2015 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll
F.L. Schlagle High School, 1991
Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Stony Point South Elementary, Arrowhead Middle.
Jennifer Jo Cobb has built a thriving career as a professional racecar driver, entrepreneur and public speaker. Her success and perseverance are seen as an example to women around the country. She has been named one of Fox Sports Top 10 Most Powerful Women in NASCAR, and one of the 25 Most All-American Drivers of All Time. She travels the country for speaking engagements where she shares her stories of determination and triumph.
She said sometimes she has to pinch herself to make sure her life is not a dream.
“I’m just this girl from Kansas who wanted to race full-time in NASCAR,” she recalled. “And now 25 years later . . . .”
Cobb was only eight years old when she told her parents that she wanted to be a racecar driver. Her dad was a racecar driver so she grew up around the sport. She wanted her parents to take her seriously, so in high school, she went to her counselor and asked to take an auto mechanics class. The counselor discouraged her and told her that the classes she was currently taking in business, school newspaper and other subjects, would help her in her future. To this day she is thankful for that counselor.
After high school, she attended Kansas City Kansas Community College and worked in the garage every night. She began racing locally at Lakeside Speedway and I-70 Speedway. When the Kansas Speedway opened in 2001, she never looked back. It took about seven years for her to race in the big leagues, but today she owns her own NASCAR team.
She is asked often if it is difficult to be a woman in a male dominated field. But she said her dad taught her early on that the racecar doesn’t know if you’re a man or a woman.
She labels herself an “overcomer.” She believes that she can overcome any obstacle and will be strengthened in the end.
In 2011, she launched Driven2Honor, a non-profit organization to recognize the efforts and plights of female military members. She honors current and past military women with a VIP experience at every race. And she raises money to provide financial assistance to organizations that provide for homeless veterans.
Her ultimate goal is to race in the Daytona 500. And with her passion and determination, she will.