HOMESTEAD, FL (March 4, 2001) - For the first half of the Florida Dodge Dealers 400, Terry Cook had one hand on the steering wheel and another on his wallet. "I would have given you $1000 for a Top-10 at the start of the race," said Cook.
HOMESTEAD, FL (March 4, 2001) - For the first half of the Florida Dodge Dealers 400, Terry Cook had one hand on the steering wheel and another on his wallet. "I would have given you $1000 for a Top-10 at the start of the race," said Cook. "We just seemed to struggle all weekend long. If it wasn't for the knowledge of Ron and Bob Keselowski, there's no way that we could have brought this truck through the field and finished where we did." Cook, who eventually got his Top-10 driving his No. 29 K-Automotive Ford 150 to a 10th-place finish on the tough Homestead Miami Speedway track, battled an ill-handling truck for most of the 250-mile race. Fortunately for the Sylvania, OH driver, his veteran crew saved the day with some solid chassis changes midway through the event. "We missed the set-up at the beginning, but at the end of the race, we really got the truck where we could turn it off the corners," Cook stated. "We came across something, but it was a little too late in terms of going for the win." Cook, who finished eighth in this event a year ago, appeared to be headed for an even better finish climbing to seventh in the running order at one point. Unfortunately, a late pit stop for fuel shuffled Cook back to 10th at the checkered flag. "Fuel mileage came into play at the end of the race and we knew we couldn't go all the way on fuel, so we had to stop and that hurt us a little bit," said Cook. "In know some guys picked up some positions because of the fuel deal. I'm just happy for a Top-10 at this point." The effort eared Cook and the K-Automotive team $11,975 in prize money. Combined with a sixth-place finish in the season-opening event at Daytona, Cook is now sixth in the season standings, 46 points out of first place. "We've had a great start to the season," said Cook, who finished 14th in the final 2000 NCTS championship chase. "I'm learning real fast that this K-Automotive group is never out of any race, no matter where we start or how we start out. That's showing up now and I think it will show up at the end of the season when the final points count is in." Cook and the rest of the Craftsman Truck Series regulars will next head for Bakersfield, CA and the famed Mesa Marin Speedway half-mile bullring. The Orchard Hardware Supply 250 will take the green flag at 5 p.m. Pacific Time and will be telecast live on ESPN2. The event will also be broadcast live by MRN radio.