CLERMONT, IN (August 3, 2001) - Terry Cook scored a near perfect, second-place finish in the Power StrokeÂ® Diesel 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Indianapolis Raceway Park Friday night. While it was Cook's best finish of the 2001 NCTS ...
CLERMONT, IN (August 3, 2001) - Terry Cook scored a near perfect, second-place finish in the Power Stroke® Diesel 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Indianapolis Raceway Park Friday night. While it was Cook's best finish of the 2001 NCTS season, the top run took on even more significance considering it came in his sponsor's race and in front of a huge contingent of Power Stroke Diesel VIP's, guests and employees.
"This is huge, we needed a good boost and it couldn't have come at a better time than right now," said Cook, who kept his red and black No. 29 Power Stroke® Diesel Ford F-150 at the front of the pack all night long. "We had hundreds Power Stroke® Diesel representatives here tonight and what a better night to shine. I thought I might have had something for leader Jack Sprague because I saved a little for the end, but we had to settle for second. The K-Automotive team is extremely happy to capture another Top-5 finish and we are pleased for Power Stroke® Diesel, all of our associate partners and, of course, for Ford Racing. This was the highest finish for us and Ford this season."
Cook started fifth and wasted little time getting to third by the second circuit. Along with Sprague and veteran Joe Ruttman, Cook kept his Power Stroke® Diesel Ford at the front of the pack when the trio pitted at the third caution of the event on Lap 50.
Back under green, Cook again rallied his mount to the front. There, the Indianapolis resident and IRP veteran racer waged an epic battle with Sprague that had the fans on their feet throughout the middle stages of the race.
"My Power Stroke® Diesel truck was neutral most of the night," said Cook. "Each time Bob Keselowski (Cook's crew chief) made the call to pit, we took right-side tires and made necessary air pressure adjustments. We had a good piece under us. This is the same truck we've ran most all of the races this season with the exception of Daytona and Texas."
With all the adjustments in place, Cook motored around Ruttman for second on Lap 139 and appeared headed to his second career win as he closed in on Sprague over the final laps. At the finish, Sprague was able to hold on for the win while Cook had to settle for the cheers of the crowd and a $28,625 second-place payday.
The solid effort was the ninth Top-5 and 28th Top-10 career finishes for the 33-year-old who made his first NCTS start in 1986. He now hopes the momentum from IRP race will carry over the next event at the new Nashville Superspeedway, a concrete paved 1.333-mile oval with 14 degrees of banking in the turns.
"I have only seen the new track on television when the Busch Series raced there," said Cook. "The drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be going there for the first time on Wednesday for a test. We will have practice and qualifying as we normally do to get ready for the race on Friday evening. Of course, it will be a huge change from racing at the old Nashville Speedway USA and there's not much we can carry over from the old track to the new. We are looking forward to going to the new track because I hear that it is exciting to race and that it's a nice facility. It's shaped like Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but similar to Dover because of the concrete."
While Cook is looking forward to Nashville, he couldn't help but take one last look in the rear view mirror at IRP.
"We knew there was a lot at stake in this race," said Cook. "We wanted to put or best foot forward and repay the Power Stroke® Diesel people for placing their confidence in us. We have a six-race program with them this season and we obviously want to do more this year and beyond. We've been the top Ford team all season and tonight we proved we're just inches away from Victory Lane. We're going to get there this season and we want the Power Stroke® Diesel colors to be there with us when we do."
The Federated Auto Parts 200 at Nashville Superspeedway will take the green flag Friday, August 10, at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The inaugural Truck Series event at the track will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio.