A strange story from the world of NASCAR racing has one driver accused of stealing vehicles from another driver. Police recovered two cars and five trucks from two of NASCAR driver Mike Harmon's garages. WBTV reports that the cars were stolen from fellow racer Jennifer Jo Cobb at the end of last year.
They are both drivers in NASCAR's truck series. Cobb is competing this year in the Camping World Truck Series for her own team, the Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Team. Harmon used to be the team manager for when Cobb raced for the Nationwide team, and has said in public tweets that he is involved in litigation with Cobb.
These stolen vehicles came to light only after Harmon was arrested two weeks ago on a separate charge of theft. He was charged with breaking into Cobb's headquarters and stealing the hauler she used to transport cars and trucks. Harmon is denying the allegations.
"I've never stolen as much as a piece of bubble gum. To be arrested for a felony is ridiculous," Harmon told WBTV.
Harmon is keeping his distance from Cobb under judge's orders. Harmon has not been charged with stealing the seven vehicles. Cobb's hauler has not been recovered.
At the crux of the matter is an ongoing dispute between Cobb and her former business partner at JJC Racing, David Novak, over rightful ownership of the trailer and other racing equipment. They parted ways last December and remain in litigation.
In February, Novak made news when he had a team van confiscated from Cobb in Daytona Beach, Fla., while she was making a public appearance with her race team, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. According the report, Novak claimed he was the rightful owner to the van and supplied police with documents showing he had made payments and held the insurance on the van.
Harmon said he is in the middle of the quarrel because he helped set up the joint venture between Cobb and Novak in 2010. Harmon said he helped Novak retrieve the trailer from Cobb last December and it was taken to a site in Denver, N.C.
In January, Cobb said she took the trailer back and brought it to her shop because she was the rightful owner. She's been using it ever since.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Harmon called Cobb "pure evil. Evil. She doesn't care about anybody but Jennifer." Harmon vowed to restore his name, saying he plans to "go for the jugular" when it comes to pursuing his legal options down the road.
Neither driver has had much success on the track.
Cobb has one top-10 finish in 85 combined starts in the Nationwide and Truck Series. That came in the 2011 season-opening Truck Series race at Daytona, where she finished sixth. Cobb has led only one lap in her career and her best finish in the points was a 17th in 2010, the only year she ran a full Truck Series schedule.
Cobb ran 12 Truck races last year and made two Nationwide starts. She's run all four Truck races this year, but failed to finish the first two.
Harmon, a journeyman in the Nationwide and Truck Series, has never notched a top 10 finish and is probably best known for a horrific crash during practice at Bristol in 2002. His car was demolished when it hit Bristol's crossover gate in the fencing, and the gate swung open on impact. Harmon's car was nearly split in half, and as he sat in the wreckage on the track, Johnny Sauter hit the car.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.