Nazareth Terry Cook, race report

NAZARETH, PA (July 15, 2000) - Terry Cook headed into the Chevy Silverado 200 at Nazareth Speedway knowing his recent sting of bad luck would have to end sooner or later. Fortunately, the Sylvania, OH driver saw his luck change for the better...

NAZARETH, PA (July 15, 2000) - Terry Cook headed into the Chevy Silverado 200 at Nazareth Speedway knowing his recent sting of bad luck would have to end sooner or later. Fortunately, the Sylvania, OH driver saw his luck change for the better with a solid sixth-place finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. "Our team has been struggling lately," said Cook, driver of the #88 Chevy. "We've had a lot of just plain bad luck. We've gotten involved in some wrecks and it's really put us in a hole. 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 here today. This run is a tribute to the guys on my crew. They've all pulled together and the run today is for them." Cook proved he was going to be a force to reckon with on Friday posting the second-fastest speed in qualifying, a 130.091 miles per hour lap on the tricky five turn Nazareth oval. Cook then made a veteran move at the drop of the green flag Saturday preferring to run a comfortable pace rather than burn his truck up in the early going "Overall, it was a great day for us," stated Cook. "We knew we had a great truck. At the start, we slotted into third spot and ran there for pretty much the first half of the race. We also wanted to wait to see what the weather was going to do and see if the race would go all the way." Cook not only planned for the weather, but also mapped out some solid strategy with his brother and crew chief, Jerry Cook, prior to the event. The plan worked to perfection as Cook kept his bright orange Chevrolet near the front all day, eventually taking the lead before the midpoint of the race. "Jerry came up with some strategy if the race went the entire distance," Cook stated. "We were going to try and do the race as a three-stop race. The race appeared to be playing right into our hands. We stopped on the second or third caution and got right side tires, next caution we got left side tires. From that point on, we went for track position and stayed out when a lot of the other leaders pitted. We had a caution come out, but we were still 20 laps out of our fuel window to be able to go to the end of the race. We decided to go with our race strategy and stay out. We took the lead and I was surprised at how long we were able to hold off the guys with fresh tires. Track position was critical and turned out to be more important than the fresh tires." Cook nearly saw his good fortune change when he headed to the pits for fresh rubber and fuel near the Lap 150 mark. On the surface, it looked as though luck would again not swing Cook's way. "We had a long green flag run and ended up having to make a green flag pit stop which put us a lap down," said Cook. " We still had one of the fastest trucks and were clicking off some of the fastest laps of the race. We were catching the leaders, but then the caution came out before all of them had to make their pit stop and we ended up getting caught down a lap." Cook was not to be denied this time, however, getting his lap back on a Lap 168 restart from then leader Michael Dokken. Putting his Chevy through it's paces, Cook was able to quickly make up ground on the leaders thanks in part to a late caution and another solid pit call by crew chief Jerry Cook. "We elected to stay out and it worked," said Cook. "We were able to stay in front of the leaders and get our lap back when the last caution came out. Since we were the last truck on the lead lap, we decided to come in for left side tires and in the final 20 laps or so we managed to come from 12th all the way up to sixth. If there'd been another 10 or 15 laps, I think we could have gotten up to third or fourth, but I'll take a Top-10 finish." The top finish earned Cook $11,975 in prize money. More importantly, the effort returned a measure confidence to Cook and the team helping them put more than a month's worth of bad luck and disappointing finishes in their rear view mirror. "Now that we're finally caught back up, we're excited about next week at Michigan," said Cook. "It's more or less our home track, less than an hour away from our shop in northern Ohio. We've got a great truck and a strong engine sitting in the shop and ready to go. Hopefully, today will be the start of a run of good luck and good runs to make up for the run of bad luck we've had over the past few weeks. Cook and the 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 , Michael Dokken