Cook, Power StrokeÂ® Diesel Ford Conclude Season With Sixth At Fontana FONTANA, CA (November 5, 2001) - Terry Cook maneuvered the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel to a sixth-place finish in the Auto Club 200 at California Speedway closing the...
Cook, Power Stroke® Diesel Ford Conclude Season With Sixth At Fontana
FONTANA, CA (November 5, 2001) - Terry Cook maneuvered the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel to a sixth-place finish in the Auto Club 200 at California Speedway closing the curtain on the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Cook closed out the year with a Bud Pole Award at Nazareth (PA), five Top-5, and 16 Top-10 finishes in 24 races this season.
"We wanted to win and if you can't win, you want to finish solidly in the top five every race," said Cook. "If the race would have gone green the whole way, we would have had back-to-back, Top-5 finishes. That's disappointing we didn't. We should be happy we ended the season with a good finish and brought the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 home in one piece, but we wanted more."
Cook tried to get a handle on his red, black and silver Ford F-150 sliding back to 13th in the early going. An early caution at Lap 17 provided the team an opportunity to make a chassis change allowing Cook to roar back into the Top-5 by Lap 40.
"We were strictly aero-tight out of the box and we were down on our motor a little", said Cook. "Racing by myself, we were pretty good. With clean air on the front nose, the truck would turn just fine. We brought a high downforce truck here, so we played with the cards we were dealt. I think we ran good, but we didn't have enough for the big two-mile speedway."
Crew Chief Bob Keselowski elected to take ride side tires and make an air pressure adjustment on the next round of pit stops under caution at Lap 49. Another stop, this one for left side scuffs five laps later, put Cook back to 14th in the running order. The moved worked as the field recycled allowing Cook to break into the Top-5 again by Lap 63.
"We still were still trying to find more power and trying to free up the truck," said Cook. "We just didn't have what we needed to go to the front like we wanted. We'd been chasing the track ever since we got here. It would have been great to cap off the season with a win in front of our friends at International, Power Stroke® Diesel and Ford Motor Company."
Unfortunately, that wasn't to be as Cook settled for sixth after a green, white, checkered flag finish ended the event.
"We got a good jump on the last restart," said Cook. "We went down into Turns 1 and 2 and the truck let up a little bit. It wasn't any worse than it was all day, but the No. 3 truck (David Starr) got a run at us and just out-dragged us down the backstretch. I hated settling for sixth, but that was the best we had today."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship Awards Banquet will officially bring the 2001 season to an end Thursday, November 8. The event, which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, FL, will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. with dinner and the awards ceremony to follow at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.