Two days before the Daytona 500, some of the most exciting racers in the sport jumped on the track for the season-opening NASCAR Truck Series race, with Johnny Sauter ultimately coming home to take the checkered flag, and adding yet another emotional moment for the weekend.
“This is very, very, very special here,” Johnny’s crew chief Joe Shear Jr. said in an interview with ESPN following the race. He was talking about his wife Chandra, who died unexpectedly in late December at the age of 43. “She was in love with racing as much as I was. She was looking over us and helped us to this win … I’ll never forget this one.”
Another emotional moment came during the race, when Jennifer Jo Cobb took the one of the hardest hits of her career, slamming into an inside retaining wall at full speed, igniting a brief fire.
“So now I can tell you what it feels like to hit a wall and burst into flames at 180-plus mph,” Jennifer said on her Twitter page on Feb. 16 after being released from the infield care center. “The way it worries family and friends is the worst part. I am OK. My arm hit something and swelled and bruised immediately, so the delay in being released was for X-rays.”
She went on to add, “I have complete faith in NASCAR and the safety measures that just continue to improve. I haven’t seen the wreck. I was hoping to dodge down pit road to miss Grant [Enfinger] and it just seemed like my rear end started to fishtail, which definitely isn’t normal.”
Everyone here at Rare Country is so happy that Jennifer in OK, and look forward to watching her in her next race! We know darn well fire doesn’t scare off a hard racer like Jennifer!