DOVER, Del. – Jennifer Jo Cobb said she was “mad as hell” at Tyler Reddick and forgot a NASCAR rule that prohibits drivers from walking on the track, which she did during Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.
“The fact that I forget is such a shame because the reason (the rule) is in place likely stems from a tragedy that none of us should forget,’’ Cobb said after meeting with NASCAR officials.
NASCAR instituted the rule last August after Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint car race in New York. Ward walked down the track toward Stewart’s car after an incident and was struck.
This the first time a driver in any of NASCAR’s three national series has violated the rule.
“A huge error in judgment on my part,’’ Cobb said. “The fact that we had a very stern meeting will keep it top of my mind for sure.’’
Elton Sawyer, director of the Camping World Truck Series, said of Cobb’s actions: “It’s a serious infraction. She understands what she did and there will be consequences.’’
NASCAR likely will announce its action Tuesday.
The video NASCAR plays before each driver/crew chief meeting reminds drivers that if they are involved in an accident, they must “stay in your vehicle until attended to by a track safety worker.’’
Cobb wrecked on Lap 13 as Reddick, the leader and eventual winner, closed on her.
After the incident, Cobb climbed from her vehicle before safety officials arrived and took 12 steps up the track before raising her arms as Reddick drove by under caution. On the next lap, Cobb again tried to walk up the track to gesture toward Reddick but was stopped by a NASCAR official.
“I was still mad as hell,’’ Cobb said. “The reason for such anger is it’s so early in the race.
“You can ask any spotter on the spotter stand how much courtesy I give these guys. I didn’t pull out to pass (Norm Benning), which we were coming to lap, because I knew (Reddick) was out there and I gave him the high side and that is what makes me so made.
“There are 32 trucks. I don’t care what anybody says, all 32 trucks matter. We run on a budget of about $300,000 a year. They run on a budget of $3 million a year. My truck is 10 times harder to drive than his truck. Despite all of that, our ultimate goal is to earn the respect of these guys. There are 99 percent of them that will tell you that we’ve done it.’’
Cobb displayed a picture of the rear of the vehicle that showed left side damage. Reddick said he did not hit her.
“We were in lapped traffic early on in the race,’’ Reddick said after his second win of the season for Brad Keselowski Racing. “She was trying to pass another vehicle. She looked like she was going to give me three wide and then she closed the door. I (slowed) up to try to avoid getting into the back of her. She just got loose when I was right behind and she ended up spinning and tearing her vehicle up. It’s just a real shame.’’