Terry Cook looks to more time at Loudon

LOUDON, NH (July 5, 2000) - In 1998, Terry Cook headed for New Hampshire International Speedway looking for a good finish. By the end of the first test day at the track, he was almost looking for a ticket back home. "The New Hampshire...

LOUDON, NH (July 5, 2000) - In 1998, Terry Cook headed for New Hampshire International Speedway looking for a good finish. By the end of the first test day at the track, he was almost looking for a ticket back home. "The New Hampshire race was a back-to-back deal with Indianapolis that year," said Cook, driver of the #88 PickupTruck.com Chevrolet in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition. "We raced at IRP on Thursday and immediately headed for New Hampshire and Sunday's race. We were planning on racing the same truck and engine - heck, they were the only ones we had. When we got there, we discovered we had a valve problem with the engine and without a spare, we started looking for a way home. "Fortunately, our team owner, Duke Thorson, told us to see if we could buy an engine from another team. We wound up buying one from Rick McCray and wedged it into our truck. In the race, we drove all the way to the front and wound up finishing somewhere around 12th. It was easily the best our team ever raced - not our best finish, but the best we ever raced - and we took that momentum to Flemington the following week and won. The race at New Hampshire put us on the right track as a team and I've never forgotten that." Cook is trying to forget a recent string of bad luck that has plagued him in the last four races on the NCTS tour. Fast enough to win any or all of the events, Cook has had to settle for less than desired results. According to the Sylvania, OH driver, the only way to get by those things is to put them in your rearview mirror. "You're always trying to keep things in perspective, whether they are going good or going bad," said Cook. "We're in a string of eight-straight races now and the last four have been bad. You have to put that in the history book and move on to the next race. That's what the other 35 teams are doing. You have to go to the next race, in this case at New Hampshire, and focus on what you have to do there. You can't go into any race feeling intimidated. If you start worrying about finishing well, you probably won't. If you're thinking about crashing, you probably will. You can only balance on the edge of the sword so long before you cut yourself." Focusing on the positive should be easy for Cook at New Hampshire, a track which he professes a special fondness for. "Ever since that race in 1998, I really enjoy going to New Hampshire," stated the 32-year-old driver. "Loudon has been kind to us. I started and finished 12th there last year and I know we can run in the Top-5 there this year. New Hampshire is a great, flat one-mile track. It's the kind of place I really like to race on. I know we can finish well there and gain the momentum we need to close out the 2000 season strongly. We did that in 1998 and there's no reason to think we can't do that again this year." Cook and the rest of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series mates will take the green flag in the New Hampshire 200 this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will be telecast live on CBS and broadcast by MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Terry Cook