing a ride for California with a new team, Rick Ware Racing. She has also reiterated that she doesn't intend to take the breach of contract to court—she just wants to retrieve a few things of hers from the race shop.
Meanwhile, the folks at 2nd Chance haven't dealt with it as well, with their Twitter account lashing back with every ounce of vitriol that unhappy fans unleashed against them. Their Internet presence is now gone. As justifiable as their action to preserve the car may have been, their handling of the situation has been nothing short of a public relations disaster.
It may not lead to NASCAR choosing to set any rules against start-and-park teams, but it will generate quite a bit of buzz for Cobb, whose dedication to making it as a top-level racing driver is nothing short of admirable.