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First Woman to Win in NASCAR: Can Daytona Witness Historic Win?

Soumyadeep Saha

First Woman to win in NASCAR: Can Daytona witness historic win?

Since Danica Patrick won her first and only pole in the Cup Series race at the Daytona 500 for Stewart-Haas Racing, no woman has ever come close to winning anything at the famed 500-mile race. However, there are a few talented ladies in this year’s Daytona lineup in the Xfinity and the Truck series. So, will Daytona International Speedway witness its first female winner? If yes, who could it be?

On the Xfinity side of things, 2024 marks Hailie Deegan’s first year with AM Racing, driving the #15 Ford. The two-time Truck Series Most Popular Driver made her Xfinity debut in 2022. That year itself, she became the first female racer to have multiple top-10 finishes in a Truck Series season.

Besides Deegan, DGM Racing welcomed Natalie Decker to the team on National Girls and Women In Sports Day. Decker will be driving the #36 Chevrolet sponsored by Amped Fitness. Last year, Decker took part in a pair of Xfinity races, one for SS-Green Light Racing and the other for Emerling-Gase Motorsports. She has also run in 32 Truck Series races, with a top-5 at Daytona in 2020.

Moving over to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Tony Breidinger and Jennifer Jo Cob are expected to start at the Fresh from Florida 250 for TRICON Garage and Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing, respectively. The driver of the #1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Breidinger, made it big in the NASCAR arena by registering herself as the highest-placing female debut driver in series history after she finished 15th at Kansas Speedway.

The oldest female driver in the entire field is Jennifer Jo Cob, who will start at this year’s Truck race opener at Daytona International Speedway. This 50-year-old woman has not raced in the Daytona since 2021. However, she has done well before at Daytona when in 2011; she recorded a P6 finish driving the #10 truck.

Who, among them, can make it?

Perhaps the strongest contender this year is Hailie Deegan. In just her seventh start in the ARCA Menards series and her first at Daytona, Deegan succeeded in recording a runner-up position. That was back in 2020. She has also made several top-10s at Talladega, Daytona’s sister track. Hence, her driving prowess at Superspeedways speaks of the threat that she poses to everyone else on the grid.

That includes Natalie Decker. Decker has picked up a P5 and a P6 finish at the 2.5-mile, high-banked racetrack in the ARCA, besides another fifth-place finish in the Truck Series. But in the Xfinity Series, her performance of a 35th, a 40th, and a DNQ, isn’t that impressive. For starters, she needs to avoid getting into wrecks if she wants to earn her first career win this year at Daytona.

Looking at the Truck Series competitors, Breidinger needs to up her game this year. During her developmental career in the ARCA Menards Series, Breidinger has been able to put up merely four top-5s in a span of two full seasons. Most recently Breidinger has recorded a 15th-place finish at the Daytona Truck Series practice. Safe to say, she needs more speed and consistency if she wants to record a win at Daytona.

But for Jennifer Jo Cobb, her experience in driving in 232 races in the Truck  Series and 31 in the Xfinity Series over the last two decades might come in handy. The good news for her is that she has recorded a 6th place finisher at Daytona before, but that was more than a decade ago.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Soumyadeep Saha

Soumyadeep Saha


Soumyadeep is a motorsport journalist at the Sportsrush. While preparing for his PhD in English literature back in 2021, the revving of stock cars pulled him towards being a full-time NASCAR writer. And, he has been doing it ever since. With over 500 articles to his credit, Soumyadeep strives every single day to bring never-heard-before stories to the table in order to give his readers that inside scoop. A staunch supporter of Denny Hamlin, Soumyadeep is an amateur bodybuilder as well. When not writing about his favorite Joe Gibbs Racing icon, he can be seen training budding bodybuilders at the gym or snuggled in a beanbag watching anime.

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