Tammy Jo Kirk

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Tammy Jo Kirk
Tammy Jo Kirk.jpg
Tammy Joe Kirk in 1997
Born (1962-05-06) May 6, 1962 (age 56)
Dalton, Georgia, U.S.
Achievements1994 Snowball Derby Winner
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
15 races run over 1 year
Best finish45th (2003)
First race2003 New England 200 (New Hampshire)
Last race2003 Ford 300 (Homestead)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series career
32 races run over 2 years
Best finish20th (1997)
First race1997 Chevy Trucks Challenge (Disney)
Last race1998 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 No. 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 No. 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]

NASCAR Busch Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 NBSC Pts
2003 Jay Robinson Racing 49 Ford DAY CAR LVS DAR BRI TEX TAL NSH CAL RCH GTY NZH CLT DOV NSH KEN MLW DAY CHI NHA
34
PPR
21
IRP
29
MCH
39
BRI
37
DAR
25
RCH
22
DOV
24
KAN
33
CLT
27
MEM
28
ATL
35
PHO
33
CAR
32
HOM
32
45th 1062

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 NCTC Pts
1997 Geoff Bodine Racing 07 Ford WDW
24
TUS
DNQ
NSV
14
20th 2174
7 HOM
23
PHO
12
POR
14
EVG
16
I70
25
NHA
13
TEX
13
BRI
19
NZH
16
MLW
16
LVL
14
CNS
17
HPT
11
IRP
34
FLM
19
MacDonald Motorsports 72 Chevy GLN
DNQ
RCH
30
MAR
DNQ
SON MMR
Circle Bar Racing 74 Ford CAL
35
PHO
RGR Racing 27 Ford LVS
DNQ
1998 Kirk Motorsports 51 Ford WDW
17
HOM
15
PHO POR EVG I70
19
GLN TEX
15
BRI
13
MLW
DNQ
NZH
16
CAL
32
PPR
34
IRP
31
NHA
34
FLM NSV
26
HPT LVL RCH
DNQ
MEM
21
GTY MAR SON MMR PHO LVS
36
29th 1296

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