Watkins Glen Terry Cook, PickupTruck.com Preview

WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 18, 2000) - The 11-turn Watkins Glen International road course is considered to be one of the most difficult tracks in all of racing. According to Terry Cook, driver of the ...

WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 18, 2000) - The 11-turn Watkins Glen International road course is considered to be one of the most difficult tracks in all of racing. According to Terry Cook, driver of the #88 PickupTruck.com NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry, it's also one of the most fun to drive. "I love Watkins Glen," said Cook. "The best way to explain Watkins Glen is as a very fast, very high speed track. It's a high-banked road course with a lot of left and right hand turns. You can really get a run off the corners because so many of them are banked. With all the elevation changes you have, it makes for quite a ride. It's just a fun track to drive." The fun will start for Cook and his NCTS mates this weekend when they tackle the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen layout in the Bully Hill Vineyards 150. The Saturday, June 24 event takes the green flag at 1:30 P.M. Eastern Time and will be telecast live by ESPN. Cook, for one, is looking forward to it. "Watkins Glen is a real challenge," Cook stated. "You go downhill into Turn 1, a 90-degree right hander, carrying a lot of speed at the end of the main straight. You're no more than 100 yards out of that corner and you're going uphill through the "S" turns. Those are completely blind corners. You really rely on your spotter and the corner workers to let you know if there's trouble ahead. It can get pretty hairy mashing the gas through there." In last year's Bully Hill Vineyards 150, Cook started 15th and quickly worked his way into contention for the win. Unfortunately, a problem on pit road dashed his hopes of victory saddling him with a 12th-place finish. "Our finish at Watkins Glen last year did not reflect how good of a truck we really had," said Cook. "We ran in the Top-10 for most of the race only to have a miscue on a pit stop late in the race. My jack man dropped the jack which is a signal for me to go and when I got to the end of pit lane, the left-rear tire fell off. It wasn't anyone's fault. We had some mixed hand signals and the jack man thought it was time to go. "I actually had to drive all the way around the track on three wheels dragging the left rear of the truck the whole way. Somehow, we got a new tire on and didn't lose a lap, but we lost a ton of track position. We also hurt the left rear brake rotor and trailing arm, so the truck had a bad vibration. After that, we were just riding it out. That's too bad because we had a strong, Top-5 truck." This year, Cook hopes a fast truck and the right attitude will propel him to his first victory of the 2000 NCTS season. "The mindset you have to have at Watkins Glen is you constantly have to calm yourself down," said Cook. "On an oval, you enter a corner twice a lap. At a place like Watkins Glen, there are 11 corners. That's a lot of times you can mess up in a lap. If you get excited thinking you have a pretty good truck under you, there's a tendency to overdrive the corners. When you do that, you tend to go slower. Road course racing is easy into the corners, hard off. You really have to drill it into your head to be smooth and patient. I know the guys will give me a great truck. I just have to use my head all day long to get us a good finish." Saturday's Bully Hill Vineyards 150, the 13th race in the 24-event 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, will also be broadcast worldwide on MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Terry Cook