TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st) "This place is extremely hard to pass. This is what I would consider an aero-deficit rack. This is a flat, one-mile track. Clean air on the nose is huge here. I built up a...
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)
"This place is extremely hard to pass. This is what I would consider an aero-deficit rack. This is a flat, one-mile track. Clean air on the nose is huge here. I built up a seven or eight second lead last year in the race and the caution came out and we had a bad pit stop and we went from first to fifth on the pit stop, and with 60 laps to go the 2 truck had an awesome pit stop and beat us out and it took me 60 laps to catch him. I was going to run second because I could not pass him. Even though I had a faster truck by about a tenth or a tenth-and-a-half, I just didn't have enough to pass him because when I got within two or three trucklengths of him, I had an aero-push that I couldn't do anything with. It was just terrible. Fortunately for me, we had a green-white-checkered shootout at the end of the race that helped us get the win, but the pole here for me right now, just after the first lap, I'm shocked. When we went out, we knew that we needed to beat Brendan. We felt that there was nobody behind that had a shot at getting the pole, so myself and crew chief Rick Ren came up with a plan. He would tell me after the first lap, he would basically say, 'abort.' There's no sense in running more laps than you need to once you already establish the pole. The first lap was just terrible. The thing went down into one and it just pushed, it was loose through the middle, it slid the nose up off. I was really disappointed because I thought that our first lap would be the fastest of the two laps. By the time I got to three and four, the truck was pretty good and went though there real good, so I figured it was an air pressure issue where the air pressure was coming up in the tires or we got a little bit of cloud cover and the track cooled down, which was different from when we really ran off a good lap this morning. I figured the second lap would be extremely good. I got through one and two, which I thought was excellent, which would have been a really good lap and the crew chief comes on the radio and says, 'Abort, abort, abort.' I was pleasantly surprised when the first lap, which I thought was a terrible lap, was actually the pole lap. Brendan and Carl raced here last year and this is a track-position track. It's extremely hard to pass here. You have to have a really dominant truck. The tire that Goodyear has brought here is the same tire that we just ran at Memphis last week, which is a different tire than last year. It's taken our team a while to get a handle on this tire. I don't know if we still have a handle on this tire because we did extensive testing before Memphis amend thought we did, and we weren't good at Memphis. We came here with the same truck and the same setup as last year and it seems to be performing well, but that was for one lap; we have 200 more to go."
"I don't know why, but between myself and the entire team, the more pressure, the better we run. Honestly, if there's one race you want to win all year long, it's the Power Stroke Diesel 200. If it could have gone green at the end, we could have lapped the field twice; the truck was that good that night. Those are the races, for whatever reason, that our program shines. There is a lot of added pressure. We have all of the people from Oil Mate and, of course, International's World Headquarters is just down the street in Chicago, so all of those people will be here. This is a big weekend for us, but we're up for the challenge for sure."
"The nickname of the truck is 'Droopy Dog.' This is the truck that we won three of the four races with last year. There's actually a funny story about this truck. The K-Automotive team lost the Mopar sponsorship, and I just signed on board, and this is the 2001 season and we were going to switch to a Chevrolet program during the off-season. John Monsam, the crew chief for Rick Carelli, was in the process of building a brand-new dropsnout Ford chassis for Rick Carelli and Dale Phelon. We were building Chevrolets, and at about that time we decided that we were going to be a Ford factory program. They all of a sudden decided to switch from Fords to Chevrolets so we actually swapped chassis. We both had brand-new dropsnout Laughlins. We swapped them. The truck that we've been winning all of the races on is actually a truck that was spec'd out by John Monsam, now the chief crew on the 50 truck. His (Edwards) teammate's crew chief. It's something we laugh about. It's a thing that other people have done, but it's coincidental that he just happened to spec that chassis out. It's an inch-and-a-half dropsnout and all of our trucks have a dog reference, so that one got named Droopy Dog."
"This is a 200-lap race. To me, this is a sprint race. There is no riding; there's no saving tires. If you want to save tires, we'll buy more next week. You need to be in the front and stay up front all day long. The key here for track position is pit stops. That is the number one key. You have to have a good pit crew because if you come in first you want to go out first, and if you come in fifth, you want to go out in first. You rely on your pit crew here heavily. You're going to make two stops. It's going to be a two-stop race, four tires both times. You're going to get track position through pit stops or maintain that through pit stops."
"He (Gaughan) brings up a good point, too. This is a different tire from last year. Last year, we felt that we had to take four to win it. You might be able to take two tires this year to win it. Who knows? He (Gaughan) may take two lefts and win it. You never know the tire combination. It's a different day, a different tire."