KANSAS CITY, KS (July 1, 2003) - Before Terry Cook suits up for the third running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway July 5, the Sylvania (OH) native slides on his baseball glove atop the ...
KANSAS CITY, KS (July 1, 2003) - Before Terry Cook suits up for the third running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway July 5, the Sylvania (OH) native slides on his baseball glove atop the Kansas City Royals pitcher's mound to throw out the first pitch as the Royals take on the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium July 3, 7:05 PM.
"I am a big fan of Major League Baseball because of my grandmother," said Cook, driver of the No. 29 Power Stroke® Diesel Ford. "Growing up as a kid in Toledo, Ohio, one of my favorite teams was the Detroit Tigers, but I have always been a big fan of George Brett, who played for the Kansas City Royals. I have followed both the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals growing up. I am excited to have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch. It means a lot to me."
After finishing seventh from pole position at The Milwaukee Mile last weekend, Cook bats to improve his 2002 sixth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in the 167-Lap event at the 1.5 mile tri-oval.
"We had a truck that ran consistently in the Top-5 all day long last year," said Cook. "On a late race restart inside of about six to eight laps to go, I was able to pass for fourth. It looked like I was going to be able to get another spot or two before the end of the race, but I we ended up having problems. Unfortunate circumstances struck for race leader Rick Crawford and he broke a rear end dropping a ton of rear end grease on the track. We slid up the track and got into the wall and kept going, but we lost several spots in the process. We soldiered on to a sixth-place finish, but we had a better truck than that. Since we had such a good run and for other considerable reasons, we are ready to get back to Kansas."
Returning to Kansas Speedway is significant for Cook and K-Automotive because the Lake Orion (MI) team first displayed the Power Stroke® Diesel banner at the tri-oval in 2001. International Truck and Engine Corporation agreed to sponsor the No. 29 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry with their Power Stroke® Diesel brand for six events - Kansas Speedway, New Hampshire Speedway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Nashville Superspeedway, Chicago Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. The relationship steadily developed into the remainder of the 2001 season with full-time support in 2002 and 2003 for the K-Automotive entry.
"Kansas Speedway is the first track that Power Stroke® Diesel was fully displayed on the No. 29 K-Automotive Ford entry," said Cook. "To be associated with the number one diesel engine in America - the best-selling Power Stroke® Diesel engine for Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks, Econoline vans and the Excursion SUV - for a third season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series division is an honor."
"Kansas is a big market for Power Stroke® Diesel because there are a lot of owners in the area," continued Cook. "There will be 150 International employees at hospitality for the race. Around 84 of those employees participated in International's Spring Tune-Up program, which is an annual event that encourages employees to stay in shape and develop healthier lifestyles through better eating habits and regular exercise. We will have a good time hanging out in hospitality before the start of the race to talk about what they had to do to reach their goals and become achievers in the International health program."
Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke® Diesel Ford team will take the green flag in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway Saturday, July 5 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on Speed Channel and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.