DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 7, 2002) - After a pair of strong performances in the first two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events at Daytona International Speedway, Terry Cook will be considered one of the favorites to win when the green flag falls...
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 7, 2002) - After a pair of strong performances in the first two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events at Daytona International Speedway, Terry Cook will be considered one of the favorites to win when the green flag falls on the 2002 NCTS season-opening Florida Dodge Dealers 250 Friday, February 15.
In the inaugural 2000 Truck Series event at Daytona, Cook rallied from the 32nd-starting position to finish fourth. A year ago, Cook again overcame a sub par qualifying run (16th) to finish sixth. Cook's overall finishing average of fifth in the two events is the highest of any driver who participated in both NCTS races at Daytona to date and has the driver of the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 pointing toward Victory Lane in this year's Daytona classic.
"The first two Craftsman Truck Series races at Daytona were a thrill a minute for me," said Cook. "To lead laps at Daytona and to be in contention for a win in both events is an incredible feeling. This year will be my best opportunity yet to have a legitimate shot at winning the race. This is my second full season with the K-Automotive team and we have an excellent team, the kind that could win Daytona and a bunch of other races this season. That's especially true because International Truck and Engine Corporation is again backing our effort in 2002 with their Power Stroke Diesel brand. This is the best situation I've ever been in and I'm looking to take advantage of that."
Cook, a Sylvania, OH native, might have had his second straight Daytona Top-5 last year if it wasn't for a late-race shuffle in the draft.
"We were racing Joe Ruttman and Ricky Hendrick for the lead and I got shuffled back to 10th or so in the late going," explained Cook. "We had to scramble there at the end and if the outside line moved up on the last lap, we would have had a Top-5 finish. Unfortunately, the bottom lane surged on the last lap and a couple of trucks got the push they needed to get by me."
A six-year veteran of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with 118 career starts, Cook has notched three Bud Pole Awards, 10 Top-5's and 34 Top-10 career finishes. Included in his 2001 season successes were a Bud Pole Award at Nazareth (PA), five Top-5s and 16 Top-10 finishes en route to a seventh in the final NCTS championship standings. Cook and his Power Stroke Diesel mount were the top finishing Ford and honored as such at the NCTS season-ending banquet.
Now, Cook's ultimate goal is to use the solid 2001 performance as a springboard toward the 2002 NCTS crown.
"Consistency will be key to winning the 2002 championship," said Cook. "If we can avoid bad doses of luck that ultimately derailed our championship efforts early last season, the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford will be a favored machine to contend for the win at every race. Our objective this season is to give Power Stroke Diesel there first championship and Ford their second in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. I can't think of a better way to start on that path than by winning or having another Top-5 finish at Daytona."
Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/K-Automotive Ford will kick off the 2002 season at Daytona International Speedway Friday, February 15 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Florida Dodge Dealers 250 will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.
About International Truck and Engine Corporation
International Truck and Engine Corporation is the operating company of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV). International Truck and Engine is a leading producer of mid-range diesel engines, medium trucks, school buses, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles, and parts and service sold under the Internationalâ brand. The company also is a private label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets and through a joint venture with Ford Motor Company, builds medium commercial trucks and sells and services truck and diesel engine parts. International Truck and Engine has the broadest distribution network in the industry. Financing for customers and dealers is provided through a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar. Additional information can be found on the company's web site at www.InternationalDelivers.com.