PHOENIX, AZ (October 27, 2003) - Returning from an off weekend with two races remaining on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, Terry Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke Â® Diesel Ford team travel to The Grand Canyon State for a 150-lap...
PHOENIX, AZ (October 27, 2003) - Returning from an off weekend with two races remaining on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, Terry Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke ® Diesel Ford team travel to The Grand Canyon State for a 150-lap feature at Phoenix International Raceway where the first NCTS race was hosted February 5, 1995.
"When NASCAR held the very first Truck Series race at Phoenix in February 1995, it raised a lot of eyebrows," said Cook. "It developed from a winter heat series into a full fledge touring division. When I watched a spectacular race there between Mike Skinner and Terry Labonte coming down side by side beating and banging for the finish, I realized it was something that I wanted to be a part of.
"As the 1995 season progressed, there was a gentleman sponsoring my car locally that was interested in becoming involved in the Truck Series," continued Cook. "He sent me out on a mission to Phoenix for the fall race to learn more about the division. Actually, at that race we purchased my very first NASCAR truck. I started to do a little bit of racing in 1996 with my first race occurring at The Milwaukee Mile. Phoenix is special to me because not only is it the birth of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but the birth of myself getting involved in a major NASCAR touring division."
Prior to joining the No. 29 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry, Cook's best finish at Phoenix was 14th. Cook's record in the No. 29 Power Stroke ® Diesel Ford has advanced each time out at the one-mile Copper State oval. Last season the Indianapolis resident started fourth and finished fifth to eventual winner Kevin Harvick in the 152-lap event.
"I am glad to get back to another racetrack the No. 29 Power Stroke ® Diesel/Oil Mateâ"' Ford ran well at last year," said Cook. "Last season we qualified in the Top-5, ran in the Top-5 and finished in the Top-5. Basically we had a Top-5 truck all weekend which is something to be proud about. You always look forward to going back to tracks you've ran well at.
"I've always enjoyed racing Phoenix this time of year when it's still warm while it's chilly in the Midwest," said Cook. "One difference you will find racing at Phoenix is when you drive down the frontstretch as the sun is setting sometimes it plays havoc with you because you are looking right at it getting into Turn 1. You have to take extra precaution to make sure you have good sunscreen on the windshield and wear a dark visor for protection. Also, as the race goes on you're faced with the windshield being dirtier with sand from the desert."
Holding the greatest number of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events, Phoenix has produced seven different race winners in 12 races. With only three of those NCTS winners piloting a Ford machine, Cook's up for the challenge to deliver Ford its seventh victory of the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season at a track that's had alterations this year.
"There are definitely some modifications to Phoenix this year," said Cook. "As I understand they have moved the wall out off of Turn 2 where the cars and trucks run out further against the wall. You will have a different line coming off of Turn 2. I think it's going to be good for all of us. I know that some Busch and Cup teams have tested there, but I haven't heard too many comments back.
Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke ® Diesel/Oil Mateâ"' Ford team takes the green flag in the Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway at 5:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. The event will be telecast live on Speed Channel and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.