DOVER, DE (May 31, 2002) - Terry Cook steered his No. 29 Power StrokeÂ® Diesel Ford by International past a number of obstacles, including a bizarre incident of his own making, to earn a Top-10 finish in the MBNA America 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck...
DOVER, DE (May 31, 2002) - Terry Cook steered his No. 29 Power Stroke® Diesel Ford by International past a number of obstacles, including a bizarre incident of his own making, to earn a Top-10 finish in the MBNA America 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover Downs International Speedway.
"The Power Stroke Diesel Ford was a Top-5 truck all day, but the breaks just didn't go our way today," said Cook, who qualified fourth in a field of 36 trucks for the 200-lap event. "The worst came about 70 laps from the finish when I accidentally shut the engine off. I use my forearm to help turn the wheel and I wear an elbow pad to protect my arm. Unfortunately, I accidentally rolled it on to the kill button on the steering wheel and shut the motor off. I came down the backstretch not realizing what had happened.
"I switched ignition boxes to make sure I had fuel pressure while cruising down through the pits," continued Cook. "I got onto pit runway and truck chief Ron Keselowski asked me if I might have hit the steering wheel kill button. I hit it and the motor fired right back up. When I pulled down off the track on to pit road, I got a lap down and we never got it back."
Before the incident, Cook was a Top-5 mainstay while battling an ill-handling truck. Even an extended stay on pit road to insert a spring rubber in the right rear of Cook's Power Stroke Diesel truck couldn't fix the problem.
"We made adjustments on the Power Stroke Diesel Ford all day and it just stayed really tight," said Cook. "We salvaged a Top-10 effort. When we came in and made an adjustment, the truck still wasn't very good. We were slipping back and we were hoping for cautions to throw everything we had at it to get the truck freed up."
Over the final 50 circuits, Cook did his best to hold on to a Top-10 spot while brining his truck home unscathed, a feat in itself at the famed Dover 'Monster Mile'. Cook earned $15,275 for the hard-fought Dover effort and is now eighth in the 2002 NCTS standings, just 143 markers out of first.
"Even though we didn't get our lap back, we soldiered back and got a Top-10 out of it," said Cook. "We gained two positions in the series championship standings and we are moving in the right direction. I have said all along, if we can consistently rack up Top-5 and Top-10 finishes, we are going to be battling for the championship at the end of the season. That's what it's all about. We brought the truck home in one piece without a scratch on it. We'll take it and move on to Texas for bigger and better things for Power Stroke Diesel."
Cook and his No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford team will be back in action in the O'Reilly 400 presented by Vavoline DuraBlend at Texas Motor Speedway Friday, June 7 at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on ESPN. MRN Radio will also carry the event as it happens.