NASCAR Nationwide: Can Jennifer Jo Cobb Make More Money as a Start-and-Park?

Dawn Peralli-OishiContributor IIMay 14, 2011

MARTINSVILLE, VA - MARCH 27: Jennifer Jo Cobb, driver of the #14 Ford, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2010 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

As a huge supporter of females having their right to play with the boys, I want to love Jennifer Jo Cobb. However, her inability to contend with the rest of the field this season has been somewhat alienating.

Yes, I know she is strong-willed, business savvy and a diva with social media. I often find myself impressed by how upbeat and motivated she is despite not knowing what her racing future may bring. However, I’m at a loss when I see her soliciting donations through a website to keep her car running. I keep thinking...isn't there a better way?

The lack of money dredges up the unpleasant idea of start-and-park. Respectfully, Cobb has taken a stance against the policy. Unfortunately, NASCAR is an expensive sport to participate in. Starting and parking a few races could potentially inject life into an otherwise flat-lined season for Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing.

Originally used to fill the field, starting and parking has become a regular part of NASCAR. With the economy in such a downfall, sponsorship dollars are hard to come by. Starting and parking has become a way for smaller teams such as Cobb’s to race a few laps and earn a portion of the purse.  Because they did not have the exuberant costs involved to run a full race, they can sometimes make a buck or two while they find more sponsorship money.

Cobb has won $80,280 and driven 633 laps in six races compared to $77,314 and 17 laps to the last place finisher of the same six races who started and parked. That is a mere $2,966 more than the start-and-park car and does not include the costs of the full set of race tires or car repairs for two accidents she was involved in.

I’ll admit, I have never advocated for start-and-park cars. Not to mention they always screw up my Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing team! However, JJC—if you are reading this—just know, your fans and I will continue to support you even if you must start-and-park a few races. Always remember, in every great team started a smaller team just like yours!

Oh and by the way, I didn't pay the buck for this week’s NASCAR pool guessing how many laps until you wreck or break down at Dover.