Tammy Jo Kirk

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Tammy Jo Kirk
Tammy Jo Kirk.jpg
Born (1962-05-06) May 6, 1962 (age 52)
Dalton, Georgia, U.S.
Achievements 1994 Snowball Derby Winner
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
15 races run over 1 year
Best finish 45th (2003)
First race 2003 New England 200 (New Hampshire)
Last race 2003 Ford 300 (Homestead)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
32 races run over 2 years
Best finish 20th (1997)
First race 1997 Chevy Trucks Challenge (Disney)
Last race 1998 Sam's Town 250 (Las Vegas)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

Tammy Jo Kirk (born May 6, 1962 in Dalton, Georgia) is a racecar and motorcycle racer. She was the first woman to race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and later returned to NASCAR to run the Busch Series. She has not driven in NASCAR since 2003.

Early career[edit]

Kirk began her racing career in motorcycles at the age of 9,[1] moving up through the ranks of the sport during her teenage years and finally reaching the peak of the sport, the A.M.A. Grand National Championship. She became the first woman in history to reach a Grand National Championship final when she earned a spot in the 1983 Knoxville Half Mile event.[2] In 1986, she made history by winning a Class C flat track race in Knoxville, Tennessee.[3]

After Kirk retired from motorcycle racing due to frustration about the refusal of companies to provide spare parts to a female competitor,[4] she moved on to late model racing in 1989.[5] Kirk joined the NASCAR Winston All-American Challenge Series in 1991, becoming the first female driver to compete in the series.[3] In 1994, she was named the Most Popular Driver in the series, which had been renamed the Slim Jim All Pro Series, and would finish seventh in series points two years later. Kirk became the second woman to win a NASCAR touring series event (the first being Shawna Robinson in 1988, in the Goody's Dash Series[6]) when she won the 1994 Snowball Derby, which was at the time a points race in the All Pro Series.[3]

Craftsman Trucks & Busch Series[edit]

Kirk's 1997 truck

In 1997, Kirk made the next big step as she moved to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. She signed with Geoff Bodine Racing with Loveable, a lingerie company, as the sponsor of her No. 7 Ford F-150;[7] the sponsorship was reported to be worth $1.2 million USD.[1] She made her debut in 1997 at the Walt Disney World Speedway, qualifying 9th and finishing 24th; she was the first female driver to compete in the series.[3] Two races later at Portland Speedway, she qualified 3rd.[5] Her best finish that year was an 11th at Heartland Park Topeka. After the Federated Auto Parts 250, she was released, but was able to run one race apiece with MacDonald Motorsports and Circle Bar Racing. When the season was over, she had run 19 of 26 races and had finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year chase.[3]

For 1998, she started her own team.[3] Unfortunately, she only made thirteen starts because of a lack of sponsors for her #51 Ford. The season was marked with 6 DNF's. Her best finish that year was 13th at Bristol. She finished 29th in points that year. Despite her best efforts, she still did not acquire any sponsors,[8] and she shut down her team in 1999. She would not race in the Truck Series again; her best career finish in the series was 11th, at Heartland Park Topeka in 1997.[3]

In 2003, she returned to NASCAR, driving the #49 Advil Ford Taurus for Jay Robinson Racing in the Busch Series. In 15 races, her best finish was 21st at the Trim Spa Dream Body 250.[4] After the season was over, she was released from the ride; she retired from racing, and currently works as a motorcycle dealer in her hometown of Dalton.[4]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Busch Series[edit]

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Brinster, Dick (August 7, 1997). "Female driver no pushover". Star-News (Wilmington, NC). p. 5C. 
  2. ^ "The smokin' Camel Pro Series". American Motorcyclist (Westerville, OH: American Motorcyclist Association) 37 (9): 13. September 1983. ISSN 0277-9358. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Tammy Jo Kirk". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. December 22, 2002. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  4. ^ a b c Hood, Jeff (December 12, 2010). "Tammy Jo Kirk Was A Racer". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  5. ^ a b Rockne, Dick (May 10, 1997). "Tammy Jo Kirk Won't Dim Her Lights -- First Woman In Truck Series Breaks Ground". The Seattle Times. Seattle, WA. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  6. ^ "Shawna Robinson Becomes First Woman to Win a NASCAR Race". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA. June 11, 1988. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  7. ^ "NASCAR Notebook". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Lubbock, TX. March 31, 2005. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  8. ^ Miller, Henry (June 13, 1998). "Kirk's doing all she can to run races - with or without a sponsor". Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, CA). p. 30. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Bobby Gill
Snowball Derby Winner
1994
Succeeded by
Jeff Purvis