Another podium for Cook at Portland. (Portland, Oregon) June 16th, 2002 - It was a special day for Davy Cook as he celebrated his 20th birthday on the podium after having a stellar run from 9th. It was a challenge right off the bat for the...
Another podium for Cook at Portland.
(Portland, Oregon) June 16th, 2002 - It was a special day for Davy Cook as he celebrated his 20th birthday on the podium after having a stellar run from 9th.
It was a challenge right off the bat for the young American as he came to Portland for the first time. His competitors were unforgiving as everyone stepped it up. The field of 21 was covered by 1.5 seconds with Cook 9th, a mere .46 off the pole time. That didn't seem to faze him and it showed in the race as he blazed through the field taking full advantage of the Festival Curves that are notorious for being the doom of many drivers. Though, Cook was not hesitant and he proved himself immediately as an optimistic racecar driver in his passes, which generally came in pairs. On the start, Cook was able to pick off two heading into the Curves with another two flying off course. By the third corner he found himself fifth as the tail end of the snake led by 3rd year veteran Marc Bruers. With a restart a few laps later, Cook managed to pick off two more drivers but ended up hung out on the outside of the infamous corner resulting in the netloss of one. On the following lap, he managed to pick off both Tecate driver Memo Rojas and Breurs with a spectacular pass in the same brake zone. He then hunted down the second place car piloted by Dan Dileo. Cook tracked him down about .3 a lap for 8 laps until they were nose to tail. As that was happening, pole sitter Julio Campos was on a tear further back in the field to remedy his spin on the opening lap. With 8 minutes to go, he made a rookie mistake by attempting a daunting outside pass in a corner, which sported a tire wall at track out. With his back left rear sliding hopelessly, he managed to catch the wall resulting in a tremendous flip. The roll bar quickly folded allowing his helmet to be used as friction to help halt the car. That brought out a race ending full-course caution, ending Cook's chance for that second spot.
"What an exciting race!" explains Cook. "It was all about who could be consistent from lap to lap and take full advantage on the brakes in the Festival Curves. What a crazy corner! My car was working well all race. A little oversteer into the corners with it balancing by exit. That's largely in part due to my teammates Christian Szymczak and Jon Vannini, the Toyota Atlantic's point’s leader, Jon Fogarty and my coach Mike Zimicki. I had never been to Portland and their advice and knowledge really jolted my learning curve and it showed in the race. What a blast. The way you make me feel!"
The Floridian heads to Toronto, Canada for round 5 on July 7th. He hopes to carry his race momentum and take the win at the track where he was the highest finishing rookie last year.
The season opener held at Sebring, Florida will be broadcasted this Sunday at 3pm EST on Speed Channel. Lime Rock Park's race will air one week from today on Friday at 7pm EST.