Cook, Stewart looking to repeat Turkey Night title run. SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, CA (Nov. 25, 2002) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Terry Cook will transition from driver's seat to the top of the pit box as crew chief for Winston Cup Champion...
Cook, Stewart looking to repeat Turkey Night title run.
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, CA (Nov. 25, 2002) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Terry Cook will transition from driver's seat to the top of the pit box as crew chief for Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart at the 62nd running of the "Lucas Oil Turkey Night" United States Auto Club Midget race at Irwindale Speedway Thursday.
"Tony's driven for my father-in-law, Bob East, for quite some time," said Cook, driver of the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford in NCTS competition this season. "This is a great opportunity for all of us to go out and just have some fun. Some families go to the Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys game as a Thanksgiving tradition, but this family goes out and races because that's what we know and love to do best. Each and every year, the family has gone out to the Turkey Grand Prix wherever it's held. Now, it's moved to Irwindale Speedway, the premiere short track facility in Southern California. I'm really looking forward to that because again we get to go do what we love on Thanksgiving Day."
The pairing of Cook and Stewart isn't a new one as Stewart, a longtime open-wheel ace before heading to the Winston Cup ranks, won the 60th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix in 2000 with Cook calling the shots as the crew chief.
"I'm just a flunky helper that's dubbed as the crew chief of Stewart's car," laughed Cook in describing his role. "Basically they put me in charge of the car to make sure everything's running properly and to make sure Tony has what he needs to race with. Crew chief is really overrated title for me because I'm just there to help out. Steve Lewis owns the car, Bob East is the team manager and Kelly Drake is the chief mechanic.
"It will be fun because Tony has had a lot of success running midget cars in the past scoring 26 USAC National Midget wins," Cook continued. "Winning the Turkey Night race in 2000 with Tony was really a thrill because it was a race that all of us wanted badly. Tony had never won it before and, of course, that's a race that's pretty high on the list every year for Steve Lewis and the East family. Along with the Chili Bowl, it's the Daytona 500 for Midgets and we're going out there to win it again."
In addition to Stewart, the Steve Lewis effort will also feature entries for Dave Darland, J.J. Yeley, Kasey Kahne, and Bobby East.
The Lucas Oil Turkey Night at Irwindale Speedway will be telecast by ESPN2 on a tape-delayed basis Sunday, December 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.