In addition to being a highly celebrated and accomplished NASCAR driver, Tammy Jo Kirk is also a huge fan of motorcycles. She began racing these two-wheeled vehicles at the young age of nine and fell in love with the sport. Despite being very talented, Kirk faced a great deal of sexism and wasn’t allowed to race in male-dominated motorcycle competitions. The race driver was so frustrated that she decided to transition into car racing.
Tammy Jo Kirk was quickly picked up by NASCAR, and in 1991 she joined the All-American Challenge Series. Just three years later, she was already crowned the world’s most popular driver. The talented NASCAR competitor kept racing until 2003 when she decided to hang her helmet and open up a motorcycle dealership.
They say that immigrants have the most motivation and passion to succeed out of any American, Milka Duno is definite proof of that. She was originally born in Venezuela and became an academic after arriving in the United States. She learned Marine Biology, Naval Architecture, Organizational Development, and Maritime Business, and went on to receive a master’s degree in all of these!
During her time studying, Milka Duno was also a mildly successful model. This strange mix of professions created much attention when she decided to officially become a race car driver and compete in NASCAR. She currently holds the record for the highest finish by a female driver in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Duno also wrote a Latin-English kid’s book titled "Go, Milka, Go!" which won the Best Young Adult Sports/Recreation Book award in 2009.
Mackena Bell was also a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program but had only one official NASCAR race in the sport. She too began her love story with racing by racing go-karts at age five, moving up to Legend cars at age fourteen, and then officially car racing by age eighteen. In 2010, she competed in six NASCAR races during their Xfinity Series and failed to finish with a proper score, making it hard to consider her a serious driver.
Four years later, Bell crashed out during two races. She only had one top ten finish in her career. Needless to say, she didn't return to NASCAR after that, and instead, she began racing for Rick Ware Racing at the Phoenix International Raceway where she placed 29th.
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Pro NASCAR driver Jennifer Jo Cobb is a fantastic example of that, as she became one of the world’s top female race drivers of all time through years of obsession with the sport.
Her first experience racing was in 1991 when her father, Joe Cobb, helped her get started as a racer. By 2002, she was already competing in racing competitions, leading her to become an official NASCAR driver just two years later. Everything about Jo Cobb’s life is related to cars and racing, which is why she holds the record for the woman with the highest points in any major NASCAR series. The veteran racing driver also owns her own successful clothing line, Driver Boutique.
Hailie Deegan is already shaping up to become one of the most popular female drivers in NASCAR. She first made history by competing and winning the NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208 race. In fact, Deegan was the first driver to ever win that race.
Deegan is the only female to have ever won a race in the K&N Pro Series, doing so in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. She's the daughter of Brian Deegan, the first freestyle motorcycle rider to ever manage a 360 flip during a competition. Deegan was primed from a young age to become a successful NASCAR driver, as she began riding dirt bikes at the extremely young age of seven. Her future is extremely promising, and we can’t wait to see how it’ll turn out a few years from now.