Cook, Power STROKE0x00ae Diesel Ford preps to restate New Hampshire triumph LOUDON, NH (September 10, 2003) - After a flat tire derailed Terry Cook's efforts at Richmond International Raceway forcing him to settle for a 16th-place finish last ...
Cook, Power STROKE0x00ae Diesel Ford preps to restate New Hampshire triumph
LOUDON, NH (September 10, 2003) - After a flat tire derailed Terry Cook's efforts at Richmond International Raceway forcing him to settle for a 16th-place finish last Thursday, the Power Stroke0x00ae Diesel driver returns to New Hampshire International Speedway's 1.058-mile oval where he notched his third of four victories for his No. 29 Power Stroke0x00ae Diesel by International team in the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.
"It was a good day for the Power Stroke0x00ae Diesel team when we won at New Hampshire last year," said Cook who is currently ninth in the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points Standings. "A lot of people talk about racing luck and the fact that we may have had a little bit of it last year. My personal belief is that you create a lot of your own racing luck. Sometimes you can run into racing bad luck like when you run over debris and have the problems like we've had this year with flat tires and such, but racing good luck is where preparation meets opportunity. We had a third-place truck at New Hampshire last year. When Mike Bliss and Kevin Harvick had motor situations, it moved us up into the second spot. Then Jason Leffler wrecked while lapping a truck with about 30 laps to go and we inherited the lead and went on to win the race. Now, that's where preparation meets opportunity."
Cook's victory last season over Dennis Setzer by a scant .0189 seconds gave the Bob, Ron and Kay Keselowski-owned K-Automotive team the distinction of being the first and only winning NASCAR Craftsman Truck owners to win two NCTS events at New Hampshire. Ironically, the first came in 1999, with Setzer at the controls.
"Whenever you have won at a track the year before and you know the team has always run well there, it adds a certain amount of confidence going into the event," said Cook, who garnered four NCTS victories, nine Top-5s and 17 Top-10s in 2002. "It doesn't matter how the season has gone up until that point because you feel like you've just come off a top finish the very last race. It gives you the confidence and belief that you can go there and easily roll the No. 29 Power Stroke0x00ae Diesel/Oil Mate0x2122 Ford off the trailer and run it in the Top-5 all weekend long and I do believe that."
Vying for a repeat win in the 200-Lap (211.6-mile) event, Cook has taken note of New Hampshire International Speedway's modifications over the past couple of years.
"They've made some changes to the facility," said Cook. "Since the last time we were there, they've paved both corners and from some of the Winston Cup and Busch Series teams comments they claim there's a lot more grip there. They have SAFER barriers up and a lot more grip, so the racing will be even more exciting than it has been in recent years."
"They took the apron and added some more asphalt down there," continued Cook. "It didn't make it that you could drive down and race lower, but the way I look at it is that it made it more of a paved escape route. Where before when there were problems on the track it was hard to get off the track and get down low enough on the apron. So it seemed like the apron was on a different angle. In another words, that the apron was banked the opposite direction. Therefore, it was hard to avoid an accident and get to clear ground. With the changes that have been implemented, it's a way to help stop you from running into the truck in front of you or get power-driven from the truck coming up behind you. We're excited about the changes and efforts put forth and we are looking forward to getting back to New Hampshire this weekend." Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke0x00ae Diesel Ford team will take the green flag September 13 in the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on Speed Channel and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.