Michigan Terry Cook, pickuptruck.com preview

BROOKLYN, MI (July 18, 2000) - You normally don't think of Sylvania, OH is a hotbed of NASCAR racing. At the Cook household, however, that's all the family ever talked about. "In a lot of ways, Michigan is my home track," said Terry Cook,...

BROOKLYN, MI (July 18, 2000) - You normally don't think of Sylvania, OH is a hotbed of NASCAR racing. At the Cook household, however, that's all the family ever talked about. "In a lot of ways, Michigan is my home track," said Terry Cook, driver of the #88 PickupTruck.com Chevrolet in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition this season. "My family always used to attend the races at Michigan because the track was only 45 minutes or so from where I grew up in Ohio. You can't imagine what a thrill it was to race there for the first time last year. It was like a dream come true for me." Along with his family, which includes his brother and now crew chief, Jerry, Cook would also attend the NASCAR events at Daytona Beach, FL each year. In fact, any racing that was on tap, near or far, was on the Cook family itinerary. "My brother Jerry and I used to throw the football around in the infield while we watched Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty and Buddy Baker swap the lead back and forth," said Cook of his early Michigan and Daytona experiences. "I never expected to be out there racing on the highbanks." Cook will get a chance to do just that this weekend when he takes the green flag in the Michigan 200 NCTS event. Coming off a strong sixth-place performance at Nazareth, PA last weekend, Cook is quick to give credit where credit is due. "We had a really solid effort at Nazareth and I know we'll have that again at Michigan," said Cook. "We finally got back on track this past weekend with a sixth-place finish at Nazareth. The guys on this SealMaster racing team have been busting their butts to get trucks back together and ready to race. We really needed a good solid run like we had at Nazareth. It was really a tribute to the guys on my crew." To continue his good fortune, Cook knows he will have to have a good handling truck to master the two-mile Michigan superspeedway oval. At speeds of more than 180 miles per hour on the straights, he also knows it will take plenty of horsepower to get the job done. Given the competitive layout of the Michigan oval, Cook is looking forward to the challenge. "Michigan is a very cool track because you can run anywhere, top to bottom," said Cook. "It's not unusual at all to see four-wide racing there. It's a great track to race on because you can almost pick any groove you want. There aren't many tracks we race at that you can see three- and four-wide racing all day long. That's why Michigan is such a great show for the fans. "It's easy to say the new track at Fontana, CA is similar to Michigan Speedway because if you were to see an aerial photograph of the two, they'd look identical," continued Cook. "In reality, nothing compares to Michigan. On the track, California and Michigan are not the same at all. At Michigan, you can roll off the corner up in the high groove and you still have a lot of grip. At California, the track is still pretty new and the second groove isn't quite there yet. You have to stay down low because it's still essentially a one-groove track. Both are plenty fast, but Michigan is the better track to race on right now." Last year, Cook started 15th and finished 13th in the then named goracing.com 200. According to the 32-year-old driver, both he and his fans will be looking for more this time around in the Michigan 200. "We'll probably have the largest guest list of any race we go to this season for the Michigan race," said Cook. "It's always neat to come home and race in front of your family, friends and fans. We were able to do that earlier at Kentucky this season and we'll do it again later this year at Indianapolis. There's nothing like racing close to home. I think we can score another Top-10 finish, maybe a Top-5. That would be great considering all the problems we've had over the past month or so." Cook and the PickupTruck.com Chevy will take the green flag in the Michigan 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, July 22. The race will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will also be broadcast live on MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Terry Cook , Richard Petty , Buddy Baker , Cale Yarborough