FORT WORTH, TX (June 2, 2001) - One of the top places to live and work according to a host of national publications, the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area will also be the next stop for Terry Cook and the No. 29 K-Automotive Ford F-150 NASCAR...
FORT WORTH, TX (June 2, 2001) - One of the top places to live and work according to a host of national publications, the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area will also be the next stop for Terry Cook and the No. 29 K-Automotive Ford F-150 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry.
Cook, who is one of the surprises of the 2001 NCTS season, is confident of another solid run in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 400. Based on his previous success and the past success of his K-Automotive team on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval, Cook has every right to be optimistic.
"It gives me more confidence knowing I'm going to Texas Motor Speedway with a team that won the Pronto Auto Parts 400 with Dennis Setzer behind the wheel in 1999," said Cook, who joined the K-Automotive unit at the end of the 2000 NCTS season. "It's the same chassis they used to win that race, but we have a new engine under the hood and of course a new body displaying the Ford banner. When you can go to the track with a team that had good success there, it makes a driver feel really good. Hopefully, we can take advantage of that winning experience and post a good run going there."
While six Texas NCTS races have produced six different winners, the success of the Bob, Ron and Kay Keselowski K-Automotive team has been extremely consistent. The team has notched three Top-5 and four Top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway. Meanwhile, Cook's best finish has been a sixth in the 1999 event. The past two years, the Sylvania, OH driver has been in a position to score a top finish on to struggle with mechanical failures.
"Every year, we would generally have a decent run at Texas until the mechanical gremlins would creep up and bite us, " said Cook. "One year, we broke a wheel bearing while running fifth while another time we blew a motor while running seventh or eighth. We've had good runs at Texas, but we haven't been able to put together a solid finish because of equipment failure."
The 1999 spring Texas NCTS event pitted Cook his current crew chief, Bob Keselowski. Keselowski fielded a second companion truck to Setzer's that year and both Cook and Keselowski led the event leading to some interesting conversation at the K-Automotive shops.
"We still joke about racing against each other at Texas when we are sitting around having some of our best racing talks," Cook stated. "We tease each another because we were both playing mind games during that race. We were battling each other to stay out in front and there came a point in the race where we begin to manage fuel mileage. I was able to stay out while others had to pit allowing us to lead some laps. Bob then stayed out for another lap or two to lead. From that point forward, I became known as the guy that tried to stay out there on the track long enough to keep Bob from leading the race."
This year, Cook hopes to lead his share of laps in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 400, especially the final circuit.
"I think we've got a great shot to win," said Cook, currently XXXX in the NCTS season championship chase. "We've got great equipment, I've run well here in the past and my team has won here before. That's a great combination, maybe a winning combination for us this time at Texas."
The O'Reilly Auto Parts 400 at Texas Motor Speedway will take the green flag Friday, June 8 at 8 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The race will be broadcast on MRN radio as it happens and will be telecast by ESPN2 on a tape-delayed basis at 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday, June 9..