CICERO, IL (August 18, 2001) - Terry Cook didn't want to settle for a sixth-place finish in the Sears Craftsman 175 at Chicago Motor Speedway Saturday. "We are disappointed because the Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 was a first-place...
CICERO, IL (August 18, 2001) - Terry Cook didn't want to settle for a sixth-place finish in the Sears Craftsman 175 at Chicago Motor Speedway Saturday.
"We are disappointed because the Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 was a first-place truck today," said Cook, after a photo finish placed him just inches away from a Top-5 effort. "I really thought we had fifth at the finish."
Cook's 12th Top-10 effort of the season was an adventure in racing as the Indianapolis, IN resident battled mechanical gremlins throughout the 175-lap NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on the one-mile Chicago track.
Cook started 12th in the 36-truck field and quickly moved into the Top-10 despite an ill-handling truck. Crew chief Bob Keselowski decided to bring Cook in only 16 laps into the race in hopes of alleviating the tight condition, taking left side tires and removing a left rear rubber. While the pit stop fixed the problem, it pushed Cook from eighth in the running order to 29th on the restart.
Back under green, Cook quickly roared back through the field breaking into the Top-10 by Lap 66. Another pit stop, this one on Lap 87, Cook took fuel only. Cook radioed to Crew Chief Bob Keselowski at Lap 100 that the transmission lost third gear. Unable to shift coming off the corners, the veteran driver was still able to push his Power Stroke Diesel Ford toward the front despite a rash of caution flags as the race wound down. Rounding out the day, the team produced a right-side tire stop at Lap 147 that allowed Cook to drive the truck to its potential.
"The cautions at the end of the race nearly killed us," said Cook. "Every time we would have a restart, I would have to shift past third gear and try and protect the bottom of the race track. Fortunately, we were able to hold them off. Once we got rolling, we were okay and not having third gear didn't hurt us that bad. Still, it was pretty unnerving because the thing was really grinding and clanking around."
The final restart came just seven laps from the finish with Cook in the eighth position. Cook managed to slip by Ted Musgrave and nearly got past Crawford for sixth at the finish. Cook is still seventh in the season standings, just 199 points out of first place with seven events remaining.
Cook's championship chances got a boost earlier in the day when International Engine Corporation announced that Cook will continue to fly the Power Stroke Diesel for the balance of the season. The decision to extend the program past the original six-race slate will now give Cook and his K-Automotive team the kind of stability and funding to compete for the title.
"Our experience over the past six races has been exceptional," said Bob Carso, Manager, Communications, International Engine Corporation. "The association with Terry and K-Automotive has enabled International and Ford to expose the Power Stroke Diesel brand to truck enthusiasts on a national level through ESPN TV and MRN Radio coverage of the races as well as in local markets where the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competes. We have a great spokesperson in Terry for a great product, the Power Stroke Diesel Engine. Terry is the top Ford driver in the series this season and because of his background as a diesel mechanic, represents a winner - the Power Stroke Diesel - extremely well in the marketplace."
Cook and his Power Stroke Diesel team will take the green flag in the NCTS event Sunday, August 26, at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The NCTS event will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio.