Atlanta: Terry Cook preview

Cook, HT Motorsports Toyota Looking For Continued Success At Atlanta Martinsville, VA (March 11, 2007) -- The difference between winning and finishing second can sometimes come down to the smallest of margins. In Terry Cook's case, that margin...

Cook, HT Motorsports Toyota Looking For Continued Success At Atlanta

Martinsville, VA (March 11, 2007) -- The difference between winning and finishing second can sometimes come down to the smallest of margins. In Terry Cook's case, that margin proved to be .209 seconds the last time the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series visited Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"We were a blink of an eye from winning that race," said Cook, who flashed under the checkered flag just inches behind Mike Bliss in last fall's Easy Care Vehicle Service Contract 200 at AMS. "I wasn't able to get the pass done in the final laps, but it was still a great second-place finish. Anytime you finish well at a track, it just gets you excited to go back there and do well the next time. We'll get that opportunity this weekend. I'm sure our confidence level will be way up."

Cook's past record at Atlanta is highlighted by a ninth-place finishing average in six previous NCTS starts. This year, Cook will come to the 1.5-mile oval with a new team as he changedseats over the off-season. Now behind the wheel of the No. 59 HT Motorsports Toyota Tundra, Cook will also have some added firepower on his side this weekend in the form of crew chief Danny Rollins.

"Atlanta is a bad fast place and one of my favorite tracks on the circuit," Cook stated. "It's also a favorite of my crew chief, Danny Rollins (shown left with Cook). Danny has also had success at Atlanta winning there with Bobby Hamilton, Sr. in 2004. NowDanny and I aretogether and along with the rest of our HT Motorsports team and our Toyota Racing Development program, we expect to do quite well this time around at Atlanta."

Cook needs a good finish after a fiery crash while running with the lead pack relegated him to a 27th-placeeffortin the season-open event at Daytona. In the second and most recentrace on the 2007 Truck Series tour, the team missed the set up on Cook's Tundra and the Sylvania, OH driver soldiered to a 30th-place finish in the San Bernardino 200 at California Speedway.

"It's hard to be disappointed," stated Cook, who is an uncharacteristic 29th in the standings (101 points out of Top-10) heading into Friday's Atlanta event. "We had a truck capable of running up front at Daytona and we ran some of the fastest laps of anyone in the field at California despite our handling issues. The elements for success are clearly there. The good finishes will come."

Cook hopes that success will come when he takes the green flag in Friday's American Commercial Lines 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. According to the veteran driver, the late 9 p.m. Eastern Time will test who can best adapt to various changes in the raceway's surface.

"Atlanta is a great racetrack because if you want to run on the bottom, you can," said Cook. "If you want to run on the top, you can do that too. You can race from the apron up to the fence and anywhere in between. There is no one set or preferred groove. That's what a driver looks for because he can search around the track to maximize the handling characteristics of his vehicle throughout the race You have to have a lot of adjustability built into your race truck because the track is going to change several times throughout the race. The teams and drivers who can make those adjustments the best are going to be up front battling for the win. Given our success at Atlanta in the past, I'm looking for us to be one of those teams."

-credit: ht motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Terry Cook , Mike Bliss
Teams Toyota Racing