Female Racers Fare Poorly In Daytona Nationwide and Truck Races

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IFebruary 14, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, stands in the garage area after crashing out of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

NASCAR's first races of the season kicked off at the famed Daytona International Speedway, with three female racers in both the Nationwide DRIVE4COPD 300, as well as the Camping World Truck NextEra Energy Resources 250. 

Unfortunately, these females all fared poorly, with all three crashing out and not even finishing their races.

The most heralded female racer of the weekend was of course Danica Patrick.  Racing her GoDaddy.com JR Motorsports No. 7, Patrick made her NASCAR debut in the Nationwide race.

Patrick started in the 15th position due to weather washing out qualifying.  As the green flag waved, Patrick held her ground for a few laps, but then starting dropping back as she tried to get a feel for her car in the draft.

She managed to miss the first wreck of the race, however, was not so fortunate on the second "big one."  Patrick suffered damage to the car after sliding through the grass and hitting the wall.

"The last time, I held it straight and they spun away and below me," Patrick said of the first accident she avoided.  The second one she just could not miss, losing sight of the spinning cars ahead of her in the smoke.

"I held it straight, hoping they would spin out of the way," Patrick said.  "But they didn't."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

After joking with her crew that Goodyear needed to make tires that wouldn't smoke so she could indeed see through the wreck, Patrick took her injured car to the garage.  Her restrictor plate racing debut was done for the day.

"The disappointing part is that I missed out getting the rest of my laps in," Patrick said.  "The car was settling in and I was just getting comfortable."

"I had 50 laps to go," Patrick continued.  "I'm glad I got that second stint but it's never fun to crash up a perfectly good car when it's not your fault."

Patrick was not the only female to crash out of the Nationwide race.  Chrissy Wallace, making history of her own by debuting with her father Mike, her uncle Kenny, and her cousin Steve, joined Patrick in having a tough day.

Wallace's day, however, ended much earlier than Patrick's.  She got hit from behind by Paul Menard on turn four on the very first lap of the Nationwide race.

Wallace's crew was just in the process of unpacking their pit box and settling in for the race when she came sliding down pit road.  Her car was totalled and before the race really even got started; Wallace's day was done.

Although Wallace was upset by being ousted so early from the competition, she was also angry.

"I don't know what Menard was thinking," Wallace said.  "I'm a rookie, but I still know that you can't win a race on the first lap."

Wallace was most upset as, unlike Patrick, she does not know when she will race again.  "We're working on some sponsorship things," Wallace said.  "I don't know.  We'll see."

In the Truck race, there was one female racer behind the wheel.  Jennifer Jo Cobb, who recently bought her Truck team, was anxious to make her debut.

Cobb started in the 28th position in her No. 10 drivenmale.com Ford.  Her race night was destined to be almost as short as Wallace's as she too suffered an early incident that put her out of the show.

"I don't know how to give up," Cobb said in the garage as she and her crew surveyed the damage to her race truck.  "If we can go make a couple laps again for morale and points, which are oh so important, I want to do it."

"Yeah, I don't want to give up," Cobb said.  "I want to get back out there."

Yet Cobb admitted that it was unlikely that she could get back onto the track.  Not only was her truck mangled but she admitted that it was the hardest hit that she had ever taken as well.

All three of these females will indeed go on to race another day.  But on this weekend in Daytona, their hopes and dreams for glory, or at least a full race finish under their belts, were not meant to be.