Cook Fontana wrap up

FONTANA, CA (Oct. 29, 2000) - The smile on Terry Cook's face after the Motorola 200 at California Speedway said it all. Driving the No. 29 Precision Gear, Irwindale Speedway, K-Automotive Dodge, Cook had just turned in a stellar ...

FONTANA, CA (Oct. 29, 2000) - The smile on Terry Cook's face after the Motorola 200 at California Speedway said it all. Driving the No. 29 Precision Gear, Irwindale Speedway, K-Automotive Dodge, Cook had just turned in a stellar seventh-place finish in the final NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event of the season. According to Cook, it was his most satisfying finish of the season. "Considering we didn't put this deal together until a little over a week ago, I couldn't be more pleased with the way this all turned out," said Cook, who drove the No. 88 SealMaster Racing Team entry all season before leaving that ride after the NCTS race at Texas two weeks ago. "Ron, Bob and Kay Keselowski gave me an opportunity this weekend and fortunately, we were able to make the most of it." The association between Cook and the Keselowski's started off slowly as Cook could only manage a 25th-place effort in qualifying on the two-mile California oval. "We really struggled when we first got here," said Cook. "We just couldn't get the truck to turn from the center of the corner off. While we were disappointed with our qualifying run, nobody panicked, nobody got discouraged. We knew we were a lot better than 25th." The 32-year-old Sylvania, OH driver proved just that rocketing through the field in the early stages of the Motorola 200. "We really twisted on the truck in Happy Hour Friday and made it much better," said Cook. "When they dropped the green, we just mashed it and headed for the front. I know we passed a ton of trucks in the first 10 laps. It was pretty obvious we were going to have a good day." Cook's finish might have been even better if not for a late caution flag that derailed the team's late-race strategy. "I know we would have finished in the Top-5 if it wouldn't have been for that last caution," Cook stated. "The truck was bad fast and we made the decision to not change anything on our last stop, just do a gas and go. We could have picked up 20 seconds of track time and at a fast place like California, that's huge. That would have put us up with the leaders and I know we had the truck to run with them. "When the caution came out, we decided to take right-side tires too and it just didn't work out. That set was a little tight and I just couldn't get off the corner the way we were before. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. To have as strong a run as we did and finish in the Top-10 was a real accomplishment. It was my first time in a Dodge and the first time I ever worked with the K-Automotive group. They were awesome all day and it turned out to be a very good day for us." Cook earned $12,825 for the effort and had him looking forward to next year. "It's no secret that I'd like to stay with this team next year," said Cook. "If we can put together this kind of effort in less than a week, think of what we could do if we had a whole season to work together. Like everything else, all it takes is money. With the right kind of sponsorship package, I know we could win races and contend for the championship next season. That could mean a lot to a company looking to take advantage of the power of NASCAR marketing. I hope we can find someone who will want to take advantage of that kind of opportunity."

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK