SPARTA, KY (July 14, 2001) - Terry Cook and his No. 29 Power StrokeÂ® Ford overcame a host of problems in the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Unfortunately, they couldn't overcome all of them. "I think...
SPARTA, KY (July 14, 2001) - Terry Cook and his No. 29 Power Stroke® Ford overcame a host of problems in the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Unfortunately, they couldn't overcome all of them.
"I think we knocked a whole in the piston," said Cook, after managing a ninth-place finish in the event. "We probably dropped a valve that caused it to happen. We easily had a third- or fourth-place finish because of the way things were stacking up out there. We maybe even had a shot at second, or even a win with the Power Stroke® Diesel Ford. It was good that we got a Top-10 finish out of it, but we came here to win. When you have it in your sights, it makes it more difficult accept when you don't get it."
Cook qualified 12th for the 150-Lap event on the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval and wasted little time racing into the Top-10. A restart on Lap 5 after a caution caused the first of several problems for Cook on the evening as he made contact with another truck knocking a hole in the front of his red and black Power Stroke® Diesel racer.
"I'm not sure what happened or who we got into us out there, but somebody didn't take off on time," said Cook. "We had been running eighth before it happened. We came in at Lap 12 and taped up the left front fender. The guys did a great job on repairing the truck."
Now 27th in the running order, Cook put on a dazzling display of driving over the next 50 laps racing back through the field to the sixth position.
"Man, we were hooked up," said Cook. "I had to be patient early in the run because I was back with some slower trucks and the last thing I wanted to do was wreck trying to get by one of them. When I got to the faster trucks up near the front of the field, I was able to race right by them as well. When I saw we could do that, I knew we had something special."
A series of pit stops and caution flags in the late going boosted Cook to the fourth position and had the Indianapolis, IN native looking for a trip to Victory Lane. Unfortunately, mechanical gremlins hit the engine compartment of Cook's truck with five laps remaining forcing Cook to soldier on to the ninth-place effort, the final truck on the lead lap.
Cook earned $14,825 in prize money for his eighth Top-10 finish of the season. That total, achieved in 13 races this season, eclipsed Cook's mark of seven Top-10 efforts for the entire 2000 NCTS campaign. Cook is currently seventh in the NCTS championship standings, 263 points out of the top spot.
"We didn't get the results we wanted, but I couldn't ask more of this race team," said Cook. "We overcame some problems tonight and put ourselves in a position to win the race. As long as we continue to do that, we're going to stay in the hint for the championship and we're going to win a race or two along the way."
Next up for Cook and his Power Stroke® Diesel Ford teammates will be the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Raceway, Saturday, July 21. The event will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.