A Pair of Flat Tires Spoil Cook's Bid for a Top Finish In the ...
A Pair of Flat Tires Spoil Cook's Bid for a Top Finish In the #43 VisitPA.com/CAPG Dodge at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006) -- Road racing specialist Chris Cook had his sights set on a top-five finish in the #43 VisitPA.com Dodge of Curb Agajanian Performance Group in today's NASCAR Busch Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. But separate flat-tire incidents -- a left rear on Lap 46 and a right rear on Lap 76 -- of today's scheduled 82-lap run around the legendary 2.45-mile road circuit here ruined his and the team's promising bid.
Cook opened the weekend running 12th in the opening practice session, followed that up with a qualifying effort of 16th earlier today, and methodically moved to as high as second place twice during the race. Cook was in the top 10 by Lap 10, sixth by Lap 12, fourth by Lap 16, and second by the time he first pitted for tires and fuel on Lap 20. He pitted a second time under yellow on Lap 31, restarted in 17th and began to work his way back toward the top 10 before reporting a "wicked loose" condition on Lap 46. Still, Cook found himself back in second place when he next pitted on Lap 50. The crew found his left rear tire was flat, which accounted for the loose condition. Cook resumed in 23rd and again was able to climb back into the top-20 in short order within 10 laps.
Cook was in 17th when, on Lap 74, he again reported a "wicked loose" condition, this time courtesy of a flat right-rear tire on the back straight. He limped the #43 racing machine to the pits for a fresh set of tires, during which time he fell off the lead lap and all the way back to 35th place. He picked up a position before the checkered flag.
"I feel really bad for the Curb Agajanian organization, our sponsors from VisitPA.com, my longtime supporter Chris Evans, and everyone involved with this effort. We came here well-prepared. We hit the ground running in practice. We showed we could run with the best cars on the track in the early part of the race. In fact, we were probably the top independent, non-Nextel-Cup-affiliated team out there for the longest time. It's a shame that a car that I have no doubt would have been a solid top 10 or better car had such bad luck to spoil all the heart and soul that went into bringing us here. I feel good about the fact that we showed we can race with the best cars in the series. We showed up with all the potential for a top finish. We just ran into some bad luck not once, but twice."