Cook aims to conquer one of his favorite tracks in July. Sylvania, Ohio, native and Wood test Ford trucks at MIS. BROOKLYN, Mich.-- Terry Cook overcame a bad bout with the flu earlier this month to break an 88-race winless streak in the ...
Cook aims to conquer one of his favorite tracks in July. Sylvania, Ohio, native and Wood test Ford trucks at MIS.
BROOKLYN, Mich.-- Terry Cook overcame a bad bout with the flu earlier this month to break an 88-race winless streak in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He's now looking to conquer Michigan International Speedway, a track he considers one of the finest in the series.
Cook, of Sylvania, Ohio, tested his No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford on Thursday and Friday in preparation for the Michigan 200 on Saturday, July 27. Jon Wood, the 20-year-old driver for Roush Racing of nearby Livonia, Mich., also participated in the two-day test, trading time between the No. 50 and No. 99 Roush machines while testing the new 2002 package (rear spoiler change and smaller carburetors).
Testing conditions for the first day were somewhat ideal with fairly warm temperatures but gusting winds. On Thursday, testing was delayed in the early going due to rain, but the trucks hit the asphalt around 11 a.m. to warm temperatures and wind.
Cook competed in both previous truck races at MIS, with a best finish of ninth two years ago. He quickly found that the high banks and wide turns at MIS suited his driving style.
"It's one of the neatest tracks, it's just awesome," Cook said of MIS."You can run three-wide all the way around, especially in the trucks. You can run anywhere on the track. There are no grooves; top, bottom, middle, it doesn't matter."
Cook claimed his first victory of the season in dramatic fashion on May 5, piloting his truck to Winner's Circle despite suffering from the flu. Dehydrated and exhausted-- and four days removed from a visit to the emergency room for his flu symptoms-- Cook captured his first victory since the middle of the 1998 campaign. Picking up a win at historic MIS is high on Cook's to-do list.
"That would be huge," said Cook, whose owner and crew chief is Bob Keselowski of Rochester Hills, Mich."I know a lot of corporate people from Detroit will be here. We are a hometown team, and this is the manufacturer's backyard. On a superspeedway (like MIS), it means more money and more accomplishment than on a shorter track."
For Wood, the Michigan 200 will be his first taste of competition on the 2-mile oval. Wood is in his first full season with the Roush camp since joining the team midway through the 2001 season. While he has not raced at MIS, he has seen his share of testing time at the Speedway. Wood, the third generation driver of the legendary Wood family, tested a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car for the Wood Brothers team with Elliott Sadler in April 2001 at MIS.
"I tested a Cup car here last year, and it was the first time I've been on a big track," Wood said."It's been more than what I expected. I like trying new places, and it's good to be in the same vicinity of the shop and the team."
Wood is hoping that a career-best third-place at MIS' sister track, California Speedway, and the extra time testing will help him at MIS in July.
"I think it will be an exciting race, similar to the race we ran in Fontana, which was exciting," Wood said."I think this race will be a lot of the same."
Reserved tickets to the Michigan 200 are just $30 with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. A combo ticket is just $50 and includes a Saturday ticket as well as admission to Sunday's inaugural Michigan Indy 400 Indy Racing League and Michigan 100 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race. Children 12 and under are free all weekend. Call (800) 354-1010 or visit www.MISpeedway.com for tickets.