Terry Cook Evergreen race report

MONROE, WA (June 4, 2000) - Heading into the Sears 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, Terry Cook knew tire management would be a key to running well on the coarse, worn out Evergreen Speedway surface. "It's very abrasive on...

MONROE, WA (June 4, 2000) - Heading into the Sears 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, Terry Cook knew tire management would be a key to running well on the coarse, worn out Evergreen Speedway surface. "It's very abrasive on tires and it has zero grip, I mean none," said Cook of the .646-mile Evergreen oval. "You're always wanting to charge the corners and charge off the corners, but when you do that, you are always slower. You have to beat it into your head to be patient and be calm. You have to adapt to the track." Cook did just that, playing the waiting game to rally from his 11th starting position to run in the Top-5 late in the 200-lap event. Unfortunately for the driver of the #88 PickupTruck.com Chevy, even a patient mindset and a soft right foot were no match for the unforgiving Evergreen racing surface. "The right front tire just went to heck on us during that long run near the end of the race," said Cook, who was officially credited with 13th in the final running order. "We burnt it right off. When that happened, I was just hanging on. We were praying for a caution flag but we never got it. When we finally did get the yellow, it was too late with just a couple of laps to go. We came in and put tires on and we were able to pick off a few more spots on the last lap, but it was too late to get back into the Top-10." The final finishing position didn't reflect how well Cook ran throughout the event. Conserving his tires, Cook took his time getting to the front watching his more aggressive counterparts fade to the back of the pack. Running in the 12th position for much of the early stages of the race, Cook got a boost from his PickupTruck.com crew picking up five positions on one pit stop and two on another. "Our pit stops were awesome, easily the best we've had all year," said Cook. "The pit crew has been working hard for the past couple of the weeks and for the first time of all season, we beat a lot of trucks out of the pits on pit stops. I've just got to hand it to the crew, they gave me a great truck all day." Now running fourth with just over 75 laps to go, Cook appeared to be in position to score his first NCTS win in nearly two seasons. Unfortunately, his Goodyear tires didn't cooperate as they gave up in the late going forcing Cook to slowly fall back as the race neared its conclusion. Despite the disappointment of the near miss, Cook was still upbeat about the effort. "All in all it was a good day for us," Cook stated. "We got up front and ran in the Top 5 the first half of the race. We had a great run going. We just had some tire problems on that last run." The solid finish kept Cook in the thick of the NCTS title chase. Now 13th in the points, Cook is just 88 markers out of 10th spot in the standings. "Our goal all along has been to be in the Top-10 in points at the halfway point of the season," said Cook. "We've been gaining on that goal the last couple of weeks and feel like we can be there with strong performances the next two weeks at Texas and Kentucky." As mentioned, Cook and his PickupTruck.com mates will next head to Texas Motor Speedway and the Pronto Auto Parts 400 this Friday, June 9. The event on the 1.5-mile Texas superspeedway will be telecast live by ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. It will also be broadcast live by MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Terry Cook