LAKE ORION, MI (December 20, 2000) - A pair of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series veterans - driver Terry Cook and the K-Automotive racing team - have announced a partnership for the 2001 NCTS campaign. "Terry has agreed to drive for us for...
LAKE ORION, MI (December 20, 2000) - A pair of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series veterans - driver Terry Cook and the K-Automotive racing team - have announced a partnership for the 2001 NCTS campaign.
"Terry has agreed to drive for us for the full season and I have agreed to run the whole season," said Bob Keselowski, who owns the No. 29 K-Automotive entries along with his wife, Kay, and brother, Ron. "We've been in the Truck Series since it started in 1995 and we have the kind of credentials, equipment and experience to win races. Terry is a veteran of the series with four years driving experience. He's also a proven he can win races and pole positions. He was easily the best driver available and an easy choice for us."
"The K-Automotive team is a championship caliber group," Cook stated. "They've won races in the series each of the last three years and have proven they can win any given race on the schedule. They have all the resources anyone could ever ask for. As a driver, you can't ask for any more than that."
Cook actually debuted with the K-Automotive team last October steering his black No. 29 entry from 25th starting position to a seventh-place finish in the 2000 NCTS season finale at California Speedway. During the off-season, talks between Cook and the team continued until an agreement for the 2001 schedule was completed earlier this week.
"The great thing about getting a driver of Terry's caliber is that we can do well right out of the box at the first race in Daytona," said Keselowski, noting Cook ran a solid fourth in the Truck Series season-opener at Daytona a year ago. "Terry isn't a rookie, there's no training involved. I've known Terry since he was a little boy. I raced against his father back in the early 1980s. I knew this was going to be a good combination right from the start."
"I think everyone involved here expects to put together an effort that will allow us to run in the Top-5 and certainly the Top-10 every week," said Cook. "I can't see any reason why we can't win races and poles this season. Consistency will be the key. If you can consistently run in the Top-10 every race, you're going to be in a position to win some of those races. That's what the K-Automotive group has done in the past and there's no reason to think we're not going to be able to do that again this season."
Cook started all 24 NCTS events in 2000 finishing 14th in the final season standings posting 11th-place qualifying and 16th-place finishing averages. In all, the 32-year-old Sylvania, OH native has 94 Craftsman Truck Series starts to his credit with the highlight a victory in the 1998 Stevens Beil 200 at Flemington (NJ) Speedway.
Meanwhile, the No. 1 K-Automotive entry with Dennis Setzer behind the wheel came home seventh in the standings last year after a third-place effort in 1999. Included in the 2000 season highlights were a win at Nazareth, PA and 16 Top-10 finishes.
If there's a fly in the ointment for Cook and the Keselowski's 2001 season plans, it's the fact the team has yet to secure a primary sponsor for the upcoming year. According to Keselowski, he doesn't think that is a problem that will exist for long.
"It's kind of like gambling heading into the season without a sponsor," said Keselowski "You have to roll the dice and hope you come up a winner. I think we can do that. We have a first-class effort here. We have all the equipment and the people to be successful. What we need to do is get the season off to a good start with some strong finishes. If we can do that, I pretty sure someone is going to want to be a part of what we're doing."
"I know the sponsorship thing will work itself out," said Cook. "If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't have agreed to do this deal. We already have some good people working on it for us. I'm real confident that their efforts, along with the efforts of the entire K-Automotive team on the race track, will be a huge success this season."