Mesa Marin: Terry Cook preview

Cook, Power Stroke® Diesel/Oil Mateâ Ford bank on top finish at Bakersfield. BAKERSFIELD, CA (March 17, 2003) - With a winning team history at Bakersfield, CA and a driver who was a fixture in the Top-5 throughout the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman...

Cook, Power Stroke® Diesel/Oil Mateâ Ford bank on top finish at Bakersfield.

BAKERSFIELD, CA (March 17, 2003) - With a winning team history at Bakersfield, CA and a driver who was a fixture in the Top-5 throughout the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, K-Automotive and Terry Cook have their sights set on another trip to Victory Lane as the Truck Series heads to Mesa Marin Raceway for this weekend's Lucas Oil 250.

"K-Automotive won at Mesa Marin Raceway in the past with Dennis Setzer," Cook stated. "We're bringing our most successful Power Stroke® Diesel Engines/Oil Mateâ"¢ Ford truck - 'Droopy Dog' - to Bakersfield. That truck won three of four events last season. If our short track program is as stout as it was last year; a fifth-place finish at Martinsville, runner-up at Memphis, a win at IRP and fifth-place finish at Richmond - all with Droppy Dog - we know we will have a good shot at getting to Bakersfield's Victory Lane this time around." Regarded as the birthplace of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Mesa Marin has produced only one Ford winner in eight NCTS events. Cook will be looking to add to that Blue Oval total and improve upon his best finish at Mesa Marin, a pair of seventh-place finishes in 2001 and 2000.

Bakersfield a very challenging short track," said Cook. "You have to have a great combination of braking, horsepower and mechanical grip. Aerodynamics are not key at all at Bakersfield. You still have to keep the fenders on your truck. If you knock your fenders off, you are going to knock off your brake hoses. Brakes and handling are the biggest thing at Bakersfield.

"You also have to be able to stop and get through the corners," Cook continued. "It's a tough track to get around because the surface is very slippery. It's a tough track because once you get the truck to turn through the center you don't have any forward bite off. Once you get the forward bite off, then you can't turn through the center. You're always trying to find a compromise because the track is difficult."

Cook compares the .5-mile oval to racing one of his favorite tracks Toledo Speedway.

"The closest track I can compare Mesa Marin to is Toledo Speedway where I grew up racing," said Cook, who won track championships at Toledo and Sandusky Speedways before moving up to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1996. "The track is very similar, but Toledo had a little more grip than Bakersfield. As far as sitting in the grandstands watching the race, they drive about the same and look the same. It will be a slipping sliding type of race and the guy who slides the least will be the guy who wins the race."

Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford team will take the green flag in Lucas Oil 250 at Mesa Marin Raceway Friday, March at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The event will be telecast live on Speed Channel and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRUCK AND ENGINE COMPANY
International Truck and Engine Corporation is the operating company of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV). International Truck and Engine is a leading producer of mid-range diesel engines, medium trucks, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles, and a provider of parts and service sold under the International® brand. The company also is a private label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. Additionally, through a joint venture with Ford Motor Company, the company will build medium commercial trucks and currently sells and services truck and diesel engine parts. International Truck and Engine has the broadest distribution network in the industry. Financing for customers and dealers is provided through a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar. Additional information can be found on the company's Web site at www.InternationalDelivers.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Terry Cook