DOVER, DE (May 28, 2001) - The "Monster Mile" at Dover Downs International Speedway is one of the most demanding on equipment. For Terry Cook, driver of the No. 29 K-Automotive Ford on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour, it's also one of the...
DOVER, DE (May 28, 2001) - The "Monster Mile" at Dover Downs International Speedway is one of the most demanding on equipment. For Terry Cook, driver of the No. 29 K-Automotive Ford on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour, it's also one of the most physically challenging as well.
"Dover is one of the toughest tracks we run," said Cook, who will compete in the MBNA E-Commerce 200 NCTS event at Dover Downs Friday, June 1. "Being a concrete one-mile speedway, Dover is a bone jarring, teeth rattling, high revving type of place. At the end of the day there, you know you've been through the ringer."
Last year, Cook experienced transmission problems in the inaugural MBNA E-Commerce 200 at Dover and eventually soldiered on to a 14th-place finish. "We had a decent truck there and started 11th on the grid," said Cook of last year's effort. "About 50 to 60 laps into the race, something went wrong. The shifter broke on the transmission and it was a struggle from that point forward. The gear ended up getting stuck in fourth on a restart and I could not shift up. I ended up going a lap down."
According to the Sylvania, OH native, just surviving a full day on the 24-degree banked Dover turns was a victory of sorts. Cook is also the first to admit that seeing the checkered flag at Dover is a two-person job.
"Your spotter has to really be on their toes," said Cook. "The most important thing to remember is that Dover is a very tight track. You may start side by side, but everybody has to be really conscious of whether there's another truck on the inside of you, especially in the turns. This is where my spotter, Kay Keselowski, will be vitally important."
So far this season, Cook and Keselowski have not only been on their toes, but, for the most part, have been head and shoulders above the competition scoring six Top-10 finishes in the first seven events of the season. A cut left rear tire that forced an unscheduled pit stop in the most recent event on the tour at Pikes Peak International Raceway is the only blemish so far this season and even then, Cook and the K-Automotive team rallied for an 11th-place finish.
"You're going to have some bad luck once and awhile," said Cook, who joined the Bob, Ron and Kay Keselowski owned K-Automotive team just prior to the final race of the 2000 season. "We scored six Top-10s in the first six events this year. That's as many Top-10s as I had all last year before I teamed up with Bob, Ron and Kay Keselowski and the K-Automotive team before the final race of last season. This is the best race team I have ever been with, the kind that can still get you a great finish with even after you have the kind of problems we had at Pikes Peak.
"We're third in the championship points chase coming into the race at Dover," Cook continued. "We'd like nothing better than to come out of there with a win or another top finish to keep us in the thick of the points battle. The way this team has been performing, I know we can do that. The first thing will be to just survive the 'Monster Mile'. If we can do that, we've got a shot."
The MBNA E-Commerce 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway, Friday, June 1 will be broadcast live on MRN radio at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be telecast by ESPN on a same-day, tape-delayed basis at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.